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24 Karats of Pure Gold (Bond, James Bond W/O)

  • Jan 12, 2008
Pros: You get to be Bond, man! Isn't that worth something in itself?

Cons: It just had to be on the N64

The Bottom Line: The name's Bond. James Bond. I'd like a martini, shaken, not stirred.

Well, when I decided to participate in Rock_On's Bond, James Bond write off, I intended to review Live and Let Die, the movie starring the bad guy who I stole my name from, Baron Samedi. But, true to my form, I wound up a victim of bad timing, and the date of the write off was rescheduled to a date close to exam time, so I was unable to go out and find a copy of it. So I've decided to re-write a much older review of mine on the Nintendo 64 classic Goldeneye 007. Enjoy!

One day many, many years ago, a good person named Ian Fleming, disillusioned with all those bozos that represented the male image, decided to create an image of the real man, someone who he felt men would be able to relate to. The image he came up with was James Bond, a suave British superspy. And men found they could relate to the character. Oh, sure, most of us won't ever get the chance to save the world and get the girl, but if we ever did, then that's exactly how we'd do it! So the formula worked and a ton of sequels and movies were created. Fast forward a few decades. Now video games are on the rise. And what demographic is playing video gmes? Men! So the manufacturers figured making a video game or two starring James Bond would be a good way to make a few extra dollars.

Well, most of the games sucked, but the companies producing them made money, so the ploy worked. It wasn't until 1996 that Rare would actually attempt to make a Bond game that would be worth paying money for. But better late than never, especially in this case, because Goldeneye 007 would go down in history as one of the greatest FPS's of all time, and the greatest to some others, including myself.

Before Goldeneye 007, first-person shooters, although fun, were at the point where they were blending into two seperate categories: Doom and not Doom. They all consisted of some lone oldier running through endless corridors, blasting the snot out of whatever came between him and the exit. Goldeneye changed all that by not only adding level objectives, but placing sort of a semi-emphasis on stealth. Yeah, you could run through the levels, two guns blazing in hands, but it was just as fun to sneak through the levels in silence, knocking off only those who noticed you lurking in the bushes and ran for the alarm. Of course, the risk of getting caught was always there, and if you did get caught, the bad guys would swoop right in and swarm you like bees, which would make things significantly more difficult. Of course, if that happened, you weren't exactly defenseless. James came armed with his standard pistol, and along the line, he could pick up countless other weapons, each with distinct advantages. Goldeneye 007 would grant you that standard FPS shotgun-gotta have one in every FPS, its a law-a sniper rifle to blow off peoples' nose hairs from about five levels up, every automatic weapon imaginable (my favorite is the uzi! You don't even have to aim-just spray the room!), a rocket launcher, and even the laser gun from the James Bond movie Moonraker! And the tank! I dare not forget the tank! Blow their bodies into itty bitty pieces, or just run 'em down like the lowly dogs they are! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! MR. BOND, MEET THE TERMINATOR!!!

Oh, sorry about that. I got a little emotional there. Anyway, you had to do this through over twenty levels with missions ranging from protecting a prisoner to blowing up a helicopter. And the difficulty level on the easiest setting will make sure you keep coming back for more punishment. So will the secrets, for that matter. Completeing certain levels on certain difficulty levels in a certain amount of time would unlock a hidden secret that would do anything from giving all the characters oversized heads to making you run faster to making you invincible. Completion of the game on Agent mode would net you a new weapon, the magnum, with ultra-powerful bullets that would go through just about anything. Beating the game on Secret Agent or 00 Agent modes would unlock new levels.

If you do it all just right, you won't have too much of a problem, though. Sure, in some levels, the bad guys know you're there and are actively gunning for you, but in others, you can stalk pretty much anyone and they won't do a thing. The AI is flawed in this way. If you get spotted, they'll fight like cornered foxes, but when you just sneak round, they'll not only lay down and play dead, they'll pretty much ignore your prescence altogether. In several spots, you can sneak right up behind an enemy and shoot him in one of his arms or legs or something-he'll spend a couple of seconds shaking off the pain, then he'll go back to guarding his post as if nothing ever happened. In other spots, you can run into two guards with their backs to you, and shoot one right in the head. He'll drop down, dead as a brick, right in front of his partner, and his partner will just continue standing there! You'd think he'd at least try to inch his way toward the nearest alarm.

Yeah, one player mode is a lot of fun, whether you want to play through the game, discover a new secret, or just plain go on a shooting rampage after a long day at work. But the real fun of Goldeneye 007 comes when you gather up a few of your friends to tke out your frustrations on. Goldeneye has the best multi-player mode you will ever see in a video game, bar none. There are four different multi-player modes, each named after a diferent James Bond film, each having a different objective. In Man with the Golden Gun, you can pick up a golden gun that can blow up your oppenents in one shot. The Living Daylights is a capture the flag game. In You Only Live Twice, like the name implies, you only get two lives. Once you set the game mode, you can then select a character. Don't want to play as goodie-two shoes James Bond? Play as his nemesis, Trevalyan. When you beat the game, you can select the extras, everyone from foot soldiers to scientists to civialians, and a few other famous Bond villians, like Jaws, Oddjob, and Baron Samedi (all right!). After that, select the kind of weapons you want to use. Want to fight like a wuss using only your hands, or do you want to play in the big league, using all rocket launchers? After that, select a level and time, and off the four of you go to terrorize each other!!!

Now I have to cover the technics. First, as always, the graphics. When Goldeneye 007 was first released, everyone marveled at the crisp realism. Now they're aged, and it shows. The polygon count in the game has to be pretty low, because all the characters all look like wooden blocks. None of them have any curves. The backgrounds look almost, but not quite, as fake, but they do look pretty nice, and they are accented by those nice little details-the flickering on a computer screen or the small cracks surrounding bullet holes, for example. Explosions are big, bright, and colorful, but I'd like to know what world this takes place in where everything explodes, even boxes. It's a minor complaint for the most part, but when the bad guys start blowing them up to hurt you, it becomes an annoyance.

Goldeneye 007, being a James Bond game, has James Bond sounds. The music is Bond-ish, and even includes the standard Bond theme in the intro. But the only thing you'll remember hearing are the constant explosions and gunshots. And some voice-over acting would have been nice.

James controls more easily than greased lightning. The analog setup works out very well, and the side-c buttons are used for strafing, which will probably save your life once or twice, as you can circle your enemies while sending a constant barrage of bullets in their direction. Shooting is done very naturally with the z-trigger, which is good because it gives you the freedom to move your right thumb around a bit as you use the right shoulder button to aim. Button a cycles through weapons, but while you switch weapons, you're left open for a split second, but that could be all the other guy needs. A weapon select system like the one in Perfect Dark would have been nice, but we can't have everything. Button B reloads, which again leaves you open, and it also opens doors and performs other actions essential for missions. The directional pad is, once again, unused, but once you get used to the N64 controller's perfectly balanced setup, you won't miss it.

Oh, by the way, if you want to go on about the plot differences between the game and the movie, your head is likely to explode, as the differences are countless. But if the game did go point by point with the movie, there wouldn't be a whole lot to do, would there? The movie scenery, on the other hand, is represented with amazing detail.

Goldeneye 007 has near-unlimited replay value between the secrets and the multi-player mode, and for that it gets the highest rating I can award it, as well as a place on my personal favorites list-both of them. Goldeneye 007 is the best of maybe ten reasons that made Nintendo's giant 64-bit empty box worth owning. If you still own your N64, treat yourself.

Now for the legal stuff. Alright, its just a list of all the other participants in the Bond, James Bond write-off. Go out and see what they have to say:


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More GoldenEye 007 (1997) reviews
review by . March 30, 2009
GoldenEye 007 is not only the best movie tie-in game of all time, but it is perhaps the most influential first-person shooter ever to hit the gaming-console market. If you aren't aware of the plot of this game that's not a problem, because essential it is the same as the popular James Bond movie, GoldenEye, which was released in 1995- two years prior to this game's release.     This is a game that is filled with techniques and styles that would be mimicked in many future games …
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Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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About this video game


GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo. It is based on the 1995 film GoldenEye and was exclusively released for the Nintendo 64 video game console in August 1997. A different game based on the film, also titled GoldenEye 007, was released for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS in 2010.
Players assume the role of James Bond, a British Secret Intelligence Service agent, as he fights to prevent a syndicate from using a satellite weapon against London to cause a global financial meltdown. The game features a single player campaign and a multiplayer deathmatch mode that can exclusively be played in split-screen.

A critical and commercial success, GoldenEye 007 received overwhelmingly positive reviews from video game websites and magazines, and sold over eight million copies worldwide. It has been praised for its multiplayer mode, and its incorporation of stealth elements and varied mission objectives into its single player campaign. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential shooting games of all time.  GoldenEye 007 was followed by a spiritual successor, Perfect Dark, also developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64. The commercial successor was Tomorrow Never Dies, developed by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation.
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Number of Players: Single-player, Multi-player
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Rare
Console: Nintendo 64
Genre: Shooter
Release Date: August 25, 1997 (NA)
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