The moment many have been waiting for is nearly here. On March 17 Perfect Dark will be available to the public via Xbox Live Arcade. Ever since the cancellation of GoldenEye, we’ve been dying for some classic first person shooter to make its way from the plastic cradled cartridgeland of Nintendo 64, to the shiny stored hard drive game libraries of Xbox 360s everywhere. But this isn’t your younger-self’s Perfect Dark, it’s been enhanced with entirely new high quality textures as well as a frame-rate of 60fps, things have definitely changed for the better.
Will the port version of Perfect Dark be worth enough for fans who played the original? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and the NOTs.
The most notable difference, mainly because it’s the only one, between this port and the original N64 version of the game is the brand new textures for 1080p support. This isn’t to say the game doesn’t look dated, because like any other decade old game it definitely shows it age. But thanks to some hard work from the developers, the final product we’re being provided with helps Perfect Dark show its age with an elegance and truthfulness that the abomination we all know as Perfect Dark Zero never could.
I was a bit hesitant about playing this game on a 360 controller as opposed to the N64 controllers. The functionality and feel of the controllers are so vastly different that I was a bit concerned about making the transition. My worries were needless and after a few minutes of gameplay the controller was once again an extension of myself.
In today’s culture of Sylar Spocks, Sexy Cylons, Jar-Jar Binks, and of all things a V remake, the fact that this is a simple port and not some failed reboot/prequel/sequel/etc was extremely refreshing. They knew what we wanted (Golden Eye on XBLA) and they gave us the next best thing. No cheesy alterations or other nonsense, just a fantastic game.
I feel this is pretty self explanatory. If online multiplayer had been available in the original, I probably would’ve graduated a year later. It’s a good thing that playing with friends is included in this game.
Being a mostly unaltered port is a double-edged sword. The pros remain untouched as do the cons. I might be asking for a slew of hate mail here but terrible level design was the one thing in Perfect Dark Zero that made me think, “Hey it’s like I’m really playing Perfect Dark.” Maybe it is just me, but I don’t enjoy getting lost in boats (and Air Force 1) simply because the level designers got their layouts from corn mazes and games of snake.
In the end, Perfect Dark for XBLA delivers exactly what we were promised, no more and certainly no less. They perked up the graphics but gave us the same game we fell in love with. What? You didn’t play the original? Well now is your chance. This game is definitely not perfect, and even with help the age shows, but it brings us back to what games used to be. The only thing missing from this experience is childhood friends screen-watching in multiplayer (before Halo’s online hordes ruined the magic).Perfect Dark (Xbox Live Arcade) Review,