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-- b i o --
Donald Melanson is the editor of Mindjack and a freelance writer always looking for work. He can usually be found drooling over the latest in mobile computing or listening to a classic jazz CD while sipping a cup of java.

Goldeneye 007
reviewed by Donald Melanson

Prior to Goldeneye there were few, if any, games for the Nintendo 64 to attract a more mature audience, one that it obviously needed in order to compete with the Sony Playstation. After countless hours in the role of Bond, James Bond, I can confidently say that this situation has changed, not only has Goldenye opened the N64 to a broader audience, it has breathed some much needed new life into the first-person action genre. Most notably, strategy and patience are now required to accomplish your goals.

As the title indicates, Goldeneye is based on the Bond movie of the same name, which like most first-person shooters, serves as more of a backdrop than a storyline. It does however, provide you with some interesting objectives rather than just running through each level and hitting a switch. For instance, there are many occasions where you'll have to seek out a character from the movie and meet them in some secluded location where they will provide you with vital information. Plus you get to use some of the niftiest gadgets ever seen in a game.

Coupled with the strategy and storyline are stunning graphics that can easily compete with any 3D-accelerated, gigabyte-toting PC. The movements of the characters alone are enough to impress all but the most jaded gamer, it creates an interesting experience to say the least. Also equally on par, if not better, than most other 3D games is the degree of control. This is largely in part due to the excellent N64 joystick. There are a number of different preset control styles, I chose the "Turok-style" setting, which allows you to easily run and look around at the same time, excellent for Deathmatches. Which by the way, are the best you're likely to find on any console game. Regardless of how popular Internet gaming is, it still can't compare to sitting on the same couch as your victim; playing on a big TV of course.

There's a lot to like about this game, but I do have a few minor quibbles. The first of which is that you can't play any of the regular levels in mulit-player mode. I realize this is probably due to technical limitations, but some of them are awfully tempting. And the second is, you can't jump. It's not really needed in the game but it feels somewhat limiting after playing just about any other 3D action game that came out in the last two years. Quibbles aside, Goldeneye 007 is about the most intense experience I've had playing a video game in a long time.

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