Goldeneye on Switch Online and Xbox One

Ordinarily this would be the kind of thing that intrepid blob reporter Kent Drebnar would cover here some week, but this is too big to hide as just one of several links in an omnibus post. At long last, one of the biggest N64 games of all is getting a rerelease on Switch Online (oh, and Xbox One as well), even if you have to get the Expansion Pack to play it. It should be playable when, or soon after, this post goes up! It even offers widescreen support and online play!

All images in this post (except for the last one) from MobyGames.

While it couldn’t save the system in the face of competition from the Playstation, there is no denying Rare’s Goldeneye 007 moved an awful lot of Nintendo 64 consoles, and until now, 25 years later, unless you wanted to pirate it, the original cart and system was still the only way to play it. It remains the most iconic James Bond video game ever made, and it may still be the most popular. They got so much right when making it, both with respect to the franchise and to doing a console-based first-person shooter right.

WARNING: the following paragraph will make little sense to people who weren’t both N64 players and internet readers at the time when it was new:

The spirits of countless N64 IGN readers rejoice this day. a golden eye is an eye tat is golden! Sadly, all record of eye tat boy is gone from their current website, Google is of no use at all in ferreting record of it out of the present-day web, and it’s too much trouble to dredge its memory up from the Wayback Machine. So it goes.

The gaming landscape has changed so much since then. When shrinkwrapped Goldeneye 007 boxes first saw store shelves, Rare was on their way to becoming one of Nintendo’s most beloved second parties. People largely came to see them as like a British branch of the company, then the Stamper brothers wanted to sell, Nintendo somehow said no to buying, and as a result the company began largely to languish, until around the time Viva Pinata came out. Since then, the people who made it left Rare and went on to make the Timesplitters games, which are still fondly remembered.

Such is N64 Goldeneye’s legend that Activision once actually released another James Bond game by that name, that actually wasn’t a port or remake of the original but was more of a reboot of it, with the Daniel Craig version of James Bond included.

Goldeneye 007’s twin release on both the Switch and Xbox platforms must have required some deep licensing mojo, but perhaps not even as much needed to wrest the rights for a rerelease of a James Bond movie tie-in game from the Broccoli family, as well as the likeness rights from Pierce Brosnan. With that many owners looking for their pieces of the financial pie, the stars must have aligned mighty right for the game to see the legal light of day again. Someone, please go check R’lyeh! Cthulhu must be about to awaken!

“a golden eye is an eye tat is golden!!!!”
(image source)

GoldenEye 007 Shoots Its Way Onto Nintendo Switch Online This Week (Nintendo Life)

News 12/8/22: Akka Arrh, Steam Dwarf Fortress, Sexy Game Flyers

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Hello blobs! Welcome again to our recognizable brand of snarky response to gaming media which I am given to understand has not been seen anywhere else over the past 30 years of the internet! I’m so original! Let’s get started….

Image from Lost Media Wiki. To think, until recently there were only three Akka Arrh units in existence, jealously guarded by their owners, and now, it has its own official website and Steam page.

Well it looks like Atari had the same idea we did regarding putting some of its neglected prototypes out there! Not only has their classic-era unproduced game AKKA ARRH (it’s fun to say!) playable in the Atari 50th Anniversary collection, but W. Shanklin at Engadget tells us it’s getting a remake! One quib with the article though, it says it didn’t get made because it was too hard, but playing it in the Anniversary collection I got rather a few waves in, on my first try? They got Jeff Minter on board for the remake, so you know it’ll be A. great, B. trippy, and C. have cheeky ungulates in there somewhere!

Keith Stuart at the Guardian visited Play Leisure, a UK company that refurbishes and resells classic arcade machines! It’s always nice when we here at Set Side B can link to a Real Publication, something that gets pressed in ink onto paper, that may have a shelf life, and not be purchased by Ziff-Davis and then rapidly shut down.

At PC Gamer, Ted Litchfield mentions surprise at learning that Bungie’s first three FPSes have been available free on the internet for over a decade. I am sure that the free availability of the Marathon games is something that was once generally known about. You remember Marathon, right? Back when Bungie only produced games for Macs? It HAPPENED, honest!

PC Gamer additional item! Joshua Wolens mentions that the Steam version of Dwarf Fortress hit its two-month sales goal in 24 hours! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer elaborate dwarf death simulator! Let’s spin the Wheel of Mortality, it could come up Goblins, Vampires, Forgotten Beasts, Were-Things, Demons, Fluid Physics, or Dwarf Psychosis!

Stay classy, Konami.

Zoey Handley at Destructoid sparks a dozen internet flamewars with their article listing the 5 best N64 games! Guess what you think they’ll be. My guesses are Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Star Fox 64 and, oh, Mario Party. The answers: Majora and Star Fox, but then they chose Ogre Battle 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and F-Zero X. Which, yes they’re good, but over Ocarina? (Well honestly I think Ocarina of Time is a little overrated, but it’s usually a safe bet? Oh well, to the next item.)

This is the game that the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs sued maker Taito over, because they claimed ownership over the concept of the nearly naked jungle guy. The nearly naked jungle girl depicted in the flyer above was not a factor.

Truly, there is no demographic out there more vulnerable to the marketing wiles of the sexy poster babe than middle-aged male business owners, and the arcade industry has long known this. Rare Historical Photos has a collection of arcade flyers, 90% of which feature variations of the scantly-clad promo lady. Konami’s U.S. division in particular made a lot of use out of them. Those ladies look like they do all their shopping at Girls’s Costume Warehouse.

And Sorrel Ker-Jung at Destructoid reminds us that we don’t have to care about the “Game Awards.” They don’t even have a catchy name like the Oscars, Emmys or Tonys. I wouldn’t even trust them to come up with a good name, because it’d probably be something hamfisted and too-obvious, like the “Miyamoto,” or the “Wright.” Bah!

Video: Identifying Luck in Mario Party

We just had a post on a long series of videos about Super Mario 64‘s the A Button Challenge, so why not do another? I’m sure this won’t abuse your willingness to put up with what scientists call “all my crap.”

Mario Party is a series that skill will only carry your so far into. After a certain point, only the favor of The Lady (not Peach or Daisy) can ensure your victory. But, how much of the game is up to the rolling of virtual dice? And to what lengths are people willing to go to find out? Well at it turns out, lengths of over 16 hours:

This series is not yet complete, in that creator ZoomZike has yet to produce one on Mario Party 7, or later games, but the one on Mario Party 6 is over five hours long all by itself! This is truly a level of obsession with which my own petty focii cannot hope to complete.

Keep Nintendo Weird: Space Station Silicon Valley

The wonderful podcast Keep Nintendo Weird (PodchaserYouTube), which spotlights a lot of awesome and unusual games made for Nintendo systems, recently covered a doozy: Space Station Silicon Valley! One of a pair of games made for the Nintendo 64 by DMA Design before they became known as Rockstar North, SSSV is a clever and charming action puzzle game where you’re a microchip that can take control of robot animals in a rogue space station.

It’s notable for its trademark humor, its inventive gameplay, and a weird bug that, as I discovered personally soon after its release, actually makes it impossible to finish! While the main story can be completed, one of the optional trophies hidden in the levels won’t collect when you come into contact with it, and it was a couple of generations before software patches could be distributed after a game went live, so there is just no way to 100% the game without hacking either it or your save file somehow. Oops!

Sundry Sunday: Neil Voss, and The New Tetris, Africa theme

“Dah da di da dah move to Canada!”

It’s Sunday again, so it’s time to let down our various hair and relax! So now, a little tidbit from the PS1 era.

Back in the days of the Nintendo 64, two competing versions of Tetris were being developed, one for the N64, the other for the Sony PlayStation*. Even through (or, perhaps, because) they were published by different companies, they were given confusingly similar names. PlayStation got “The Next Tetris,” while the N64 got “The New Tetris.” I still have to check to make sure I haven’t confused them.

The internet was a much younger place then, and a lot of Nintendo fandom at the time was centered on IGN’s N64 site. So, the things their writers and editors liked tended to get outside representation, resulting in some weird early memes like “Eye Tat boy.” (“A GoldenEye is an eye tat is golden.”) Wow, I’m really dating myself with that one.

Well, one of the things that IGN liked was the musical work of Neil Voss, who composed the excellent soundtrack to early N64 puzzler Tetrisphere, from H2O Entertainment. The success of Tetrisphere got H2O the license to make The New Tetris, and Neil Voss the job of composing its excellent music. IGN did a two-part interview with Voss way back then: Part 1Part 2.

The above title is a particularly memorable tune from The New Tetris. Me and my roommates back in college would play TNT for hours (generally it’s a good rendition), and every time the Africa theme came up, we couldn’t resist, when the music reached the refrain, singing along with our best English approximation: “Move to Canada!” No actual moving to Canada was intended or implied, it’s just what it sounded like, to us.

* To this day, I rebel every time I’m asked to capitalize the S in PlayStation. I also twitch every time I’m asked to write Xbox instead of X-box. I have an English degree, dammit.