GoldenEye 007 Reloaded is real, people

UPDATE: Activision put out a press release today confirming the existence of the game and how it’ll be running on a brand new engine. But the graphics won’t be the only new aspect. Here’s the most interesting chunk of the press release: GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is a contemporary James Bond experience featuring HD visuals and realistic environments running at 60-frames per second, akin to today’s elite action games. Additional to the legendary story campaign, the game introduces the brand new ‘Mi6 Ops Missions’ – new, distinct levels separate from the campaign that span the varied environments from the story and challenge players to complete different Assault, Elimination, Stealth and Defence objectives. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded also takes multiplayer to new heights, maintaining and improving its renowned four-player split-screen action and adding full, adrenaline-pumping 16-player online matches with more maps, weapons, characters and game modes than ever before.”

ORIGINAL STORY: A good few weeks ago there was some stirring online about something called GoldenEye 007: Reloaded which slipped out from Activision. Suffixing and name with Reloaded generally means some form of upgrade when it comes to video games and in this case, it looks like last year’s neat remake of an N64 classic is to be remade all over again.

GoldenEye 007 for the Wii was a fun FPS that took the original ideas from the iconic N64 launch game and amended them to fit within the contemporary Bond timeline. As always, there was grumbling from ‘hardcore’ fans who were desperate for the ill-fated HD port of Rare’s GoldenEye to become a reality but since that simply will never happen (too many companies hold separate chunks of the IP for it to ever come out) GoldenEye 007 was considered a suitable alternative. I enjoyed it and like the glory days of my youth, its multiplayer component was hugely entertaining. From the screenshots bagged by Videogamer.com, Reloaded appears to hoik up the graphics for a release of the remake onto PS3 and Xbox 360. But little more is known of the project just yet with more details said to be coming in the next few days at the San Diego Comic Con so there could be more additions other than sparkly new visuals (interestingly enough, the Wii game used the same heavily altered IW Engine which ran the SD Call of Duty games. This could mean the HD GoldenEye 007 would use the original IW Engine).

Even though I already own the Wii version, I may have to pick this one up too. Like I said, I really enjoyed playing it on the Wii but it came at a cost; the controller. Choosing not to re-learn how to play an FPS using the Wii remote and nunchuck, I bought a Classic Controller which did work well but still not as comfortable as an Xbox 360 pad and subsequently shortened my playtime. My fingers are crossed that the transition to HD consoles brings with it a tightening of controls on the relevant pads. And anyone grumbling how GoldenEye 007 Reloaded still won’t be close enough to the N64 version, this is probably the closest you’re ever going to get.

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Hands-on with Kinect (oh the irony)

Yesterday I got some hands-on time with Microsoft’s upcoming delve into the world of motion controls, Kinect and was really quite surprised with the results. First it actually worked and for the most part, worked well and second, the game I thought had the least potential was in fact the most enjoyable.

Read on to find out my full experience.

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Hands-on: Goldeneye 007

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I spent far too much of my late teenage years playing Goldeneye on the N64. And I’m not alone in that sentiment, it was a brilliant party game and something of a landmark in console FPSs. Lurch forward to the present and after numerous teases, rumours and legal battles, Goldeneye returns to gaming with a new Bond, new look but old gameplay. But Is that a bad thing? Certainly not! I feared that my cherished memories of multiplayer duels would be tarnished by what is fundamentally a homage to the N64 game but instead got to play a very entertaining first person shooter. Only the multiplayer was available to try though in my eyes, that mode is the main reason why I’d pick up the game when it’s eventually released. At the press event, Goldeneye 007 (as the new game is known) gathered a lot of interest for good reason. Whether you were playing the game or not it was still fun to watch over the shoulders of those who were, cheer at their wins and laugh at the loses. All in good spirit of course. As I did I realised that Activision has created a ‘hardcore’ party game for the Wii. Being a split screen game with up to four players, Goldeneye 007 stirred the same excitement of the original because players are sitting next to each other instead of being linked via the internet. While the original Goldeneye was forced to do this, Goldeneye 007 has chosen to offer such close quarter combat and is to its credit. But due to the Wii having to produce four separate windows of gameplay at once, the graphics did suffer slightly. They were still a commendable effort and did the job as well as could be expected for such a fast-paced game. And because of this speed, I found the best way to play the game was with the Classic Controller as it handled the infamous ‘run, circle strafe and shoot’ mechanics more comfortably than a Wii remote and nunchuck. The latter may work better in a home environment but bear in mind when you’re playing with three friends, your screens are a quarter of the normal size so the movements of the Wii remote have to be that much more precise. If you have a super steady hand however, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Sticking with the Classic Controller, I had a blast as did those around me with one chap to my left giggling heartily with every kill. That’s the kind of glee Goldeneye 007 gave us all and only after playing on one map too. I’m very much looking forward to its Winter release and am already amassing a group of friends ready to join me in some classically inspired multiplayer matches. Can’t wait!

Microsoft brings back Killer Instinct – soon

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Microsoft Game Studios Ken Lobb, the genius who gave the world the Ultra Combo, has expressed his love for arcade classic Killer Instinct when interviewed by Destuctoid last week. He then announces what the hardcore fans have been longing to hear – Microsoft are to bring back the franchise! Hooray, right? Well not quite yet because he continues with “We aren’t working on it today… Someday we will bring back Killer Instinct.” Bugger. For a second I thought I’d be man-handling Orchid in high definition but I guess my SNES copy will have to make do for now. The full interview can be seen above but be warned, there is a hat being worn at an ‘extreme’ angle…

Perfect screens of Perfect Dark

With the never ending saga of whether GoldenEye for the N64 will ever come out on Xbox Live Arcade, Rare have continued eagerly working away at porting another IP that has an actual chance of being released. Perfect Dark – not the terrible Xbox 360 launch title but N64 classic – was a great FPS back in 2000 running on an updated version of the GoldenEye engine. Now has been stripped apart, polished until it’s shinier than a grand piano and put back together making one highly anticipated XBLA game. The screenshot above shows just how much Rare have beefed up the graphics and after the break, I’ve uploaded a comparison shot of ‘then and now’ (thanks to Joystiq). It may not look amazing or even close to some of today’s FPS ventures but first remember this is only an arcade title and also what it used to look like! More screenshots can be found on Rare’s official site.

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The sad tale of Viva Pinata

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This may be a couple of months old now but I stumbled across it yesterday and laughed like a fool. Ash and her dad brilliantly capture the emotions I and no doubt all fully grown adults who probably should know better felt when playing Viva Pinata all those years ago. It’s short, it’s sweet and it’s really quite funny.