Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Wednesday 6 June 2007

Greatest Games of All Time!! - Issue 3

So this is the first one I'm going to do that was console specific, i.e. it didn't appear on any other gaming system. The game is of course "James Bond 007: Goldeneye" for the Nintendo 64. The company that made this game also made the game "Perfect Dark" for N64 which I will also review at a later stage.

Okay here we go


James Bond 007: Goldeneye

Console: Nintendo 64
Released: 1998

Story/Plot

Like the movie, GoldenEye 007 starts in Arkhangelsk, USSR during the mid-1980s, where MI6 has uncovered a secret chemical weapons facility at the Byelomorye Dam. James Bond is sent to infiltrate the facility by bungee jumping from the dam, then join his friend and fellow 00-agent Alec Trevelyan in destroying the factory. During the mission, Trevelyan is apparently killed by Colonel Arkady Ourumov, but Bond escapes by commandeering an aeroplane.



The following missions depict 007's investigation of the satellite control station in Severnaya, Russia where Natalya Simonova and Boris Grishenko work, a location he did not visit in the film. Entirely new to the game is the "Silo" mission in which Bond investigates an unscheduled test firing of a missile in Kirghizstan, believed to be a cover for the launch of a satellite known as GoldenEye. This space-based weapon works by firing a concentrated electromagnetic pulse (EMP) at any Earth target to disable any electrical circuit within range; from its orbit, it would be a threat to any city on Earth.

Bond's visit to Monte Carlo and investigation of the frigate La Fayette and the Eurocopter Tiger (referred to as the "Pirate" in the game) were featured in the film, but here they are expanded, with Bond rescuing several hostages inside the ship and planting a tracker bug on the helicopter before it is stolen by the Janus crime syndicate. Bond is then sent a second time to Severnaya, but during the mission he is captured and locked up in the bunker's cells along with Natalya Simonova — this meeting takes place much earlier than in the film. The two escape the complex seconds before it is destroyed, on the orders of Ourumov, by the GoldenEye satellite's EMP.


As in the film, Bond next travels to St. Petersburg, where he arranges with ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky to meet the chief of the Janus organisation. This is revealed to be Alec Trevelyan - his execution by Ourumov in the Arkhangelsk facility was faked. Bond and Natalya escape from Trevelyan, but are arrested by the Russian police and taken to the military archives for interrogation. The player must escape the interrogation room, rescue Natalya and communicate with Defence Minister Dimitri Mishkin, who has verified Bond's claim of Ourumov's treachery.Natalya is captured by General Ourumov, and Bond gives chase with a tank through the streets of St. Petersburg, eventually reaching an arms depot used by Janus — the player must destroy its weaponry stores, then hitch a ride on Trevelyan's Soviet missile train.

This section features many departures from the film storyline, where Bond doesn't reach the depot, and only enters the train after stopping it with the tank. Bond makes his way through the train, killing Ouromov and rescuing Natalya. However, Alec Trevelyan and his ally Xenia Onatopp escape to their secret base in Cuba.

Natalya accompanies Bond to the Caribbean. Surveying the Cuban jungle aerially, their light aircraft is shot down. Unscathed, Bond and Natalya perform a ground search of the area's heavily guarded jungle terrain, but are ambushed by Xenia, who is quickly killed by Bond. Bond sneaks Natalya into the control center to disrupt transmissions to the GoldenEye satellite and force it to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. An original mission shows Bond following the fleeing Trevelyan through a series of flooded caverns before arriving at the antenna of the control centre's radio telescope, which Trevelyan attempts to re-align in a final attempt to restore contact with the GoldenEye. Bond kills Trevelyan in a precarious firefight high above the dish.

Characters

I'm not going to waste time talking about characters from the film, plus it would take far too long for me to cover everyone.

Gameplay

GoldenEye 007's menu system is set up as an MI6 dossier. The player has four dossiers, each representing a single save file, to choose from. The next selection screen allows the player to choose the mission he or she wishes to tackle. Each of the twenty missions can be played using one of several difficulties: Agent, Secret Agent, 00-Agent and the customizable 007 setting, which is unlocked upon fully completing the game at the 00-Agent difficulty level.




After the difficulty select, the player is given another dossier, which includes background information on the mission and its objectives (higher difficulties incorporate additional, more complex objectives) and comments by MI6 personnel including M, Q and Miss Moneypenny.

The game is one of the first FPS titles in which weapons inflict different levels of damage depending on which body part they hit. The game's hit detection also extends to the hats worn by certain enemies, which can be shot off. In addition, unarmed attacks to the back of an unsuspecting enemy's head inflict higher levels of damage than those to the front or side. Stealth is an important element of the game; fighting crowds of enemies can be dangerous, so it is advantageous to eliminate soldiers and security cameras before they can spot or hear the player.


Some gadgets from the James Bond film series are featured in the game; for example, 007's in-game watch includes both the laser from the GoldenEye film and the electromagnet from Live and Let Die.

Once a mission is completed, the player has the option of either continuing on to the next or going back and replaying that mission over on the same or harder difficulty. Every mission also challenges the player to earn bonus cheat options by beating them in a limited amount of time on a specific difficulty setting (for example, completing the "Facility" mission on 00 Agent difficulty in 2:05 or less will unlock the "Invincibility" cheat), which gives the single player mode significant replay value as a time attack game. These cheats cannot be used to complete unbeaten levels. In addition to this method, it is also possible to unlock the options by entering complex "push-button" cheat codes, which were revealed by Rare some time after the game's release.

Longetivity

I'll say 'moderate' for this one as its hard to call. The length of the game whilst fixed, is determined really by the difficulty you play it on, and by what feats you attempt to achieve throughout.

Re-playability

Huge. As you'll see below there are many unlockables to challenge the player to replay the game. There is also a 4-player multiplayer mode which played a great part to the games success. It didn't feature all the weapons and locations from the single player game, but there was certainly more than enough.

Unlockables

Below is the two extra levels which are unlocked upon completion of the game on Secret Agent difficulty and 00 Agent difficulty. Not only do these difficulty settings improve game AI, it also introduces other objectives with perhaps less 'obvious' solutions. Completion of 00 Agent leads to the customizable 007 difficulty....don't ask me because I've never gotten that far!!

Additionally, cheat modes are available when certain feats are achieved. This is either by completing a level, or by completing a level on a certain difficulty in a specific time limit. The only thing is that the game itself doesn't exactly tell you how to unlock these cheat modes.

Graphics

Realistically the game had the best the N64 could offer. Remember that at the time the Nintendo 64 was more powerful than the PSOne, so for its time its graphics were quite impressive. The game lacked animation in certain areas such as weapon reloading, but this was later improved in "Perfect Dark".

Additional Content

Two further missions unrelated to the GoldenEye film were included as bonuses for the completion of the game on higher difficulties. The first, "Aztec Complex", is partially based on the James Bond film Moonraker, and is unlocked when the player completes the entire game on Secret Agent difficulty. During the mission, Bond is sent to the Aztec complex in Teotihuacán to investigate the Drax Corporation's unlicensed space exploration in which at least one space shuttle was stolen from NASA. Although Hugo Drax was blown into space by Bond in the movie, it has seemed that his corporation still existed after his death due to remnants and fragments that were still active. MI6 believes their intentions with the shuttle in space are military in nature and authorizes Bond to reprogram the shuttle's guidance computer so that MI6 can take control of the craft once it reaches orbit. During the mission, Jaws makes a return in an effort to stop Bond from completing his mission. Many of the rooms in the mission were from the movie and included several new features, such as the launch room for the Moonraker shuttle.

The second bonus level, "Egyptian Temple", blends elements from the films The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me and Live and Let Die. To access this level players must complete the entire game on 00 Agent difficulty. Prior to the mission, M informs Bond that a person claiming to be Baron Samedi is in possession of the deceased Francisco Scaramanga's legendary "Golden Gun" pistol. Samedi has invited James Bond to the el-Saghira temple in the Valley of the Kings (which partially replicates the location of Bond's first encounter with Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me) to retrieve it. Knowing it is a trap, M sends Bond regardless to take possession of the Golden Gun and eliminate Baron Samedi. Although the player "kills" Samedi three times during the level, he can be seen laughing in an end-of-level cutscene, similar to the ending of Live and Let Die.
Finally, if you have an hour to waste, here's a speedrun from YouTube of the game.
Enjoy!



So that's this one and here's the summary.

Story/Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Gameplay: 10
Longetivity: 7
Re-playability: 10
Unlockables/Secrets: 9 (It can be just a tad difficult sometimes!)
Washington is Next!

~The Damo

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