Review by andymancan1

Reviewed: 08/17/06

Bond at his best

PROS: Smooth controls; variety; great gun selection; DUAL-WIELDING; fun; great multiplayer

CONS: Can’t think of any

Bond. James Bond. In his first big video game in quite a while. And this one is his best ever.

Pierce Brosnan is an incredible actor, and when he was recruited to play Bond in a new movie in the mid-1990s, there was no reason why it’d fail. Then, they decided to make a game based on the movie, an idea that had failed many times before.

What resulted was the best movie-based game ever made. In a sentence, GoldenEye 64 is one of the three perfect games for the Nintendo 64. I give GoldenEye 64 a 10 out of 10. If you don’t want to know why, stop reading this right now and head out to a store with used N64 games and buy one if you don’t already own one. If you do want to know why, then keep reading. And pay attention. There’s a reason why you’re reading this. You want to know why this game gets a 10.

GoldenEye 64 is a first-person shooter that revolutionized shooter games. It’s one of the three N64 games that made Nintendo a lot of money (the other two being Ocarina of Time and Banjo-Kazooie). Here, you shoot bad guys. A lot of bad guys. Mostly Russians. However, that’s not all you do. You destroy alarms, plant explosives, take pictures, and even perform an escort mission or two. And this is the Nintendo 64. The different objectives here are incredible for a cartridge game, and the replay value is amazing to boot. You’ll play these missions over and over again just because they’re that good. Also, there are three different difficulties here: Agent. Secret Agent, and 00 Agent. Agent missions are the easiest because there are fewer objectives and fewer enemies. 00 Agent has the most enemies and objectives, and they’re even smarter, too. You can only unlock the next mission at the difficulty you beat the last one at, as well as any lower difficulties. You can play the game through on Agent, and come back and play it through on 00 Agent and have a totally different experience.

The controls here are smooth. You press Z to fire, and it feels somewhat like pulling a trigger. R aims the gun, and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of. B is the action button, and A changes guns. You can duck, strafe, and dodge. Overall, the controls are pretty easy to get used to and you’ll have little problems jumping in.

The graphics here are also amazing for the N64. The people- good and bad- are all very detailed, and they actually look somewhat realistic. The animations are pretty smooth for the 90s, too. The music is also great. It actually feels like Bond movie music, which is good. That’s one reason why Bond fans love this game. In fact, everyone loves this game. If you haven’t played it yet, buying an N64 just for this (and Ocarina of Time, of course) is completely worth it.

The AI here is very good, especially for the 90s. In the jungle mission, for instance, Natalia (the Bond girl here) joins you in shooting up bad guys. For a computer programmer, she’s pretty good with a gun. She’s smart enough to know when to stay back, and she’ll usually stay around you. The enemies are also pretty smart. They know when you’re coming, and won’t go down without a fight. They’re pretty accurate, too, and you might lay dead on the floor several times before you complete a mission. The AI is a plus here, and it’s especially good for an N64 game.

The pause menu here is actually something worth pointing out. When you press Start, you look at your watch. Here, you can get your objectives, change guns, equip toys, etc. It’s remarkable that Q could program all of that into there, and you’ll want to use it in the middle of a firefight. It’s pretty easy to navigate here, and there are several options that you’ll use, too.

The gun selection here is incredible. What this game introduced was the ability to wield two guns at once. You can mix and match some of them, and have maximum firepower to blow through the thugs trying to blow through you. This is fun. There are plenty of different guns. Pistols, semi-autos, a magnum, a machine gun, everything. Thugs on different missions will wield different guns, too, so you’ll get to experiment with everything throughout the game. Of course, there is an easier way to get all of the guns in the game. It’s called cheating. This game is full of different cheats. There are several codes, which you should use when you want to have some fun. They take a little while to enter, but are very handy in tough spots. Don’t overuse them or you’ll ruin the fun of the game. Also, if you beat a specific level on a specific difficulty, you can unlock cheats to be used on any level. If you beat the level while using one of these, you can’t progress to the next one just because you cheated, cheater. There are all kinds of guns here, and several other things. The hardest ones to get are the most powerful. The most interesting one is where you can change the graphics to resemble a Donkey Kong game. This is funny. It’s quite interesting to go through a level when all of the people have big heads.

Overall, the single-player game is extremely entertaining. There are even two bonus missions at the end if you beat the game on higher difficulties. However, this game also has multiplayer. You need other people to play it because there aren’t any computer players available. There are several different modes here, named after different Bond movies. You Only Live Twice… that speaks for itself. In Man with the Golden Gun mode, you can pick up the legendary Golden Gun of Scaramanga and kill people with only one bullet… if it hits. Licence to Kill mode means that every time something hits you, you die instantly. The Living Daylights is a flag tag game. Also, you can play 2-on-2, 3-on-1, and 2-on-1, in addition to the normal mode. There are also quite a few different areas, some of which are featured in the single-player, too. Some of these are lacking a bit, but in total, there aren’t any real letdowns. Overall, there’s a lot of variety in the multiplayer here, and it’s very good if you have buddies that also like to play older games. You won’t stop playing this one until you start playing on Xbox Live again (this game obviously has no online support). This one is one of the best of its time, that’s for sure.

This game is a lot of fun, especially for fans of the Bond movies. It doesn’t feature any voice acting, but, hey, what year was this game made? Oh, yeah, 1997. The graphics, animations, multiplayer, AI, etc. are all appropriate for the time this game was released. This game is still worth playing today, and hunting an N64 down is totally worth it just to play history, and this game is historic enough to be a must-buy. As I said earlier, GoldenEye 64 is a movie-based game, but it’s a damn near perfect one. As I also said before, I give GoldenEye 64 a 10 out of 10.

Rating: 10

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