Written by Ryan Johnson Thursday, 16 December 2010 05:00
|Goldeneye's Retro Value: Does the Flashback Succeed?|
Yeah, the Month of Bond should be over. I know. There's good reason for this article being delayed, though, and that is one of the points of the article. Read on to find out. If you want more Month of Bond and haven't caught them yet, check out my individual reviews for Goldeneye, Blood Stone and my comparison article.
They couldn't have picked a better time of year to try to resurrect a classic gameplay feeling: the holiday season. When I pre-ordered this game, I tried to get a hold of the old crew of friends to play. Doesn't help that I live halfway across the country from them now, but this game has online capabilities, right? Surely we can get together...
Alas, life happens. We all have jobs, families, life to deal with. But I went home for Thanksgiving, a trip back to my lovely little corner of Kansas. I threw out an invite to my crew to show up at my Dad's house one day during my trip.
It's amazing how when you're 30 and you can still be your parent's kid. I step into my father's place, even as a father myself, and seem to drop into the old habits. We even hit some of the classic restaurants, like Chicken Mary's in Pittsburg or Chancy's in Moran. One thing going for that corner of Kansas (and this is NOT an insult) is consistency. That deliciously greasy chili cheese dog and suzy q's tasted just as delicious as I remembered it eight years ago. I looked over in the corner of the place to find the same Mortal Kombat machine still chugging along. I was officially locked into the nineties...perfect for the retro-review.
I remember our first James Bond 007: GoldenEye night back in the day. I actually bought a N64 that was bundled with two controllers and Goldeneye, then brought it back to the room. People joined, and the fun was so intense that I ended up going back to Wal-Mart across town TWICE, each time picking up "one more controller" until the four-player was possible. We played until the early morning hours....for many....many nights.
This time around, only one of my friends was able to show up. Others wanted to, but couldn't be out that late (after all, I had to schedule time with my family and didn't have to be up for work in the morning), or had their own family things going on for Thanksgiving; their own kids to take to Grandma's house, etc. My wife gladly jumped in, though, and was as fair a competition as someone new to the FPS scene could be.
My friend and I traded a few kills. We both attempted to help my wife learn how to run it, whilst sharing firefights all the time. The retro levels definitely hearkened back to the Days of Old, but the whole regenerating health thing changed the outlook of the game. Perhaps it was for the best, but there are memories around camping spots and memorizing the locations of body armor.
Our complaints were few, such as some inexplicably dark multiplayer levels that we needed to turn the brightness on the TV up. After all, there's "stealthy darkness" and there's also, "I can't see anything, how are we supposed to play," plus a few levels, such as the burned-out cityscape, tended to have maze-like qualities that led more to getting lost than sneaking up on someone.
My friend will say he came out victorious. I will say we are both insanely rusty at this gameplay mechanic and his victory celebration was the equivalent of winning a coin toss.