Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

    #1 Goldeneye


    It’s been a long semester and a great time counting down my top ten forgotten favorites of gaming. By taking this time to kick back and pick up that retro controller, we’ve been able to take a fun trip down memory lane and maybe even shed some light for the uninitiated. Now it’s time to wrap it all up, but first let’s take a look at three honorable mentions:

    Duck Hunt – Perhaps it’s not the greatest in the pantheon of memorable games. But show the game cartridge to any child of the 80’s and 90’s and their eyes will instantly light up. Duck Hunt came packaged with the NES system along with Super Mario Brothers, and included a very particular accessory. In order to play Duck Hunt, one had to connect the necessary “light gun” peripheral; however everybody just called it “the gun.” The idea was as simple as pie: shoot ducks out of the sky, watch a cartoon dog collect them, get points. Possibly the game’s most memorable attribute was the fact that if you failed to shoot down any ducks the dog would come out of the bushes and laugh at you. Every kid on the block searched high and low for a way to shoot that mutt.

    Dinosaurs for Hire – It’s more than likely that very few have even heard of this little gem. Based on the satirical comic strip that debuted in 1988, Dinosaurs for Hire is a game that absolutely does not take itself seriously. As with the comic, the game stars a leather jacket clad T-Rex named Archie, a Triceratops who’s a parody of Hawaii Five-O named Lorenzo, a one-eyed heavy weapons Stegosaurus called Reese, and a pterodactyl named Cyrano. The game is a straightforward run and gun extravaganza in the same vein of Contra. How is the game? The players fight off hordes of ninja enemies while dodging teenagers on skateboards who lob explosive tacos at our heroes. Clearly the developers borrowed the same pipe tobacco that was used to birth the ninja turtles.

    Ninja Baseball Batman – Talk about a missed opportunity. Ninja Baseball Batman has got to be the greatest title ever given to a video game. If Dinosaurs for Hire is obscure, then this title is the Shangri-La of gaming. Ninja Baseball Batman is a beat’em up game that takes the genre to a place that it has never gone to since. Ninja Baseball Batman is a game that takes any strange, absurd, outlandish or just plain crazy idea and throws it in the pot to cook up a stew of ludicrous flavors. The heroes – as well as everything else in the game – are baseball themed and on a mission to recover stolen items from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Watch any youtube video featuring the insane gameplay and your jaw will hit the floor. The missed opportunity mentioned above references the sad reality that barely forty arcade units ever made it to the United States, and the game never saw release on a home console. If you ever have the chance, play this game and be sure to play it drunk. Until then, just say the name out loud: Ninja Baseball Batman!

    It’s four in the morning. You and your friends have been sitting in front of the TV all night playing video games and the sun is about to creep over the hills. Why are you still up and for some reason not the least bit concerned with your lack of rejuvenating sleep? What video game could have possibly elicited such willful insomnia?

    1: Goldeneye N64

    Released August 1997, Goldeneye holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of 90’s children. It is the ultimate party game. Long before Mario Party shuffled in with its gimmicky mini games, Goldeneye was the game to pull out when your friends were over. Boys and girls alike sat utterly entranced while this legend among first person shooters provided endless hours of entertainment.

    The game was based off the seventeenth entry in the James Bond film franchise, which sees the eponymous spy squaring off against a deadly villain’s plot to unleash an EMP weapon on the world’s governments. For the time, Goldeneye managed to achieve a great deal in terms of how faithful it remained to its source material. While the environments may not look nearly as detailed by today’s standards, it managed to make you forget about that and simply enjoy the gameplay. Goldeneye also marked a turning point for the way first person shooters were typically constructed. Previously, the industry template was another cult classic, Doom, however Goldeneye’s developers wanted to take a different approach. Originally intended as an on-rails shooter, the game was redesigned as a free roaming first person with a more realistic focus. Along with the player’s finite health system, Goldeneye also revolutionized the layout of single player campaigns, stealth sections and multiplayer set ups.

    Arguably the best – and some would suggest the only – way to experience Goldeneye was with four person multiplayer. This is the mode that kept countless kids on sleepovers up until the crack of dawn. Goldeneye’s multiplayer mode is legendary among gamers for its wide range of settings, weapons, playable characters, team brackets and unique awards. Players could set up surprisingly complex death matches in iconic set pieces from the movie as well as the game. Depending on personal preference, the group could decide on two versus two, three against one or an all-out gauntlet of every man for himself. By completing each of the game’s single player missions on certain difficulty levels in certain amounts of time, players could unlock cheat codes and playable iconic characters. Being able to step into the shoes of familiar favorites such as Jaws, Oddjob, Mayday and Valentine was incredibly satisfying and addicting as hell. The various rewards at the end of each match were given based on number of kills, the manner in which those kills were accomplished, or how long a player survived during a single match. The rewards meant absolutely nothing in the long run and we still salivated over all of them.

    What some fans may not know is that there is still one more multiplayer feature that has lurked in the shadows. Hidden from everyone due to legal complications is an actual in game cheat known as “All Bonds Cheat.” By satisfying an unknown single player requisite, a cheat could be unlocked that would allow players to select all of the previous Bonds in the multiplayer mode. Players would have been able to choose between Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Peirce Brosnan. Why George Lazenby was never included is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. The big letdown though is that because of legal issues involving the use of the actors’ faces, developer Rare removed the ability to access the cheat from the game. However, the key words here are “ability to access.” The cheat is still in the game. The coding just prevents players from using it; which means that if you happen to be tech savvy, you could very well play as your favorite Bond.

    Recently, developers have tried to reboot Goldeneye twice; first on the Playstation 3 with Goldeneye Legends and then on the Wii with the simply titled Goldeneye. However, as developers and players alike discovered, lightening can only be captured once. This is okay, though. Goldeneye will always stand the test of time and stick with us as a look back at a time when multiplayer first person shooters were somehow far more enjoyable than Battlefield and Call of Duty. Some may call it childish nostalgia, but for the rest of us Goldeneye is more than just a game. It represents an awesome period of our childhood, one made all the more golden because it will never come again for us. The next generation will undoubtedly find their own gaming centerpiece, and to them I say good luck and have a great time. You can find copies of the game anywhere because everybody has Goldeneye!

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