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I have Perfect Dark!  (Finally...)

Well, after a long wait, the "sequel" to GoldenEye (GE) on N64 is here.  And let me just say, it RULES!  It's at least as good as all they hype would have you believe.  Take everything you know and love about GE, and dump a whole lot more on top of it.  Yes, there are a few framerate problems, but only in co-op and in the multiplayer modes when you have at least 4 players and 4 bots.  Otherwise, the framerates in the 1-player game, and even in the 4-player multiplayer game, are even better than in GE!  For this only being a 64-bit game, it looks pretty good.  There is a high-res mode, but do NOT turn it on.  It doesn't look much better, and the framerates drop considerably.  PD even has some pretty cool voices to enhance the action.  But most importantly, it plays like a dream.  

Very similar to GE's controls, but with a few extras to learn and use.  Weapons now have 'secondary' functions, like the Dragon which you can throw as a proximity mine.   There is a cool SpyCam which you can deploy and control.  Different types of goggles, like for night vision.  Plus, there are so many options, so many things to do.  This game is HUGE!  Heck, I could spend hours just at the shooting range.  The new modes like co-op and counter-op are nice additions, and fun to fool around with, but counter-op (where one player controls the bad guys) is nothing more than a novelty.  And of course there are many more options/modes/cheats/levels that need to be unlocked (well over 50!) by accomplishing certain requirements.  You can earn them from beating levels, beating a certain level under a certain time, beating multiplayer challenges, and doing well in the training missions.  Except now Paintball is an option right from the beginning (so, you can have it on in the normal game without being called a cheater!).  

All in all, this game rocks!!  I do miss the 'Bond' feel to the game, but playing as Joanna Dark is actually pretty cool.  The first time through, the story doesn't make much sense, but you will play this game through so many times, you will know the plot inside-out.  The level design is just as good, if not better, than in GE.   On Agent (easy) there aren't many objectives, and it's quite easy.  It really is just to get you acquainted with the levels.  Once you try a harder difficulty, that's when the real fun begins, and the real challenge!  So, just get the game, NOW!  

99 Bones (out of 100) (loses a point for the sometimes low framerates)


Multiplayer - Move over GoldenEye

One of the coolest parts of GE was the über fun multiplayer game, and PD continues in that tradition.  Basically, take everything from GE, but add so much more.  For example...

Profiles: You can create profiles to keep your personal stats, awards won, customized character head and body, and other info (which you can save to the game pak or a memory pak).  

Modes: New modes like 'King of the Hill' and 'Capture the Case' vary the game experience.

Weapons: Not only are there way more to choose from , but you can customize precisely which weapons you want to use.  There are still pre-set weapon lists, like pistols and automatics, along with being able to choose 'random' weapons.

Levels: Totally new levels to learn.  (Plus a few old favorites like the Complex.)

Limits: You can set maximum time, player kills, and/or team kills here.

Simulants: These are the really cool bots you can add to the game.  They give you more players to play against since you can add up to 8 (even though with that many the framerate suffers big time).  And if one is on your team, you can give it commands like to protect you, or to go attack a specific opponent!  They also can be given personalities.  For example, there is the Peace Scientist who will just run around picking up all the weapons it can find, and will even steal weapons right out of the opponent's hands!

Teams: You can make whatever teams you want.  2 vs. 2, Humans vs. Simulants, Simulant-Human pairs, or whatever else you want them to be.

Pre-Sets: There are pre-set games you can pick from to jump right into the action.

Options Galore: Everything is customizable it seems.  You can name the teams, or even remove the shields (armor) from the game.  'No radar' and 'turbo mode' are even options from the start, so there is no need to unlock them.  Plus, you can select 'Choice Lock' so that either only the winner or the loser of the previous match can set the options for the next game.  Oh, and there are still more...


Once again there is a plethora of cheats to unlock.  You can earn them from simply completing a level, or, just like last time, by completing a certain level under a certain time.  You can unlock 'classic' weapons by earning gold stars in the shooting range (Like the PP9i.  No, not the PP7.  Do you want to get sued?).  Also, you can unlock levels and such for the multiplayer game by completing the multiplayer challenges.  This time you can go into the Cheat Menu, select a slot, and it will tell you where and how to unlock that cheat (but doesn't tell you what the cheat is).  Here is a list of the different cheat categories, and an example.  There are about 45 in all.

Fun  (DK Mode)

Gameplay  (Perfect Darkness)

Weapons for Jo in Solo  (Rocket Launcher)

Classic Weapons for Jo in Solo  (PP9i)

Weapons  (Classic Sight)

Buddies  (Velvet Dark)

Expansion Pak Blues

While an Expansion Pak (EP) isn't necessary to play the game, there is so little you can do without one, its pointless.  PD's box claims that the EP is "Required For Maximum Gameplay."  Hmm, I'd just shorten it to "Required For Gameplay."  Just check out this chart...


Without EP

With EP

1-Player Solo Missions no yes
Co-Operative Game no yes
Counter -Operative Game no yes
Training Missions no yes
Preset Games no yes
Quick Start no  yes
Challenges 1-2 player 1-4 player
Advanced Setup 1-2 player 1-4 player
Simulants (bots) up to 8  up to 8
Audio yes yes
Video some all
Control yes yes
Display yes yes
Cinema no yes
Cheat Menu no yes
Walk's Your Dog no no

So without an EP, all you can play is 2-player multiplayer games.  Heck, you can't even access the cheat menu!  So just get one.  It doesn't improve framerates because you can't improve framerates on games you can't even play...



For more information, check out...

Review at

RareNet's review

Review at

Strategy guide at  (CHEATER!!)

Official Perfect Dark website

Carrington Institute Online

These last two websites are the "Official" websites for the corporations that exist in PD.  The Carrington Institute is who Joanna Dark works for, and dataDyne is who she is initially assigned to 'spy' on.



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