Hey man, how's it been? It's been so long since we last talked. How are the kids? Oh sorry, I was catching up with the Reviews section. It's been a while. But fortunately Goldeneye has been noteworthy enough to pull me out of my gaming rut and post a brand-spankin' new review, hopefully one of many more ones to come. Do you remember when Goldeneye was announced not too long ago at E3? It was a surprise announcement. There were very small rumblings of a Goldeneye "sequel" or something of the like but most of them were just dismissed. But when it was announced, damn, were we surprised. Now that it's finally out, it's quite easy to say this isn't really a Goldeneye successor, but what it is is a damn good Wii FPS that's still a lot of fun. If you haven't seen Goldeneye or played the original, here's a quick Goldeneye plot summary. Sometime during the Cold War two "Goldeneye" satellites are made which emit an EMP, which can effectively wipe out and destroy an electronic equipment in its blast radius. A rogue Russian general teams up with the mysterious Janus group to hijack one of these satellites and get a lot of money and revenge. So it's, of course, up to Britain's finest, James Bond, to stop them. Now there are a few differences with the original story and the one here. Like any video game based on a movie they will be stretching the plot a bit to add more action to the game. The other difference is that it's also based in modern day, unlike the game which was based on early 90's/post-Soviet Union era material. I guess you can't say that's a terrible thing but I'm sure hardcore Bond fans will get their panties in a slight knot over it. There's also a general changing of the style from the more "classic" Bond (which is more of a high-flying invincible action figure) to the newer Craig-style Bond (which is more vulnerable and easily attributed to say the Bourne Identity movies). Not that that's a bad thing either. Gameplay is, for the first and last time, NOT like the original. If you bought or pirated the game and expected to have a re-upped version of the classic then you're wrong. It's based on more modern gameplay elements (such as popular norms like small amounts of regenerative health, ironsights, sprinting, etc) then older ones. So if you're gonna go immediately bitch about how this is not Goldeneye N64, I suggest you stop reading right here and leave your comment in your head. Go buy Perfect Dark for the XBLA if you want a faithful nostalgia trip port. This is something new. Anyway, the game plays a bit like Call of Duty (and would not surprise me if it was based off the CoD4 engine like the last Bond outing, Quantum of Solace, was), with all the more "modern" mechanics I mentioned. If you're not a fan of CoD and want to quit reading right here only to write an angry rant on why Call of Duty sucks, I suggest you don't and keep reading. Being a person who doesn't hold Call of Duty in high regards, I still found myself growing a rather decent liking to the game. But with that, you've got the single player, which combines a pretty solid blend of stealth and action. Some missions are pretty standard stealth affairs and definitely urge you to use stealth, but it's never required. You can just as easily run into a room, guns blazing, and do the entire mission. It's a pick-and-chose way of doing things, which I do like quite a bit. Single player is also a bit more "realistic" type of first person, with 99% of the game played out in the first person (cutscenes included), and fleshing out animations like hand-to-hand combat and the like. While it made the game a bit more "interactive" it also causes a disorienting "vertigo camera" that can be quite confusing, especially during the melee sequences. Still, single player provided to be a fun romp. But as fans of the original Goldeneye know, the real thing that draws is multiplayer, and surprisingly there's a lot of effort on that part here. The most notable thing for me was 4-player splitscreen, being the second FPS game (to my knowledge) on the Wii that provides that (the first one being the previous Bond game, Quantum of Solace). Online also supports up to 8 people, with an experience system that unlocks more game modes and modifiers. The biggest downer for online though is what most Wii online games suffer from: lack of voice chat and friend codes. I've always been a fan of a lack of voice-less online gaming outside of friends but it also takes away a bit of strategy from the team. And lacking voice chat in general and enforcing friend codes means friend-to-friend gaming isn't nearly as fun. I think the biggest multiplayer thing you'll notice is that it's actually fun, not just addictive like Call of Duty is. It's a game that you can die in several times and get your ass kicked but still have a fun time doing so. This mostly comes from game modifiers. Turn on Paintball Mode and all your shots will be paintballs. Turn on Singularity and everyone will explode on physical contact. Turn on Nick Nack Mode and everyone will be half-pinted and can't vault. It makes the game a lot sillier and brings a lot of fun. Local multiplayer though is a huge blast for parties (I can say from first-hand experience) and is sure to rank among the best of local multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, or Mario Kart Wii. For both modes though, one thing that impressed me was the amount of customization. This game is also the first Wii FPS to allow for non-Wiimote controls, letting you choose between the Gamecube controller or the Classic Controller [Pro] for your romp. So if you're still not used to Wii FPSing or just like analogs a bit more, then you won't be lost here. There's also a selection of control schemes to choose from a nice customization like sensitivity adjustment and choosing your bounding box. It's probably the second-best customization for a Wii FPS outside of The Conduit (which I felt had slightly better customization), but the multiple controller options are a huge plus. My biggest gripe would probably be the lack of button mapping (especially with some things like crappy melee controls on the Gamecube controller) but the game is still very responsive and customizable. As for audio and graphics, the game is pretty good in both respects. For almost every Bond game they've gone out with a great soundtrack and voice cast. Judi Dench and Daniel Craig revive their roles as Bond and M and provide pretty top-notch voicework for both, with some decent stand-ins for other notables like Alec and Onatopp. The music score is great like most of the other Bond games, providing classic Bond tunes and some other new stuff. As for graphics, the game won't blow you away but it has its moments. I'd say roughly that it's on-par with Call of Duty 4 on the Wii. Some parts get some great lighting and particle effects, others don't. Character models are alright but nothing great. Some points do definitely show off the Wii's capabilities and others are just there. Regardless, it's a pleasant game to look at. Overall, Goldeneye 007 isn't what fans of the classic Goldeneye probably would want, but as a Wii FPS game it comes off strong. A decent single player is tied with a strong multiplayer outing, with great controls and customization making this, at this point, the best Wii FPS game on the market. Graphics and sound are also pretty good and help the game out. Presentation: Bond purists probably won't like the plot stretching and "reimagining" if the Goldeneye story but it's all for making a better game in the end. The Craig-style Bond works quite well though and a more "first person" feel helps you feel in the game more. 9/10 Graphics: Not one of the best looking Wii games but it has some strong points. Parts definitely show off the Wii's capabilities with great lighting and particle effects, others are just average looking. Framerate however was always constant and ran smoothly. 8.5/10 Audio: Soundtrack is great as always, providing classic Bond tunes and other action melodies. Judi Dench and Daniel Craig provide some strong voicework for M and Bond (respectively) while some stand-ins for other previous Goldeneye characters go from good to mediocre. Still a pleasant game to hear. 8.5/10 Gameplay: Definitely not Goldeneye but still the strongest Wii FPS out there. More modern FPS mechanics are balanced out with more "fun feeling" game modes and modifiers. Customizable control schemes and multiple input options are also awesome. Single player is decent with a mix of either stealth or action. The game shines as a local multiplayer and online game, although online is still held down by friend codes and lack of voice chat. 9/10 Lasting Appeal: Local multiplayer is awesome and will definitely be in rotation for your parties. Online is rather strong as well, combining a pull to keep playing with fun to keep you engaged. Lack of voice chat and the tie down of friend codes hurts but it's still a game that'll be in your Wii a lot. 9.5/10 Overall: 9/10 First review in quite a while. Discuss!