Title: Mission Impossible
Price: £2.99 (Pre-owned from eBay inc delivery)
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release date: 1998
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves reigniting old flames for less than a fiver. Mission accomplished, kind of.
After acquiring my first Nintendo 64 last Christmas it was time to expand the collection that I unfortunately missed out on in primary school. Whilst searching for retro bargains on eBay I found a title that I didn’t realise had even existed. I enjoyed the first two Mission Impossible films having seen them both when I was about 10, the third wasn’t much cop but when I saw Mission Impossible on N64 for 99p with no bids, I knew my Nintendo collection was set to grow.
I was pleasantly surprised when they game turned up in its original box with cardboard insert and instruction booklet. It wasn’t in the best condition as the booklet’s pages were a bit creased and the box had a few dodgy looking stains and pen marks but for less than £3 it was in decent shape.
As soon as I had put the cartridge in my pristine N64 I was greeted with a fantastically cheesy opening montage introducing the game’s characters with Mission Impossible theme music to match. It ended with an explosion and I felt a great sense of nostalgia even though it was my first time playing.
Despite selecting the easier ‘possible’ difficulty setting, the briefing and objectives list before each mission came in helpful when negotiating my way through each level. The game’s stealth action is very different to that of other releases like Metal Gear Solid as it relies on actions and doing things in the right order, initially it is not as exciting but still a lot of fun and even nerve racking at times. Infiltrating enemy territories for example requires imitating and blending in as one of the bad guys rather than finding a way to sneak around them.
Undercover work is quite exciting, fairly realistic and doesn’t lack imagination. Interacting with other undercover agents who appear to be unimportant NPC’s assists the player in completing their objectives. There is also added suspense when being stalked by an assassin who hasn’t been fooled by Ethan Hunt’s cover as a Hollywood actor.
An array of gadgets, some of which are unique to each level and situation, assist in achieving the objectives of each mission. The ‘Face Maker’ gadget changes the appearance of Ethan Hunt (doesn’t look like Tom Cruise), so that the player can slip through enemy lines by imitating their comrades. Other gadgets like smoke generators have to be placed in vents to allow Hunt and his fellow agents to escape in the ensuing chaos.
There are a variety of weapons to choose from but only a few guns, different attacking options include blow darts, electric tasers and pepper spray. However unlike earlier action releases on N64 there is no reload function, the player can simply fire hundreds of pistol bullets at a time which can make fights less intense and seem quite simplistic.
Another feature present on other releases around the same time period is manually rotated camera views, this would have been very beneficial as playing the game can become quite confusing, particularly in narrow spaces. On certain missions the player is required to be followed by fellow agents, a process that is very glitchy and can take more than a few attempts to get lucky enough to finish the mission.
Despite the action not being up to much Mission Impossible works your brain more than your thumbs, which I found to be a nice change of pace as matching up to the legendary spy shooter Goldeneye would have been nigh on impossible.
Each mission offers something different whether it be breaking out of a cell, navigating electric floors or finding special equipment to survive toxic gasses. It contains certain elements of a puzzle game hidden under its action exterior meaning the player must use their brains rather than just shooting their way through each stage, although that is still most certainly still required.
Mission Impossible is good fun although quite frustrating at times, the action is lacking in places but the sense of achievement for negotiating each objective goes a long way to making up for it. The individuality of each mission and its objectives keeps the game reasonably fresh but using the same guns and gadgets can be become repetitive. Overall however it was an enjoyable experience and definitely worth the £3.00 spent, I would recommend it for cheap thrills and fans of the movie series.
Overall rating: 3.5 / 5
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