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Retro Review: “Goldeneye 007”

On September 13, 2022, a Nintendo Direct presentation revealed the next wave of games coming to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. While a whole slew of beloved titles were revealed to return on Nintendo 64 Online, one in particular was easily the highlight of the lineup: “Goldeneye 007.” Developed by Rare, the game is a welcome inclusion among the many classic titles to enjoy. 

Based on the 1995 James Bond film “Goldeneye,” the film keeps the same basic plot as the film, as Bond recounts his experiences with Agent 006, Alec Trevelyan before being tasked to stop a satellite known as Goldeneye, and deal with the fallout of the Cold War. 

While many licensed games at the time had a reputation for being less-than-stellar, this title set a high standard for both future 007 tie-ins and first-person shooters for years to come (including Rare’s own “Perfect Dark” in the year 2000). This is especially true in terms of multiplayer – though the feature was nearly cut during the game’s development, it was tailor-made for the 4-player support of the N64. Now, new players and longtime fans alike can experience the feature online (and the infamy of those who use “slappers” while playing as Oddjob). Though the controls may have a learning curve to those used to more recent FPS titles, the gameplay still makes a satisfying transition to the Switch.

Even if the once state-of-the-art visuals are now a product of their time, all the original secrets and cheats from the initial N64 release are present. Hilarity ensues whenever the game is played with the “paintball mode” (which turns all the weapons into paintball guns) and the fan-favorite “DK Mode” (which gives all the characters the body proportions of Donkey Kong). Grant Kirkhope and Graeme Norgate, longtime music composers for Rare, have also done a fantastic job of adapting Eric Serra’s score for the film into the game’s sound font. 

Having stood the test of time as an entertaining game on its own and a strong adaptation of the hit film, its legacy as a groundbreaking FPS is secure. As the first of many titles coming to N64 Online over the course of 2023, “Goldeneye 007” is an easy recommendation for newcomers and longtime fans alike.

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Rare

Platform: Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack (Also on Xbox Game Pass, Originally released on Nintendo 64)

ESRB Rating: T

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