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Perfect Dark

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Reviewed by Stryker Three years ago, the game developer Rare created Goldeneye 007, a first-person shooter game that single-handedly saved the Nintendo 64 system from oblivion, and me from chucking my N64. Goldeneye was a masterpiece, combining shooting and spying elements perfectly, with the best multi player experience in the history of console gaming, not to mention the lush, long, and intense one-player experience. I remember being completely obsessed with this game for months on end, until I finally completed every single level and won every single cheat, and killed three of my friends 26 times in a row. Now Perfect Dark has arrived, the unofficial sequel to 007 thanks to the licensing problems. After playing it for two months, nearly on end, I can safely say that this game somehow tops Goldeneye in every single possible way, fixing nearly all the tiny little errors that popped up in 007. Are you a fan of slapping opponents to death? You will love this new development that blurs a player's screen when slapped or shot with tranquilizers. The punch also can be adjusted to disarm the opponent. Every weapon has two functions. Think the reload time was unrealistic in 007? Each gun has a unique way of reloading, taking longer in the process. Weapons like the Shotgun and the Crossbow are reloaded very slowly, one round at a time, while the Cyclone slips a 50-bullet clip in quickly. Didn't like seeing computer enemies' faces through doors? Gone. Got bored after your friends left? Try the vastly expanded multi player system, with up to eight simulated opponents, custom weapons, custom team making, slots to save your own game settings, slots to save your own custom character with his battle stats, options like King of the Hill, Hacker Central, Pop a Cap, One-Hit Kill, and so on, too intricate to explain. Try 16 different multi player levels, with 30 ready made stimulant challenges. Try Co-operative mode and Counter-Operative mode in single-player stages. Try target practice challenges for every single projectile weapon. Try VR challenges of hand-to-hand combat, training courses for gadgetry, long lists of cheats, vehicles that can be ridden, and of course the Solo Missions that stretch the game even further. Whew. The replayability on this game is astounding. There are so many things to do on this game. I could spend the rest of my life sitting in front of the television with pizza and Sprite, killing the multiple Stimulants. There are tons of variations on this, from MeatSims to PerfectSims, VengeSims to TurtleSims, all with different agendas. Stimulants on your team can be ordered around at your behest by holding A, then pressing Z twice. You can easily switch your weapons around by holding A and picking a weapon, and switch weapon functions by holding B. Enemies when killed will yell, "You *****!" or a self-blipped "Holy BEEP!" The guns are in a wider variety also. You have alien guns like Farsight X125 that allow you to see and shoot through walls. You have machine guns that can be toggled to act as sentry guns, proximity mines, grenade launchers, and cloaking devices. You have explosive weapons that can shoot sticky grenades and home in on enemies. Also, many classic 007 weapons are available through completing the target practices. The mines are easier to detonate too, with the convenient function toggle to set it off.

Multi player Options

You can select six weapons from every weapon available plus x-ray scanners, combat boosts, cloaking devices. Select the music you want, radar or no. Select up to eight stimulant enemies, design their bodies, difficulty, or personalities. Turn on or off one-hit kills, fast animation, slow animation, and so on. Assign up to twelve participants to up to eight different teams. Keep track of four different multi player identities, plus another four for each memory pak. Keep track of four different multi player settings, plus another four for each memory pak. Select different modes of play, like King of the Hill, where a part of the level turns green and a team earns points when that team has had a player or six in the hill for twenty seconds regulation, a time period fully adjustable. Try Hacker Central, where a team has to find the Data Uplink and download files from a computer. Try Pop a Cap, where a player is picked and points are given out for how long this player survives or for killing the selected player. Try the Case games, where you either hold a briefcase for as long as possible or steal it and bring it back to your own briefcase for points. Select from 16 different multi player levels, many of them based on stages from the solo missions, while others are improved versions of Goldeneye levels. Change the time limits, score limits, team score limits, highlights, pickup highlights, team names, and so on into eternity. Try the thirty different Sim Challenges, playable for one to four people, ranging from absurdly easy to absurdly impossible. I probably forgot a lot of it too. Also for two or more players. Try playing against each other or with each other in Co-Operative and Counter-Operative. There is enough in the Combat Simulator to justify a video game all its own.

Expansion Pak

No Expansion Pak, you are limited to the Combat Simulator. No solo missions, no third or fourth players, a hell of a lot fewer multi player sim characters, etc. Buy the Pak, it's well worth it, and considering it is mandatory for Majora's Mask, the Zelda sequel, and helps out a ton of games, don't feel so badly about it.

Tipper Gore Factor

The violence is nearly identical to Goldeneye 007. Blood splatters on walls now, instead of making stains on the polygonal players. This game rewards our children for slaughtering other humans. The game does favor interplanetary peace, however. Still, the game's shoot-em-up core has no place in the land of the free, says our First Amendment buddy Tipsy. Watch out for games such as this to be scapegoated once more by the ignorant in case of a Columbine repeat performance. The fact is anyone with good parents will understand that this game is not reality, and anyone with common sense will see that people aren't killed because of video games. If that is so, explain to me why every single major war in the history of the planet happened before Mortal Kombat. Hitler didn't have Doom in his den. Stalin didn't suck at Street Fighter. Pol Pot wasn't mad at Perfect Dark or Playstation. Saddam... well you get the point. Sorry for the rant. Anyway, this game is too good to ignore, and anyone with common sense can understand reality and divide this from it.

Overall: A+

This is the greatest game ever made. No exaggeration. If you don't buy this, and you own a Nintendo 64, you don't deserve to live. Buy or suffer!

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