Goldeneye Wii at Eurogamer Expo 2010

The impact Goldeneye had on me and, I suspect, every gamer in the universe at the time, was enormous. On consoles at least, there was very little out there that had as much multiplayer pull as Goldeneye. Today’s widely held belief that the best games are the games you can play with your friends, either online or in the same room, has its origins in a few titles, of which Nintendo can lay claim to two of the giants in Goldeneye and Mario Kart. Both titles are shoe ins for my Desert Island Games, as they will be for many a gamer of my generation I don’t doubt.

So you’d think I’d be well up for grabbing myself a copy of Nintendo’s remake of the N64 legend Goldeneye on the Wii. But I don’t know, I’m not really sure I want to go back there.

There’s something not quite right about bringing old games back from extinction, something gets washed away in all that water gushing under the time bridge. It makes me think of classic albums remastered and repackaged for the new generation. Take a classic like Hendrix’s Are You Experienced. It’s a brilliant record remastered or otherwise that stands the test of time and still makes young heads want to pick up the guitar and play. That’s what Mario Kart is to videogames, a timeless classic that’s still a favourite more than two decades after its inception. But Mario Kart has been repolished, tweaked and fiddled with so much that if you sat down and played the first and the current version next to each other you’d be laughing at how cruddy the original looks. In short, Mario Kart has been remastered to within an inch of its life.

Goldeneye on the other hand, hasn’t changed a bit. It looks exactly like it did thirteen years ago. This is more like a remastering of Slayer’s Hell Awaits. When that baby landed, wow, what an album! Heavy, evil, fast, everything you wanted from the heaviest of heavy metal. Listen to it today and it’s a weak, slow, dated museum piece – I still love it but if I tried to push it onto a new gen metal nugget today I’d feel like my mum when I was young telling me AC/DC was ‘proper music’.

It’s the same game, people, the same game. Why on earth would you want to get this? Because you remember it as being a brilliant FPS game? Because thirteen years ago you and your mates used to cram round the TV, taking turns to be one of the four, keeping one eye on your opponents’ screens and one eye on your own? That was thirteen years ago, people. Times have changed.

I admit, I played this game a couple of times at Eurogamer 2010, and I did have a good laugh playing it (even when the Nintendo bod babysitting it thought the best way to show it off was to win the game in no mercy style), as did the people I played against, boys and men ranging from the age of twelve to forty. And it did bring back memories of youth, of spending Saturday nights hunting for the one shot kill golden gun till the small hours, keeping tabs on the scores (I’m kicking your arse 34-9 you losers!). But bring this game home today and expect it to wipe the floor with the current generation of FPS games? I don’t think so.

Maybe if this was Wii Ware it might be worth spending on it, but this is a full game, buy in the shops, £30+, take it home and shove it in the slot number. There is no way I’m going to chose this over Bad Company 2. And wandering around Brompton Hall, witnessing how many other FPS games are on show, just makes it more obvious I’m not going to be parting with cash for it.

And there’s another reason to worry. Though you can play it with the Wii bat and nunchuck, Nintendo were demoing it with the classic controller, suggesting it’s going to be a nightmare to play it with the motion sensor. You’re going to have to shell out more cash to relive those golden days proper.

It’s a worrying trend around Nintendo’s crop of games at this expo, lots of old games and gaming icons being rebooted: Kirby, Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Goldeneye… What are they trying to say here, they haven’t got any new ideas?

Alright, so Golden is still a damn good game, and if any of my mates happen to pick this up and get a load of classic controllers into the bargain I’d definitely be popping round to have a go, but I’m not going to suggest to you that you pre-order this and get the old gang back together. Better you meet them online with a current FPS fave, coz this old boy’s glory days are but a distant memory.

Then again, if anyone wants to give me a classic controller, I’d definitely play through the solo campaign. And there is going to be online multiplayer, so maybe I should just shut up about the split screen and get all excited about the online action…

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Written by Neil

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One comment

  1. Indeed.

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