riostarwind's GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64) review

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Goldeneye 007: A Retrospective Review

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Dan taking up the task of beating Goldeneye on 00 Agent got me interested in doing the same thing. While I didn’t manage to do that in attempting it I got very well acquainted with the pros and cons of this game in a modern context. So I felt like it would be fun to write up this review your about to read below. So let's get started with some lore?

The ending mini cut scene for each level adds a bit of flair.
The ending mini cut scene for each level adds a bit of flair.

James Bond is once again on a adventure to stop some evil plan that is afoot in a facility that he’ll have to infiltrate by jumping off of a Dam. Yet that is only the start of the journey since this one takes him all over the world with 20 different missions that must be competed to save the day. One of the strongest points in this games favor is how each level is set up with different objectives that must be competed to finish them. Going in shooting everyone just isn’t going to lead to success unless the game is set to agent difficulty.

These new tasks gave me a reason to see more of the level that I likely didn’t see during my first playthrough. Like the corridors under the Dam or some far off locations in the Siberia map. Which still adds some solid replay value if you want a bit more of a challenge. Yet going all out on the difficulty robs this game some of its joy thanks to how quickly you can die plus the latter levels rely way to much on respawning enemies.

The N64 isn't the best at spoken dialogue so all of it isn't voiced.
The N64 isn't the best at spoken dialogue so all of it isn't voiced.

A lot of the good design is used early on with levels laid out with a select amount of enemies. With a bit of planning they can all be taken out with some good use of cover. Either by being quick on the draw or peaking around cover seemed like a solid way to succeed till reaching the halfway point. Which is when the game expects the player to sneak around a underground base. Trying to fight it out leads to a unlimited amount of enemies showing up unless you manage to fight through them to their spawn point. Since this game isn’t built for stealth this lead me to bumping down the difficulty since the game just isn’t fun anymore otherwise.

With the rest of the game mostly relying on tons of enemies respawning quickly it leads to very little downtime and would certainly be even harder without auto aim. Boss design is also a bit iffy. Thanks to the generous amount of fog in the jungle map it makes the Xenia fight annoying. Randomly firing in her direction while hoping she doesn’t kill you first isn’t a fun time at all. Yet the final boss is a much cooler fight on the top of some scaffolding. Chasing him down while taking down a assortment of flunkies is delightful. Although the final fight allowing other enemies to jump down to the final platform battle can lead to some annoying deaths.

Cheats in this game are hard to unlock but it is fun to go back through levels with them active.
Cheats in this game are hard to unlock but it is fun to go back through levels with them active.

While the latter half of the game doesn’t quite live up to the intro the gameplay remains solid throughout. Dashing around enemies while shooting them with bullets never gets old. Shooting around cover works surprisingly well with the c buttons whenever I needed to take out enemies without getting damaged. Each of the assortment of weapons are different enough that you’ll likely use them all by the time the credits roll. While FPS have certainly progressed a lot over the years I think this one still holds up fairly well. At least if you like blazing through a level since I think it works better if your semi speed running through them all. Which is required to unlock some of the cheats although the par times require some crazy feats to pull them off.

A friend of mine was over recently so I did play the multiplayer a bit. With auto aim being a thing most fights don’t seem that fair if one player has a better weapon. Plus the maps felt like they were made for 4P so 2P VS was kinda bland. Although the dumb slap fight we got into was silly.

Most of the multiplayer maps just seemed to be levels from the main game.
Most of the multiplayer maps just seemed to be levels from the main game.

As a product of it’s time this game certainly did some amazing stuff on the N64. Yet looking at it now it isn’t quite as perfect as old me thought it was. While the flaws make it less fun to play today it is still possible to enjoy playing it now. Unless going back to early 3D games sounds like a rough thing to do I still think this game is still worth playing.

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