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  1. #1
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    Case Closed: Perfect Dark is Superior to GoldenEye 007

    Case Closed: Perfect Dark is Superior to GoldenEye 007

    Posted by Anthony Accinelli

    #Retro Saturday is a weekly column focused on retro gaming. If you would like a certain game to be featured, feel free to request it @anthonyacc or in the comments below. This week we feature Eric Bailey (@Nintendo_Legend).

    By: Eric Bailey

    Go ahead: Ask a group of long-time gamers which game they prefer on the Nintendo 64 console, GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark. More often than not, you will be met with a chorus of emphatic votes for GoldenEye, sometimes at a notably unbalanced ratio. Social media is a great forum for this little experiment, such as inquiring on Facebookor asking on Twitter.

    This could be attributed to the fact that GoldenEye 007 simply sold more copies: Over 8 million, a colossal figure that towers over the still-somewhat-impressive 2.5 million for Perfect Dark. However, the existence of more copies in the playable market still fails to explain why, when pressed, GoldenEye fans will vehemently insist that their favorite is somehow actually better than Perfect Dark. This is, of course, despite the fact that it simply is not.


    Some confusion between the two is understandable, since the games are very similar. Both video games were developed by Rare as cartridges exclusive to the Nintendo 64. Both are first-person shooters that utilize an identical control scheme by default. Both feature an arsenal with a selection of pistols, rifles, mines, and explosive projectiles. Both have an intense solo campaign rife with plot twists and interesting characters. Both lean on their multiplayer mechanics as, perhaps, their lasting legacy. Yet, beyond those elements, Perfect Dark begins to leave GoldenEye in its dust with exclusive features and enhanced modes of play.

    Co-Op, Counter-Op

    Want to play through a co-op campaign with a friend? In Perfect Dark, you can. In GoldenEye, you cannot. Want to play a quirky mode where a second player controls a villain character in the level that the first player is trying to complete? It is called “Counter-Operative,” it is fun, and there is nothing like it elsewhere. It is also exclusive to Perfect Dark. “But I'm not interested in those play modes,” a detractor may say. Sure, but the point is this: Perfect Dark gives you the options to try them, at least, and possibly even enjoy. GoldenEye does not.


    GoldenEye 007 has a great multiplayer mode. Up to four human players, each selecting a classic Bond character, can engage in various play modes utilizing one of several weapon sets to shoot up one of many differing stages. All of those options also exist for Perfect Dark, along with these additional possibilities: Custom weapon sets, custom character appearance (body, head), save/load settings, save/load player profiles, custom soundtrack, teams, up to eight computer-controlled characters of choice personality and difficulty level, much more variable time/kill/life limits, and more.

    Maybe the gravity of those gameplay features is lost when named in such quick succession, but all of those bullet points (no pun intended) measure up to a real, better experience when the two are compared head-to-head. Perfect Dark outclasses GoldenEye by far in the multiplayer department, and the match-up is not even close.


    Perfect Dark just has a wider variety of guns than GoldenEye. Not only are they broader in number, but also in fuction: An alien rifle that shoots through walls, a fly-by-wire missile launcher, the Reaper, a tranquilizer, crossbow, cloaking device, etc. Yet, with all these exotic munitions, Perfect Dark manages to keep the standard basic weapons intact as well, giving players whatever experience they want. If you want the Golden Gun, Perfect Dark has it. If you do not like the crazy N-Bomb and SuperDragon automatic rifle/grenade launcher, fine, play with the more tightly competitive weapons. Again, at least Perfect Dark gives you the choice. Not only that, but you can customize the specific six weapon slots per round; unlike GoldenEye, which only offers pre-set weapon choices. Perfect Dark even has those, too, if you really miss them.

    Already, the comparison is looking might grim for James Bond. This is without even mentioning the remarkably superior A.I., the much-better damage-taking mechanic, and the extraordinary use of the Carrington Institute as a tutorial mode in Perfect Dark. Seriously, that last note is often forgotten, but the Institute forms a great chunk of the PD experience: Device training, weapons range, even the chance to goof off on a hovercycle.

    I am not saying that GoldenEye 007 is a bad game. Nowhere close: Not only is it notable for being a groundbreaking title for introducing the FPS genre to consoles, and proving that they could work, but it still stands as among the greatest movie license games of all time. And neither am I saying that Perfect Dark is, well, perfect: There are framerate issues (although sometimes as an intended in-game effect), and the more interesting debate would be to compare the solo campaign for each title (I think both are great, with respective ups and downs).

    But to claim that GoldenEye 007 is the better game requires leaps of logic based on premises not found in the world of Reality. Some say GoldenEye has the best music. Well, okay, you can go ahead and think that, but Perfect Dark is no slouch for soundtracks.

    In fact, on the website, a fantastic resource for free downloads of video game remixes, Perfect Dark has been chosen for more remix treatments than GoldenEye. One criticism of Perfect Dark is that much of its gameplay requires the Expansion Pak add-on; more difficult for detractors to describe, though, is how this actually makes it a worse game.

    When the topic came up on a few years ago, the first comment was to cite the presence of the proximity mine in GoldenEye. That was the only worthy defense the poster could think of, the presence of a favorite weapon; which is woefully amusing, since Perfect Dark definitely has the proximity mine also. Almost as funny is whenever someone mentions the Facility being their favorite level. I love it, too; in Perfect Dark, in fact, which has a handful of GoldenEye's best stages.

    Ultimately, the only reason someone could think GoldenEye is a better video game is because they do not understand how comparisons work, they never played Perfect Dark, or they place an undue, disproportionate amount of importance on the source material. “But, but, James Bond!” they cry, “I love the James Bond movies!” they insist.

    Breaking news: “Game X is superior to Game Y because X has a character in it that I like” is not a legitimate conclusion. That is a faulty argument. No matter how in love you are with Bond, that does not make the gameplay quality of GoldenEye any better. It may enhance your own personal enjoyment, sure. But if you care about the character of James Bond more than the mechanics of the gameplay, just go watch the movies. Anyone who actually cared more about the gameplay quality would pick Perfect Dark.

    I do not know, they are equal in my mind
    Last edited by claud3; 03-02-2013 at 22:22.
    Plato and Aristotle, a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge

  2. #2
    no way, I had some of the best times with multiplayer on Goldeneye 007. My friends and I would all get together, get stoned and play that game. Those were the days

  3. #3
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    Perfect Dark is the better game.
    Love the disarm funcion, disarming a friend then shooting them with their own weapon is hilarious.
    Maps wise I think Goldeneye has some really good 1v1 maps since the max players is only 4 whereas PD can also include 8 bots so the mas tend to be a lot bigger.

    Ever try invincible and unlimited ammo no reloads cheats with the rocket launcher?

  4. #4
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    I always believed that anyways but goldeneye had a much bigger impact that perfect dark.

    ~~~OLD SKOOL~~~

  5. #5
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    I thought this was obvious? It came out after and was made by the same team (?). They even had the best Goldeneye maps in Perfect Dark as well. They are both brilliant games but PD had more to do but kept the things that made Goldeneye so amazing 4 player split-screen

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