Golden Gun. No Oddjob. Stop tanking, you crouching douche! Any of those vague, threatening words make you remember all the rage, root beer, and Ramen-induced nights you spent playing GoldenEye 007?
Well, as of right now, you can relive those memories. The classic Nintendo 64 James Bond game, released in 1997, is available to play on Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass. GoldenEye 007 marks a rare case in gaming history, where the title never left the gamer zeitgeist. It has been talked about, wished over, remade, and totally Frankensteined in the modding and emulation community. Well, in a welcome turn from Nintendo and Xbox, GoldenEye 007 officially received a 2023 facelift. Hell, this is akin to a goodwill campaign, considering that anyone paying for either membership gets this nostalgic gem for free. Pizza Hut better be offering a '90s-style sleepover box this weekend, because I'm ready to spike my Mountain Dew with vodka. It’ll be just like the good old days.
Rare, a favorite game studio of mine—its crew is responsible for many of my childhood memories, making Banjo Kazzoie, Donkey Kong Country, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and so many more—was always a Nintendo sweetheart. Until it was acquired back in 2002 by Microsoft. While Rare didn't pump out as many massive hits after the acquisition, the studio is responsible for one of my favorite games, Sea of Thieves. But arguably no game from those folks made more of a splash than Goldeneye.
Now, you may or may not want to pop the streamers, because the return of this classic comes with some odd caveats. Again, Microsoft bought Rare back in 2002, rumored to be because the tech monolith wanted Donkey Kong. So of course, the return of GoldenEye is on Xbox, but also Nintendo’s virtual console—a part of the public romance between the two gaming giants. Here where stuff gets weird. Xbox has a “faithful” recreation of GoldenEye with GoldenEye 007 HD. GoldenEye 007 HD is, well, GoldenEye 007 in HD, which is available on Game Pass and to those who own Rare Replay. Now, Nintendo has a port of the original GoldenEye 007. No high-def for them. GoldenEye 007 on Switch is a part of the Nintendo Switch Online Plus Expansion Pass with the Nintendo 64 virtual console. Possibly the weirdest part yet? Only the Switch has online multiplayer. That's right! It feels wrong, but the Switch is the only official way to play GoldenEye with your friends far and wide. This is most likely due to Switch already having online capabilities with its online virtual console, which has come a long way since launch.
Regardless of all the release weirdness—which, let's be honest, makes sense between licensing, developer, and console logistics—I'm still hyped to pick up my 007 gadgets. While it may not be the perfect red carpet rollout, who cares: GoldenEye 007 is back, baby, and accessible by means that don't require computer viruses and a networking degree. So grab your golden gun—and spam those prox mines on every door in sight.
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