The Nintendo 64 was an awesome system. It was one of those systems we pre-ordered way in advance with all the money we had to our name, and begged our parents to pick up for us the day it was released, while we were in school. It had a handful of games that stand out for me during that time period, but one of them above the rest was the king of the N64 for me.
Rare at the time was known for some of the best games around, and GoldenEye 007 was no exception. This was more than a game for me, this was a religion.
As much as I play video games, and despite the public assumption that because I do a video game comic, that I must be a super-gaming-god, I assure you that I am not. As many of you will find out at Digital Overload, I die just as often, if not more often then the average gamer. But sometimes a game will come along that I do click with, and I become nigh unstoppable. 007 was just such a game.
To say I played this game all the time would be a falsehood. There were, in fact, times I had to stop to sleep or go to school. But the rest of the time it was me and some friends huddled around my little 27″ tv up in my room screaming over the Goldeneye multiplayer.
There was a time, and I remember it distinctly because it was one of the most intense matches I’ve played to this date, that I played GoldenEye for money. That’s right. One on one, both having placed our precious ten-dollar bills on top of the TV, first to twenty with rockets in the complex. I doubled my money that day.
As first-person shooters go, 007 may have been a little sluggish. But it had an undeniable charm that couldn’t be beat.
It was the Halo of that generation. Not as large, but then, video games weren’t as large back then. It attracted people who weren’t gamers by nature, with indescribably elements that added to mechanics to make it perfect in nearly every way.
The single-player mode was excellent. Good action, decent story, and well worth a play-through. I unlocked every single “achievment” in the single player mode, which would unlock various options to play with in the multiplayer. The train level, the one where you have to shoot from one end of the train to the other to rescue the girl and then use your laser wrist-watch to cut away a floor panel and escape, all within a five and a half minutes; I had that down cold. I could do it with my eyes closed. I would go around to my friends’ N64’s and do it for them, because they couldn’t beat the clock.
Multiplayer was a beast. I’m not sure if describing it will work. If you were there, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, I don’t think playing the game now would achieve the same effect.
My multiplayer character of choice was Baron Samedi. He was a favorite of mine from the movies, and hardly anyone picked him. Everyone always rushed to select Oddjob, becauser he was such a small target. I had an advantage on certain levels with light colored walls because the Baron would just blend right in, making him hard to track.
The big scandle at the time was the rumor that the original four Bonds (Connery, Moore, Dalton and Lazenby) were supposed to be unlockable multiplayer characters. They were taken out for release, but there was always urban legend that there was a way to unlock them by doing something crazy, like beating the game in under ten seconds while feeding your neighbor to a goat.
But if Sean Connery had been in the game, I would have dropped Baron Samedi like a bad habit. Connery = Best Bond Ever.