Saturday, 7 January 2012

Childhood gaming memories : Part 2

This instalment of 'Childhood Gaming Memories' focuses on one of my favourite consoles and its best game - the N64 and Goldeneye.

I was reading an article about the new Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS and there was a Mario Kart fact that caught my eye - Mario Kart 64 is 15 years old - as is the N64 itself. When I read that I suddenly felt very old. I can still remember getting my N64 when I was 8. It was bundled with Goldeneye 007 and Super Mario 64.

The first game I tried was Goldeneye 007. I instantly fell in-love.

Goldeneye 007 was released in August 1997 and made gaming history. Even today the majority of gamers will agree that Goldeneye 007 is one of the best first person shooters of all time. Not only did the single player have a great story line with fantastic levels but the multiplayer split-screen was sensational.

The story-line is based on the 1995 film GoldenEye - the 17th film in the Bond series. 
Video games based on films are commonly known now for their simple game-play and easy trophies / achievements, but not this one. It didn't matter if you were making your way across the dam using stealth tactics, getting frustrated with Natalya as she ran off getting herself killed in the bunker or shooting the hat off the guard while he sat on the toilet as you were sneaking through the vents above him in Facility, there was some memorable moments in each level that made you want to play again and again.

The multiplayer feature is where the game really got its fans from. With split-screen you could have up to four players sat around the TV with six different game modes -
  • Normal (deathmatch)
  • Team (team deathmatch)
  • The living daylights (capture the flag)
  • The man with the golden gun (only one golden gun in the match which has 1 shot kills)
  • License to kill (bodycount)
  • You only live twice (last man standing).
But the game modes didn't have to stop there. If you completed the single player levels within a time limit on the right difficulty setting you could unlock different cheats.
Some of the best games of split-screen I had was when I was sat around with my older cousin and his friends coming up with new game modes, my favourite one we played was this :
  • Paintball hide and seek - the object of the game was to have the 'paintball mode' cheat on, then the person who was 'it' would have to hide - ofcourse this was hard with the other 3 players looking at the same screen as you so the person who was 'it' would have to look directly at the floor making it harder for the others to find you, then as you ran around you would have to shoot the floor leaving a trail of paintball markings which disappeared after a few minutes to help give a clue to the other players where to look. Some levels were fantastic for this game as there were a few walls which you could pass through and hide in a small hole - even better if the other players didn't know about this little trick!
I have tried Goldeneye 007 for the Wii and while it was a good game it just didn't have the same feel as the original as the levels feel very Call of Duty-like. I was really excited to try the multiplayer online for the first time but it just didn't live up to what it could have been, hopefully I will be trying out the new version soon - Goldeneye 007 Reloaded for the PS3.

If only there was an updated version of the original game for the current generation where nothing changes but the graphics and the addition of 4 player online mode... I can only hope....

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