Review: Perfect Dark (XBLA)

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Review: Perfect Dark (XBLA)

The retro favorite fares remarkably well in its journey to a modern platform.

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Enjoyable review, and color me 4 stars for my nostalgia tinted glasses. What a great game when it came out, with a really interesting variety of weapons for the time.

Just like Goldeneye and the near-universal "No Oddjob" rule, fondly remember summer nights playing for all hours with "No Farsight"

omg makes me wanna bring out goldeneye 007 one last time
cry cry cry such memories
im so happy they did made it good
if only they could update golden eye 007 and make it with latest tech and online abiliies omg that would be the halo killer

I hate to say it, but Perfect Dark is one of the most amazing games ever made that has not aged well AT ALL. Sure we had hours and hours of fun with it back in the day, but now it's just ugly and clumsy.

oh, how this game brings back memories. this is gonna motivate me to hook my xbox up to the internet again. looks like the multiplayer is pretty much untouched, good to know. does it support online play at all?

I think this one might be worth getting once I acquire a second Xbox controller. I suspect my wife has wanted to shoot me in the face MANY times.

uppitycracker:
oh, how this game brings back memories. this is gonna motivate me to hook my xbox up to the internet again. looks like the multiplayer is pretty much untouched, good to know. does it support online play at all?

Yep, although it feels oddly wrong to use it. PD is meant for folks in the same room, I think. :)

I guess this means Joanna's back to being British? (her accent was curiously missing from the aptly titled "Perfect Dark Zero")

I remember multiplayer on the N64 was barrels o' fun, partly because you could have 8 bots running around. That many AI was unheard of in those days. Really hope they kept that number up or, dare I say, increased it.

This almost makes me wish I wasn't selling my Xbox 360. Almost. Instead I'm going to rescue my N64 from the basement.

Susan Arendt:

uppitycracker:
oh, how this game brings back memories. this is gonna motivate me to hook my xbox up to the internet again. looks like the multiplayer is pretty much untouched, good to know. does it support online play at all?

Yep, although it feels oddly wrong to use it. PD is meant for folks in the same room, I think. :)

haha i couldn't agree more, unfortunately i don't have a whole hell of a lot of friends that would wanna play it. i'm definitely gonna have fun crying in a corner over the perfect sims again!!!

Online multiplayer has nothing on having a bunch of people in the same room, drinking beer, eating pizza and shooting each other.

More games need unforced co-op. Halo, PD, Timesplitters (2) really were the best games to play with friends.

For someone who used to play his first FPS'es on PC (playing Deus Ex and Half Life during the relase of PD) before trying them on consoles during the Playstation 2 Era, playing Perfect Dark now for the first time was....incredibly arkward.

Sorry N64 Fans, but First Person Shooters just began to get really good with Red Faction and, ironically, Timesplitters 2 (wich is sort of the spirtual sucessor of PD)
(Never got the Hype about Halo though...)

Dark Angel Warlord:
if only they could update golden eye 007 and make it with latest tech and online abiliies omg that would be the halo killer

I have to say that I never played Perfect Dark before but I got it on XBLA since it was only 800 points so seemed a good deal. I love it. Sure, it's obviously not as ground breaking as when it was released but it's still a great game with a lot of content. I think it easily deserves 4 stars, especially when you consider how good value for money it is.

Dark Angel Warlord:

if only they could update golden eye 007 and make it with latest tech and online abiliies omg that would be the halo killer

http://www.moddb.com/mods/goldeneye-source

Checkitout. :)

Oooooh my goodness, totally going to have to get this. Thank you for reviewing this, this was one of my favorite games growing up! Where most other middle-school girls would have sleepovers and talk about boys, we had sleepovers playing PD and watching Star Trek. XD NEERRRDDS

Reminds me to a somewhat suspect degree of TimeSpiltters, but I guess Perfect Dark got made first... it looks like fun though, almost makes me wish I had an Xbox. And Joanna Dark is a very cool character name : )

EDIT: Dammit! now I want Timesplitters 4!

Ahhh. Perfect Dark. I remember back in the day.

Ill need to take a look at this one again, heh. I remember for a time it was one of my favoutie games for a little while...despite some of its mint problems

Basically I liken this game to Half-Life Blue Shift's "High Definition" upgrade. Adding marginally better graphics while still containing the same core gameplay and so forth. They also threw in a few other things (for example, I can finally make a character that wears sunglasses in multiplayer) and overall I felt it was worth the 800 point $10 purchase.

Another interesting thing that grabbed my attention was that I unlocked avatar clothing just by playing the game and doing things, which I thought was an interesting way to make achievements actually have some weight behind them (though what I did to unlock a shirt wasn't necessarily an achievement)

"Things that go boom."

Really? ;-)

I wanted to see the n-bomb animation...

Dark Angel Warlord:
omg makes me wanna bring out goldeneye 007 one last time
cry cry cry such memories
im so happy they did made it good
if only they could update golden eye 007 and make it with latest tech and online abiliies omg that would be the halo killer

then check out Goldeneye: Source

Playing this game again just made me wonder why modern shooters have such unimaginative weapons. PD had guns like the farsight, the laptop gun and that fly-by-wire rocket launcher thing, current shooters just have the same old mix of machine gun, pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle.

And another thing, whatever happened to bots? Some of us like to play multiplayer without having to go online for large matches. Getting insta-killed by anonymous teenagers questioning my sexuality is just no fun. Bots allowed you to tailor the multipayer experience to suit your tastes. I suppose offline multiplayer is just not lucrative enough.

oh man good ol' N64 Goldeneye days...all the cooler older kids played it haha. I didn't really get into shooters until Halo though (introducing...dual analogs yesss), so it'd be great to get back to Perfect Dark, since it's so much like Goldeneye.

Never even had an N64...

I like this game on the arcade, but the lack of any mid-mission save system AT ALL, even one that deletes your save after you reload, like some games do (Fire Emblem, etc...) pisses me off.

Susan, I can't decide how I feel about your review. Most of the time it is pretty fair, the levels are clunky in comparison to what we have today (and in comparison to GoldenEye, which was far superior in almost every facet to its sequel - range of guns being more or less the only significant improvement) and the story telling is as clumsy as you suggest, but to claim that N64 games weren't attractive to begin with is shocking for someone I trust to have been a gamer at the time. It's obviously going to look dated 10 years after the event, but surely you recognise that at the time it was cutting edge and widely recognised as being well beyond competent in the graphics department. Oh, and as for not recognising doors?! Come on, it's not like you need to recognise them, you remember where they all are. That lift was genius.

It's worth noting that the character animation still holds up today. Much like Goldeneye, the death, injury and reload animations are super smooth and give the game a very natural look that's sadly undermined by the level and character design.

SikOseph:
Susan, I can't decide how I feel about your review. Most of the time it is pretty fair, the levels are clunky in comparison to what we have today (and in comparison to GoldenEye, which was far superior in almost every facet to its sequel - range of guns being more or less the only significant improvement) and the story telling is as clumsy as you suggest, but to claim that N64 games weren't attractive to begin with is shocking for someone I trust to have been a gamer at the time. It's obviously going to look dated 10 years after the event, but surely you recognise that at the time it was cutting edge and widely recognised as being well beyond competent in the graphics department. Oh, and as for not recognising doors?! Come on, it's not like you need to recognise them, you remember where they all are. That lift was genius.

You're absolutely right, at the time, they were cutting-edge, and not all N64 games are ugly. But I couldn't stand the look of either Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask to the point that I couldn't bear to play the game. Even though it was a technological leap forward, it was pretty ugly, man.

As for remembering where the doors are, kind of hard to do that if you've never played the game. The review was both for those of us who played the hell out of the game and those who were brand new to it.

Rotating Bread:
Playing this game again just made me wonder why modern shooters have such unimaginative weapons. PD had guns like the farsight, the laptop gun and that fly-by-wire rocket launcher thing, current shooters just have the same old mix of machine gun, pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle.

And another thing, whatever happened to bots? Some of us like to play multiplayer without having to go online for large matches. Getting insta-killed by anonymous teenagers questioning my sexuality is just no fun. Bots allowed you to tailor the multipayer experience to suit your tastes. I suppose offline multiplayer is just not lucrative enough.

That is why I really love the firefight mode of Halo 3: ODST. If I feel a little stressed, I pop it it and play it on normal for a half hour. Annihilating wave after wave of Covenant can be relaxing, and I don't have to deal with rude people on the Halo 3 Live multi-player. But I don't venture into heroic and legendary by myself, that would just be aggravating and add stress.

Susan Arendt:

You're absolutely right, at the time, they were cutting-edge, and not all N64 games are ugly. But I couldn't stand the look of either Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask to the point that I couldn't bear to play the game. Even though it was a technological leap forward, it was pretty ugly, man.

As for remembering where the doors are, kind of hard to do that if you've never played the game. The review was both for those of us who played the hell out of the game and those who were brand new to it.

I know what you mean about OoT - I played it long after getting a PS2 so I kind of forgave it immediately and put it down to 'oldness'. A better survey suggests that game was pretty damned ugly and that you're right about it. Majora's Mask... so many good reasons not to play Majora's Mask.
I suspected that you put the distinguishing the doors thing for newcomers but I also thought that given your sign-off comment, the doors thing caused you personally no bother. I had another read of the review after digesting it a bit and I can't really fault it given what you set out to achieve (both perspectives). Nice work. Should have played 'Felicity' (FACILITY DAMNIT) to demonstrate the multiplayer though... BEST LEVEL EVER (<-not an actual criticism - merely fanboy of that level).

Rotating Bread:
Playing this game again just made me wonder why modern shooters have such unimaginative weapons. PD had guns like the farsight, the laptop gun and that fly-by-wire rocket launcher thing, current shooters just have the same old mix of machine gun, pistol, shotgun, sniper rifle.

I ♥ Proximity Mines. Those were always my favorite in multiplayer.

SikOseph:
Should have played 'Felicity' (FACILITY DAMNIT) to demonstrate the multiplayer though... BEST LEVEL EVER (<-not an actual criticism - merely fanboy of that level).

I always preferred the Temple, personally.

Virgil:

SikOseph:
Should have played 'Felicity' (FACILITY DAMNIT) to demonstrate the multiplayer though... BEST LEVEL EVER (<-not an actual criticism - merely fanboy of that level).

I always preferred the Temple, personally.

So many good levels. Temple, Stack, Egyptian, Complex... wonderful memories.

I have to disagree with your comments on N64's graphics. I thought a lot of N64's visuals were gorgeous for their time. Of course, it looks kinda ugly now. But back in the day they were awesome.

Otherwise, pretty good review. I'm looking forward to getting on this... if only for nostalgia.

This is great, It makes me wish I had a 360. The textures actually look a lot sharper, but it's not the graphics that make this game a classic.

I miss those dual Cyclones... and wasting 100 bullets in 1.5 seconds. :D

Phenom828:
Reminds me to a somewhat suspect degree of TimeSpiltters, but I guess Perfect Dark got made first...

And, you know, had most of the same Development team.

Hoo boy, I wish this'd be on steam though, playing perfect dark with 60fps and mouse and keyboard... *drools*

Also, forget Veteran call of duty or other shenanigans, Perfect agent in that game was Completely impossibly hard. I loved it...

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