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ONM Remembered – #460

“Why was it that only the swots can manipulate the metal loop ’round the windy wire course without touching it and causing it to buzz? Why is it that I, Alex ‘steadyhands’ Lee, can never quite get it to the end without that bloody buzzer going off?”


from N64 Pro issue 6 (April 1998)

In spite of its bizarre tangents and repeated ventures to a 1980s school fete, Alex Lee delivers a solid review of Fire Electric Pen… because what all is there to say about a game adaptation of guiding a hoop along a wire? Also this is the second review I’ve seen where someone’s gotten up in arms over whether a game is worthy of being on the N64. Was that really the talking point of 1998?

I’ve said it before, but I love these old Japanese renditions of, er, ‘sports’ games. The wire loop game (which i can’t believe hasn’t gotten a proper title in all these years) has seen various video game adaptations, from the PlayStation to the Neo Geo, and there’s something uniquely Japanese about recreating an activity we’d otherwise only see at fundraising events and children’s parties. With digitised commentary and everything! It’s just a bummer we don’t see this sort of thing on home consoles anymore.