Check out this oldie but goodie from the Planet archives...
I, like so many other N64 owners out there was one of the thousands of people responsible for nearly crashing IGNs servers, and flooding their IRC chatroom waaay to freakin' early this morning, in hopes of learning about the big news.
And big it is. While normally, had the story just been that Eurocom was developing an exclusive version the The World Is Not Enough for the N64, I would not have been impressed, as neither they nor any of us would have been.
But, I must commend Peer, Matt, and Aaron for doing an absolutely EXCELLENT job pimping this upcoming game! The words, emotion, and passion expressed in their words tell us that we are indeed in for something VERY special.
The story is, that while we think, and have been calling Perfect Dark, "Goldeneye on Steroids", TWINE by Eurocom, may in fact literally be just that.
Go read the excellent first impressions on this upcoming game that they have written, then come back ..
Because while I am still clearing the tears of joy from my eyes, there is still a very strong degree of skepticism that I have.
To me, Goldeneye wasn't just about the Bond license, the graphics, the control, nor even the kick-ass multiplayer element. It was about the game play, and this is something that just cannot be discerned from the pre-alpha version of TWINE that was shown to IGN.
I still owe a debt of gratitude one of the few retail employees that I have ran into, that actually knew something about N64 games.. It was shortly after Goldeneye was released, before I was web-savvy to the whole N64 thing, that I walked into a local EB in search of something new and fresh to pop into my N64. I paced the aisles of N64 games incessantly .. looking for that perfect game. An employee walked up to me, and asked to help. I said that I was looking for a good game, but I didn't know what to get. He asked if I liked First Person Shooters, and I said "Yes, if they are good". See, I had just purchased Doom 64 and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter just shortly before, and explained that while I like Turok a lot, I thought that Doom 64 really, really sucked! He recommended Goldeneye, and I walked out with a new toy.
Goldeneye sucked me into the game from the moment I fired it up for the first time, but what I found over the course of the next TWO MONTHS of solid playing was that it was the perfected challenge level that really made this game special.
Like any new game, there is a certain degree of challenge in just getting acclimated to the game. The "Agent" level was perfect for that. It was tough at first, but just hard enough to pose a challenge without causing you to become too frustrated. I really liked how you couldn't easily get to the subsequent levels, that you had to work hard to play this game. I really liked the fact that this was a mission-based FPS, something totally new, and not the same old "find the 3 keys and leave" sort of thing.
It took me about a week of playing a couple of hours a day to finish all the levels available in the "Agent" mode. By that time, I figured I had the game down pretty good, and went on to play all the levels again in the "Secret Agent" mode.
See, I had already learned that there was certain levels that you could get to by only playing the game on the more advanced levels, and while most "adventure" or "action" type games have little replay value after you have gone through the game once, Goldeneye continued to suck you into playing it more and more my offering you these "Golden Carrots" that you could only get to by meeting the challenge. There were no codes to enter. No secret button combinations, and unless you were a loser with a Gameshark, you had to work to get good.
What I found out on the "Secret Agent" difficulty, was that you just didn't have to be much more quick and accurate, as was what I expected, but the entire tactics for the game changed.
Techniques used to beat the game on the "Agent" mode were no longer good enough. New paths through the levels had to be found out, as there were new objectives to complete. The bar was raised significantly more than one notch, and this time, it took nearly 2 weeks to complete the game on that level.
And, it didn't stop there .. obviously, you know this. Some people have never finished the game on "00 Agent Mode" because this level of challenge is really up there ... but for those who have, you know exactly what I am talking about. Individual levels took days to master, and certain levels, Facility, Bunker, Silo, Control, and Cradle were are real bitch! These levels made your blood boil, pissed you off, frustrated you to the point where you thought you would give up .. but you just couldn't quit..
The day I beat the Cradle on "00 Agent" mode, I sat down for 5 hours straight, with no one in the house, brewed up some extra strong French Roast, cracked my knuckles, and went to work. I went from getting slaughtered in under 15 seconds, to finally beating it 5 hours later, and my skills were so honed, and my adrenaline level was so high at that point, that I immediately went back to the "Agent" level to get the "Golden Gun" cheat .. and did it in 1 minute, 10 seconds.
I am a real old school gamer, because .. well, I am a much older gamer. Video Games didn't come into this world until I was already about 10 - 12 years old. I was used to pinball only until then. The games that I continued to grow up with, were designed to be quarter-suckers. Speed and high-scores were important. My love of video games is because of that dexterity element required, and also because of the fact that I am an extremely experienced Computer Tech by trade that has a passion for trouble-shooting and problem solving. A good videogame has the perfect combination of both of these elements, and Goldeneye was the Cat's Meow.
We don't know these things about The World is Not Enough yet, and maybe Eurocom will capture this particular element of magic.
I certainly hope that they do. So, this is written as a friendly reminder to the wonderful people at Eurocom, who are obviously insightful to our desires in an otherwise world of biased, Sony-loving, cartridge-hating, non-game playing mother .. (well you get the idea). We really appreciate the fact that you are making this game for us, the way we Nintendo players would want it. We'll do you right, for the long term, not just initial off the shelf reactionary sales, if you can get it just right.
In the meantime, I have been re-polishing my skills in Goldeneye again, in anticipation for Perfect Dark.