I’m a bit surprised at myself not finding out until just today for sure that Perfect Dark is indeed coming to XBLA. I suppose Nintendo is only half-fitting category for this post, but it was originally an N64, and a very good one at that. Perfect Dark is one of my top 5 favorite video games of all time. To be able to play it in HD, 60 FPS is perhaps the only improvement I could ask for the 9-year old game. I mean, really, other than that, there is nothing to improve.
Nonetheless, the studio behind the port, which is not Rareware (I think 4J or something) is making some graphical changes. In the same screenshot where I saw a different gun model, I saw someone’s face that was different but also a better background. As good as it looked on the N64, it is showing its age. I can’t say the improvements are drastic, but probably enough to make it look half-decent on the powerful Xbox 360.
Another thing that must come with the port is of course new controls. Perfect Dark actually offered 8 different control types on the original, 4 of them including the option for dual control sticks. While the N64 controller only had one, the game allowed the player to hold two different controllers and use one stick on each. After playing the game for tens of hours on the single-stick control scheme, though I appreciated the idea of the dual-stick scheme, I just couldn’t get into it.
Suffice to say, I’ve never really gotten into FPS games since Perfect Dark. I haven’t really advanced from the single-stick layout. So as much as I want Perfect Dark for the Xbox 360, it might be hard to adjust. But I do have some commentary for the developer, who is likely very close to finishing the product anyway-don’t change much. Perfect Dark received a 9.8 from IGN and a 9.9 from Gamespot. It’s clear-the game needs no fine-tuning. Obviously, the graphical incapabilities of the N64 kept the game from ever seeing a constant framerate even on a lower-resolution. To be able to play the game having both a high (very high) resolution and a constant 60 frames per second is exciting.
But I hope that 4J changes nothing else. Yes, a graphical improvement here and there is probably okay. But why mess with a truly perfect game in nearly every sense? So I ask 4J to change nothing in the hopes that die-hard fans of the original will get what we deserve-the same game, just a slightly better experience because of no framerate dips and such. I don’t want the game to be made easier. I don’t want the enemies to behave differently. We know what happens when one tinkers with a good formula-you get Perfect Dark Zero. The game was excellent. People know it was. Yes, there will be plenty of people buying this game who won’t notice the difference-perhaps their first-timers, which is always welcome. So please don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Yes, add online multiplayer. Yes, add achievements. Just please keep it Perfect.
A link to Microsoft’s site with pics:
A forum I found with fans highlighting the awesome parts of the game….everything!!: