Review by Psycho Penguin

"I was wrong about this game.. it is quite good. If only it was more innovative."

Well, here's a surprise. I was getting sick and tired of hearing the hype about Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64, almost to Pokemon Stadium-like levels. And just like Pokemon Stadium, it turns out the game almost completely lived up to the huge hype that came with it. Yes, it turns out, I like Perfect Dark. I know some of you may think that I did not like this game at first, and after the first few hours I really didn't think much of it. Why? Well, consider it a lack of innovation. I am not a huge fan of first person shooters to begin with, so I want some innovation, which is why I enjoyed Goldeneye and Medal of Honor so much. Well, it turns out that Perfect Dark is an innovative game, because of some of the new options and gameplay modes. The main addition to the game is the combat simulator. There are several new modes, but I like the new combat simulator the most, even though the frame rate during the combat simulator is not the best. Overall, I expected Perfect Dark to disappoint me, and for a bit it did. But once I got into it, it turns out that I actually liked the game. But I still prefer Goldeneye and Medal of Honor, at least for now.

Storyline (9.4/10)

For the two of you that didn't know yet, you play a secret agent named Joanna Dark, who is on a mission from the Carrington Institute. She is sent on a mission to infiltrate the home base of the Datadyne Corporation and find out exactly what plans they have for the future, since the Carrington Institute has received word that the Datadyne Corporation is working on something huge that could destroy the world as we know it. The storyline in the game is quite captivating, and the biggest part of the solution is the fact that the game doesn't seem to suffer from the loss of the 007 license. The storyline is great, and will keep you on the edge of your seat as you find out what the Datadyne Corporation plans are. Overall, the storyline in Perfect Dark is great, but I still prefer the storyline in Medal of Honor for the Playstation (mainly because of the fact you get to kill Nazis in Medal of Honor.. heheheh)

Graphics (9.7/10)

The best part of Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64, in my opinion, are the amazing graphics in the game. Everything in the game looks so realistic, from the enemy designs to the story scenes in the game. If you thought Goldeneye looked good, you haven't seen anything yet. The colors of the game are vibrant and blend well with one another. The backgrounds of the game look absolutely incredible, from the streets of Chicago to the homebase of the Datadyne Corporation.

The major concerns about the graphics in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 was the frame rates, and yes the frame rate in Perfect Dark is not the best. Most of the time the frame rate moves smoothly, but once you get into a 4 player deathmatch with simulants, the frame rate suffers a LOT. I have even had characters appear, disappear, then reappear in a span of a few seconds during the deathmatch mode with simulants. Still, the frame rate doesn't really too much, and I am sure you could live with the fact that the frame rate during four player deathamatch with simulants isn't great, because quite frankly if you're like me you are not going to use that certain mode too much.

So there you go. The frame rate is okay, but suffers a lot in four player deathmatch with simulants. To maximize the frame rate of the game, make sure to turn the High Resolution off. The enemy designs will suffer but the frame rate will improve. The decision is yours.

Overall, The graphics in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 are quite good, and the game looks better than some of the Dreamcast games out there.

Music/Sound (9.3/10)

The music and sound effects in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 are great! Some of the best music and sound effects on the Nintendo 64, bar none, which is amazing because the Nintendo 64 hasn't exactly been known for great music and sound effects, so it is quite a surprise when a game on the Nintendo 64 has great music and sound effects, but Perfect Dark does!

Music wise, Perfect Dark combines cheery tunes with dark, spooky tunes to provide the perfect balance and variety of music. The music featured in the game really blends well with the mood of the stage you are at. For instance, when sneaking around inside a building, the music is quiet and subdued, and very spooky. But when fighting a boss, the music turns to an exciting rant that really sounds great! The music isn't the best soundtrack for a first person shooter (I still say Medal of Honor and Goldeneye have incredible soundtracks) but the music in Perfect Dark is really quite good, and I was really surprised by the quality of the music in the game. Overall, the music in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is incredible, especially for a Nintendo 64 game.

Sound effect wise, Perfect Dark is bar none one of the funniest games I had the pleasure to listen to. The enemy screams of the game are the funniest I have ever heard in a video game! I love it when the enemies start cursing at you when you kill them. One time I killed this enemy soldier, and his ''friend'' standing next to him screamed out, ''I'm going to kill you, you stupid son of a *****!'' I was cracking up, and the game really has a lot of cursing featured for a Nintendo licensed game. If Conker's Bad Fur Day has as much cursing as this game, I will be almost satisfied with that game. ALMOST. The rest of the sound effects in the game, from the gun fire to the voice acting, is great. Overall, the sound effects in Perfect Dark are funny and great!

Overall, The music and sound effects in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 are incredible, especially for a Nintendo 64 game. The soundtrack is awesome, and the sound effects are great, and the enemy screams are some of the funniest I have ever heard.

Control (9.3/10)

If you remember the control of Goldeneye, you should feel right at home with the control of Perfect Dark, since the games use basically the same control system. The big problem I had with it is the fact that it seemed more difficult to crouch when walking around (this is mainly due to the fact that the crouching is more realistic in Perfect Dark then it was in Goldeneye). Perfect Dark has a new weapon change system that is a lot different than the weapon change system found in Goldeneye. Holding A for a few seconds brings up the weapon change system which allows you to switch weapons and items very effectively. It is much easier than the great weapon change system found in Goldeneye. The targeting system in the game is also quite good, as I found it very easy to lock on to the enemies and snipe them. Great for those of us (including me) that find it difficult to aim at an enemy from far away. Overall, the control in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is great!

Gameplay (9.2/10)

Wow! There are so much different modes and options in Perfect Dark, it really is incredible! If you thought Goldeneye was big, you haven't seen anything yet!

Training Area: You start off in the Carrington Institute, and have a choice of going to a training area (which I reccomend for the first time players) or to the actual missions themselves. I definitely reccomend going to the training area first so you can get a basic idea of the game and the different combat modes in the game.

Missions: After going through the traning area, then you can start the actual missions, and there are a lot of missions in the game! And the missions in the game are really quite huge! Usually the missions take me between 10 to 15 minutes to complete, but some of the missions in perfect Dark took me between 25-45 minutes to complete, and that's just if I didn't get lost! (For those of you wondering, yes, it does take me a while to complete first person shooters, because I am really not that good at them.)

Cooperative Mode: I like to cooperative mode in this game, because it is fun to complete a level with a friend. The unfortunate thing about the mode is the fact that you can only use the mode for levels YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED. Why? It would have been cool had you been allowed to complete a huge level with a friend (and a few friends could have helped me out with some of the stages in the game, that's for sure.) but I understand why Rare did it that way. Oh well, I still like the cooperative mode in the game.

Combat Simulator: Think deathmatch with computer opponents instead of human opponents, and you have the basic idea of what the combat simulator in Perfect Dark is like. This mode is really difficult as well, and I had trouble completing some of the stages in the Combat Simulator Mode.

Deathmatch: If you thought Goldeneye was a great multiplayer game, you will fall in love with the deathmatch mode of Perfect Dark. Everything has been improved greatly from Goldeneye, from the aiming and power of the weapons to the level designs of the levels themselves. There are more spots to hide, but the levels can be kinda short, which is cool because it keeps the suspense of the mode up, which the suspense should be.

Overall, I am a big fan of perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64, but I wasn't at first. But once I got into the game, I realized it was great fun!

Replay Value: High

Perfect Dark has great replay value, whether you are talking about the single player mode or the multiplayer deatmatch modes. Despite the shoddy frame rates that can be encountered at times, the replay value is still quite high. Overall, the replay value in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is really quite good!

Challenge: High

I usually have problems completing first person shooters, but I almost met my match with Perfect Dark. Some of the modes are quite difficult, and as usual I always get killed in the deathmatch modes, mainly because my friends seem to be experts at the game. Overall, the challenge in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is high!

Overall (9.3/10)

Perfect Dark may not be quite as perfect as was hyped, but the game was still much better than I expected, even if I was quite bored with the game at first. There is enough innovation here to warrant a purchase, especially if you enjoyed Goldeneye.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/25/00, Updated 07/16/01

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