One thing that has always seemed to struggle a bit on the Wii is a genre that should definitely excel on a console that uses pointer technology: the first person shooter. Sure there have been a few gems here and there, but overall, controls have been clunky and imprecise and players have glanced over them and yielded to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 for their first-person shooter needs.
Just like the Nintendo 64 in the 90's, the Nintendo Wii is looking at Goldeneye to bring the system's first-person shooter genre into the forefront away from the other consoles. Sure, Nintendo 64 was trying to bring the market from the PC to the home console market, but the analogy is still more relevant than ever.
The game follows the same general storyline of the Goldeneye film, but as you know, they updated the game to feature Daniel Craig's James Bond, rather than Pierce Brosnan. This is much more than an aesthetic change, though. Craig's Bond is a little more rough and tumble and a little less refined than Brosnan's imagining, some events that don't necessarily drastically change the plot, have been updated to better reflect Craig's version of Bond.
The game is chocked full of nostalgia. From the difficulty levels, to the level design, to the multiplayer, everything feels like a true sequel to the original Goldeneye game for the Nintendo 64, which is something the previous generation's forgettable Goldeneye game, Rogue Agent failed to achieve. The first level in this game is even the Dam, which is based on the original game's starting level of the same name.
Sure, the level designs have been updated to be less simplistic and more engaging than it's Nintendo 64 source material, but fans will definitely recognize the continuous nods to the classic title. The multiplayer is definitely the most obvious nod, as it features many of the classic Bond characters that players were able to utilize in the original Goldeneye game. The multiplayer feels loyal to the original, but it is definitely limited to the capabilities of the Wii itself.
Visually, the game is one of the better looking and sounding Wii titles. The character models look very true to their film counterparts, but the level of detail is obviously lagging behind the competition that exists on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The main issue that was found in the visual department was the brightness. While calibrating the brightness, the screen instructs that the player should adjust the brightness so that the "Goldeneye" logo is barely visible in the black area of the calibration screen. It was found that on a high-end Panasonic plasma television, that the player would be required to turn the brightness of the screen, as well as the brightness of the game itself, all the way up in order to see the logo as instructed. This is a huge issue, as plasmas generally have a higher contrast and more vibrant colors, so it is unclear if the game would be playable if the player is less able to adjust the brightness.
Control-wise, the player has four options. The first, and defaulted option, is involving using the Wii Remote like a wand and then holding the Nunchuck with the other hand. The second option is for the player to place the Wii Remote and Nunchuck into the first-party Wii Zapper. The Wii Remote controls where the player looks and aims, with the crosshairs aiming and eventually moving the screen as the crosshairs reach the edge of the screen. This works well for the most part, but can become an issue if you are attempting to aim for a target near the edge of the screen. The controls are only as good, in this case, as the player's hand is steady, which makes the feeling more true to life than most shooters.
The big downside that we had with this control scheme is that we couldn't use our Nyko Pistol Wii Remote glove, due to the fact that the trigger actually hits 'A' rather than 'B' and there was no control option for such a setup. This was an issue with the House of the Dead franchise as well, so it's not to be held against this title, but it is more appropriate to levy this against the peripheral itself. We're just saying it would have been nice to have found a control scheme to work with this piece of hardware within the game's robust control selection screen.
The third and fourth options allow the player to use the Gamecube and Wii Classic controllers respectively. When using these options, the controllers function much like controllers in first-person shooters from other consoles, where the left stick controls player movement, the right stick controls the way the character looks and the triggers/bumpers are used for weapon control. This might seem like the method of choice for players that would like to play the title like a standard first-person shooter, but there are definite downsides to using these layouts.
The biggest and most universal issue with this control scheme is definitely the limitations of those controllers themselves. Shooters always felt strange on the Gamecube, so the fact that it feels slightly awkward playing this title on a Gamecube controller is no surprise. If you opt to play it on the Wii Classic Controller, you will have to deal with the struggle of playing a first-person shooter on what essentially equates to a Super Nintendo controller.
You can get a limited edition Classic Controller in specially marked Special Editions of Goldeneye 007. It would have been amazing if the Classic Controller included with the Special Edition was based on the Nintendo 64 controllers, but now we're just nitpicking. Sensitivity is another problem that was found, but that can definitely be remedied by adjusting the sliders within the options menu. The only other issue that exists with using the standard controllers is that you cannot use the "lean" move that is useable with the Wii Remote control schemes. This doesn't really come in handy with the single player campaign, but can really work to the player's advantage in multiplayer modes.
Looking at Goldeneye 007 for the Wii and comparing it to the groundbreaking title that is this game's namesake on the Nintendo 64 is unfair. This title isn't an incredibly innovative title, but it is as important to the console as the original was for the Nintendo 64. This game shows that a good first-person shooter can exist on the Nintendo Wii. The only issue with Goldeneye 007 is that it is limited by the very console it is raising up. If this game were a generation-wide release, rather than just a Wii title, this title could potentially rival this week's release from the Call of Duty franchise both in popularity and quality.
Instead, we are stuck to using the Wii Remote controls or using awkward control schemes on standard controllers with graphics that aren't comparable to those shooters found on more powerful machines. If you own a Wii and you've been looking for a shooter that will use the Wii's power to the fullest, look no further than the quality title that is Goldeneye 007. The biggest accomplishment that this game can claim, however, is that it is not an embarrassment to the Goldeneye video game franchise and that it can be viewed as a worthy recreation of a legendary and fabled video game.