This blog post is going to be confession time, with a trip down memory lane as well. Just wanted to let you all know right off the bat so there is no confusion at all why in the world I picked this game, of all games to play this close to the end of the year. Now with that heads up warning out of the way, let's get down to it.
First of all, I don't like James Bond. I have never liked James Bond, and have zero emotional connection to the character, the actors that have played him or the franchise itself. I've seen a handful of James Bond movies, from all eras and several different actors, and none of them have ever held my attention. I know it's pretty taboo for a guy to not like James Bond, but the movies just never did it for me. The storylines are always pretty cheesy, the action is over-the-top, and I can't seem to get over the fact that despite spanning over half of a century, the character is the same character over all generations it has covered.
I realize that this happens all the time comic books and other fictional stories, but they have never portrayed Bond to be anything other than a spy in whatever day and age it is at the time. It's fictional, but not sci-fi at all, so the fact that the character has been around for over 60 years and there isn't continuity between anything just flat out bugs me.
Also, on a podcast a few weeks back, I told a story about how I flat out refused to play a game my cousin rented for us to play together because I was planning on buying it and didn't want it spoiled or ruined before I had a proper chance to play it. The game was GoldenEye 007, which I eventually got for my birthday from my cousin, which made me feel even worse because of how rude I was to him a few weeks before then. He even got the limited edition version which included a gold-colored Classic Pro controller with the game, which was ideal for first person shooters, if only for the dual sticks. I didn't deserve it from him, but he thought I should have it, especially with how much fuss I put up about the rental copy he picked up. To this day, I still feel bad about it and wish I had enough clarity at the time to realize I was wrong.
But, c'est la vie, as they say.
The reason I was so excited for the Wii game, which wasn't quite a remake, but rather a rehashing of the classic Nintendo 64 game, is for obvious reasons. As a kid, I played more GoldenEye with my cousins and friends than any other multiplayer or co-op game. We would play for hours at each others' houses, always filling up all four slots of players. Special rules, modified matches and arguments about using Oddjob consumed our play sessions. We had a blast playing together, as I don't ever remember playing that game alone. Of course, that was far before the heyday of online multiplayer, back when kids actually went outside and rode bikes to their friends' houses and play next to them on the couch. Crazy times back then, that these youngins nowadays will never understand.
Anyway, when I eventually played this Wii version for the first time, it would be an understatement to say I was severely disapointed. The game itself was OK, as it was Wii graphics after all, but it just didn't feel right. I had my two boys and my cousin all sitting around the television playing multiplayer, and it bummed me out. They didn't care about how cool paintball mode used to be, or how lining an air duct with proximity mines was an awesome strategy. Needless to say, the game just didn't hold up to modern first-person shooters, as the only thing it had going for it was nostalgia, at best.
So this weekend I dusted it off and gave it another shot, just to see how jaded I was then or still was. I'm sad to report that it still doesn't hold up, and might be even worse with each time I try to play it. While Punch-Out!! the other day was a pure gem and a fantastic representation of a classic game, this Wii version of GoldenEye 007 just makes me want to pull out the old 64 version, call up my friends and play, even though that wouldn't help at all to get this bitter taste out of my mouth.
Sorry, Bond. The one thing I liked about is slowly fading away into the sunset, probably for good.
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