Yesterday gave us the momentous news that Rare's classic N64 FPS GoldenEye 007 was getting a long-awaited re-release, but there was a catch for some fans: it wasn't the cancelled XBLA remaster, but simply the original N64 game with some enhancements. To make matters worse for Xbox fans, their version lacks online multiplayer, too.
It's easy to see why some people feel slightly let down by this, especially as many assumed this update would be based on the nicer-looking (but ultimately canned) remaster. Those people are unlikely to be pacified by the news that Nightdive Studios – which has handled ports for the likes of System Shock, Blade Runner, Shadow Man and PowerSlave – was in contention to oversee the conversion from N64 to modern systems before Rare decided to do the job itself.
Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick has taken to Twitter to celebrate the news of GoldenEye's re-release but notes that his company was "this close" to taking the work on:
Nightdive's previous work has been mostly well-received by fans. PowerSlave Exhumed, for example, was awarded 9/10 by our sister site Nintendo Life, who called it "a brilliant, beautiful reworking that captures the very essence of what made it so awesome back in the day while giving the best of both the Saturn and PlayStation's distinct versions."
However, the same site (and the games media in general) was somewhat less kind to Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, another Nightdive effort, awarding it 5/10 and saying "there is something genuinely brilliant buried deep inside this Switch release, beneath the lingering issues with pacing and narrative design as well as the myriad painful “enhancements” Nightdive Studios has dumped on top. To cut through all that, you will need a great love for Blade Runner and cyberpunk, saintly patience, a walkthrough on hand, a strict requirement to play on console rather than PC, and a pair of rose-tinted glasses."
It now seems unlikely that Rare's XBLA remaster of the game will ever see the light of day, but, if you're willing to get your hands dirty, it can be played on a modded Xbox 360 console – assuming you can track down the game files, of course.
Here's what it looks like, if you need any encouragement:
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