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Link to the Past: Goldeneye

logan j. fowler compares the original to the latest incarnation …

This past week, a revamped Goldeneye 007 was released on the Nintendo Wii. While I had initial fears about one of the best first person shooters (FPS) being released for a new generation, my fears were put to rest after playing the first level, but I will review the game more fully in a soon-to-come blog.

Harkening back to a time where graphics were simple and blocky, Goldeneye 007 was developed by Rare, a company who basically was the best game creators for the Nintendo 64 system besides Nintendo themselves. Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, heck, even Perfect Dark, which was pretty much Goldeneye set in the future but with a female as the hero was good.

Goldeneye 007: Simple and Classic for N64

But Goldeneye is still being having its cartridge be put into Nintendo 64s everywhere? Why? The multiplayer, which contained very simple modes, was extremely fun. The modes were as follows

-Basic deathmatch (Normal )
-A stock game where you only have two lives (You Only Live Twice)
-One where you have a flag and need to hold onto it without using weapons (The Living Daylights)
-Finding a weapon that will kill an opponent with one hit (Man with the Golden Gun)
-Being able to kill an opponent with one hit (License to Kill)

This variations were sometimes one sided if you didn’t know how to play. However, if you were pretty good, knew the maps, and had a good idea of the weapon layout, which you could learn in just a few shoot outs, then Goldeneye was your multiplayer heaven. Also as a bonus, you could pick characters from the movie Goldeneye to play as and in addition pick from a selection of classic James Bond cinematic characters, like Jaws and Oddjob.

It may seem weird to think that even today with games like Halo that have incredible multiplayer, Goldeneye still has people clamoring to play it. Maybe it’s the fact that even in this day in age where we hide behind texts, facebook, and the like, being in a social atmosphere with video games and media just makes a better experience. It could mean you are hanging with your buddies and shooting each other while sitting on the couch. To my knowledge, I had a Wii set up at my beach house last summer (2009), but my friend said “Set up the N64. I want to play Goldeneye.” It’s just an experience.

The multiplayer is simple in its nature, but maybe that’s what counts. Just an effort to keep the ammo stocked so you can win the round. No explicit instructions, no “what’s going on here,” just “here’s a gun, get going.”

While the multiplayer gets all the credit, Goldeneye’s single player campaign was nothing to scoff at. While the figures on the N64 weren’t the greatest (I’m sure you’ve always wanted to see a blocky Pierce Brosnan), the mode sticks extremely close to its source material, which is saying a lot for a movie based game. Also, it is not your typical FPS, as most of them have you go into a scenario guns blazing. Goldeneye does require stealth, because if you forgot, James Bond is a SECRET agent.

The new & improved Goldeneye

The single player campaign had different levels of difficulty, and clearly the harder the level, the more you had to do. Many players enjoy the challenge, but while I have beaten the game on a moderate mode of difficulty, I never completed it on its most challenging setting. I may do that in the near future.

While the game’s graphics did not hold up over time, Goldeneye proves that you do not need good graphics to have a great game. It’s unfortunate that Rare couldn’t hold onto the Bond property (Activision has it now) or stay with Nintendo, as they were bought by Microsoft. They never really had a game make an impact on the gaming world since then, but better to have one game make an impact than none at all.

Goldeneye still remains a FPS that I love to this day. Once you finish all the levels, you can pick one of your liking, and I always pick one in particular, which is the Archives. If you let off enough bullets, soldiers will come barricading down the steps and I always chose to dual wield the DD44 Dostoveis, two small silver pistols, taking them out as they came into my line of sight. Secret agent I may be, but they asked for it.

Simple? Yes. Fun? You bet. It’s good FPS needs. And Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64 had it in spades.


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