Way back in 1997, I got my grubby little sausage fingers on a game that, unbeknownst to me, would change, nay, DEFINE the landscape of the first-person shooter (fps) genre from that point forward. GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 (N64) is the Godfather of the modern fps, so join me as I gush over this masterpiece on its 20th birthday.
The N64 did a shit load of things right – great platformers, excellent graphics for its time, and some of the best first-party titles Nintendo has ever released, to name a few, but, the best thing about the N64 was playing with your friends. Before the N64, consoles needed adapters to play four players games. And even when you had these multi-tap adapters,
most of the games weren’t optimized for four player fun. The N64 changed that by adding four controller ports right on the console, and GoldenEye 007 capitalized on it. Don’t get me wrong, I played the hell out that campaign mode, but my fondest memories from GoldenEye are playing multiplayer. Specifically in the Facility camped out in a bathroom stall…with a RC-P90 aimed at the door. My character of choice…Oddjob. I know this isn’t a popular decision among gamers, and I don’t care. In fact, please @ me so I can laugh in your face for picking anybody other than him. Strategic (height) advantages like you read about.
Going back and playing GoldenEye 007 after a long absence can be a bit jarring. The dual analog stick controls, that have become the standard of modern shooters, are nowhere to be found and the graphics are obviously not on par with modern consoles (or even mobile devices for that matter). But, in the end, none of that really matters. A few minutes into a multiplayer game of “man with the golden gun” and all the controls come right back to you. A few kills later and you can barely notice the strangely square head of Pierce Brosnan.
GoldenEye 007 is ground zero for thousands of games that have tried to imitate the feeling I had when I first played with my brother 20 years ago. It truly was, and is, a special game.
On GoldenEye 007’s birthday, let’s dust off our N64’s and play a round of “license to kill” …for old time’s sake.
P.S. – Let’s pray GoldenEye 007 gets included on the N64 Classic (if it gets made). I would say it’s a given, but Nintendo can make weird moves sometimes.
P.S. (the sequel) – My 10 must-have titles on a N64 Classic.
- GoldenEye 007
- Mario 64
- MarioKart 64
- Body Harvest
- Super Smash Brothers
- Snowboard Kids
- Ocarina of Time
- Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest
- Pokemon Stadium
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