GoldenEye 007 was originally conceived as an on-rails shooter inspired …
Despite the awkward interim development and ugly 3D of its graphics, the N64, with its eerily shaped controller and under-utilized “camera” buttons (hint: that’s what C stood for, on all four of ’em) gave birth to a staggering amount of first and second party classics during its six year run, thanks in no small part to a little studio called Rare.
A world destined for ruin lives out its final days as the face of simultaneous malevolence and indifference plummets from the sky. A lost hero is obligated to save a foreign land based on sheer morality and the will to reunite with a good friend. Three days remain before the end of the world, time and time again.
The graphics are so awful and the draw distance so shallow, that the perpetually foggy landscape becomes an enemy itself, endangering the player with unseen chasms and veiled ravines. The controls are so clunky when on foot and so floaty when on vehicles, that following the simplest road is a challenge worthy of the Paris-Dakar circuit. Gunfights with gargantuan bugs, which have come to harvest humans on Earth, are so confusing, such a fuzzy tangle of rainbow lasers and gelatinous blobs, occasionally interrupted by the smoky remnant of an explosion, that your Orange Glo soldier becomes lost in the visual chaos. Secrets scattered throughout each level are tucked into such distant valleys and improbable mountain ranges (cubist sculptures that only distantly resemble geological formations), that finding them is almost not worth the effort. Body Harvest has all the makings of a colossal failure, comparable, in its own generation, to Superman 64 and Small Soldiers. And yet, it is known as one of the best titles for the Nintendo 64.
My first outings with videogames were memorable but far from profound. Most Argentine children of my generation grew up with the Family Game, a cheap Nintendo emulator made in China. With it, I jumped through Super Mario Brothers and Antarctic Adventure, which motivated my attachment to the medium but never fascinated me. Even when I graduated to the Super Nintendo, a legal one, I still considered videogames to be one among several fun activities, like sports or trading cards. In 1997, though, one title would teach me that there were unexpected feelings to experience through videogames.