Been a while since my last post. Midterms were taking over my life. But hey, I’m back, and it’s the middle of October! We are fast approaching the re-release of the ever-famous “GoldenEye,” originally for N64, on the Wii. And I’ve got a beef with it.

Let me start by saying that I appreciate what Nintendo is trying to do here. In case you aren’t aware, the Wii has a channel on which users can buy out-of-print games directly from the console itself. This “Virtual Console” sports a laundry list of old games from a plethora of different systems, available for purchase and play on the Wii. As a retrogamer myself, I think it’s great that they are re-releasing some of the greatest games ever, marketing them to a wider demographic of gamers, new and old. Some of the available releases include Pokémon Snap and the original Mario trilogy (a complete list can be found on the Virtual Console website).

You’d think that, as a lover of old games, this would be cause for celebration. However, I worry that these updated editions of games will lose some of what made them so great in the first place. This is certainly not the first time old games have been re-released on new systems. Take, for example, the original, 1985 Mario game’s much later release on Game Boy Color. The same concept as the Virtual Console in the re-releasing of classics, the difference lies in that little to no changes were made to Mario 1 itself, it was merely reformatted to fit a small screen and given a slightly altered name. No big.

In my eyes, much of what makes GoldenEye so good is its simplicity. Oversized, polygonal heads awkwardly nestled atop pixelated, amorphous figures… Awesome. One of the best parts of the game, and I think many would agree, is its multiplayer capability. I mean, what’s more fun than planting proximity on all the places where your opponent can respawn? (Come on, you know you do it, too.) There is something wonderful about how, when 4 players meet up in one location and have a shootout, the N64 slows down. There is so much activity happening that the console can’t handle it all! How nostalgically fantastic! Isn’t this part of what makes the game so memorable? When I think of the NES, I think of blowing in the bottom of my games and beating the hell out of the gray box just to play Rad Racer II. This is part of what made the system so beautifully memorable for me, it’s simplicity, and, even its flaws.

Yes, the RCP-90 will still pwn. Yes, there will still be those annoying, screen-peeking opponents in multiplayer. Yes, the Klobb will still sound like a fart. Yes, we will probably still get angry when we press A one too many times and miss the weapon we meant to wield. But I fear that the update of this game may become (and this will sound like an oxymoron) too good. The Russian guards will actually look like humans! 4 person shootouts will be no trouble at all for the Wii! This may not be all bad, I just hope that by releasing second editions of GoldenEye and other classics, Nintendo does not take away simplistic perfection.

Some people may view these updates as a good thing, but I have my reservations about it. An improved update of GoldenEye would be like watching “Psycho” in color when it was meant to be seen in black and white. It would be like digitally remastering Frank Sinatra, whose music was meant to be heard in early 1900’s recording quality.

I don’t want to be too pessimistic about this. I will certainly give the second releases of these games a fighting chance. I also want to make it clear again that I don’t mean to bash Nintendo. Quite the contrary, in fact. I think that these re-releases of games are great. Some of them are really tough to find these days in their original formats, so it is good that they are making an effort to not let the classics simply fade away into the past.  We just need to know our roots.

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