Don’t Let The Botched Switch Release Fool You, Perfect Dark Is A Masterpiece

This release is not an accurate depiction of the legendary original.

Story Highlights

  • After the awesome reboot reveal, the original Perfect Dark also makes its way to Nintendo Switch.
  • Filled with sound problems, performance issues, and high input lag, it’s a completely botched release.
  • The unofficial PC port of the N64 classic is a much superior way to enjoy it authentically.

You’ve seen the Perfect Dark reboot trailer in the Xbox showcase and found the game extremely exciting. Soon, you came across the splendid news that the N64 original was making a return on the Switch. You thought “Perfect timing, now I can see what the hype’s about.” Tell me what’s wrong with this scenario?

The reboot’s trailer was perfect, yes. The original’s return is a great gesture, agreed again. You wish to familiarize yourself with Perfect Dark is actually the best news I could get, the more people who enjoy the series, the better. Then what’s the problem? It’s just if this is your first time with Perfect Dark, DO NOT start with the recent Switch release.

YouTube video

The Incredible Reboot

Before discussing the Switch release’s follies, let’s look at the reason why Perfect Dark is so popular all of a sudden. It all started when Xbox announced a reboot of the legendary series, and then out of nowhere released the shockingly impressive reveal trailer.

I’ve already dissected and gushed over the Perfect Dark reboot trailer, so I’ll try to keep it brief this time around. In a nutshell, it looks absolutely stunning. If like me you’ve lamented the loss of Deus Ex and longed for a new iteration of the majestic concept, the new Perfect Dark is probably the closest thing we’ll get to a Deus Ex resurgence.

Featuring fascinating stealth mechanics, cool gadgets, and a remarkable environment design and immersive sim feel, Perfect Dark decided to take all my dreams and multiply them with infinity. I was the happiest guy alive after watching the trailer.

Xbox coming in hot | Source: Xbox (YouTube)
Xbox coming in hot | Source: Xbox (YouTube)

Considering how impressive Perfect Dark looked in the reveal, it attracted a lot more than just long-time fans’ attention. People longing for a new Deus Ex, immersive sim fans, single-player game enjoyers, everyone took a liking to it. And trust me, it deserves all your attention and praise.

byu/Turbostrider27 from discussion

The Switch Release Of Perfect Dark Is A Total Mess

Fans weren’t the only ones who took a liking to the trailer. Nintendo saw the reveal, looked at the overwhelming praise it was getting, remembered the original Perfect Dark was an N64 game, and went “Eureka!”

Perfect Dark released in 2000 – Set in 2023
byu/FridayCicero702 ingaming

Making use of Perfect Dark’s renewed popularity, Nintendo decided to bring back the cult classic to Nintendo Switch as a part of its subscription service (the tier that costs an arm and a leg). Gamers were overjoyed. “Perfect timing, Nintendo.” Everything was proceeding smoothly.

It wasn’t until people gave this version a try that they said “What the hell is this?” The Switch version plays so badly that it gives this unrivaled gem a truly botched image. Unfortunately, emulation issues in Nintendo’s N64 titles have been a recurring problem for quite some time now, but Perfect Dark is just whole new levels of bad. It’s a total massacre.

I didn't expect this many issues | Source: Nintendo (YouTube)
I didn’t expect this many issues | Source: Nintendo (YouTube)

Muddled sounds that make you question your speakers’ integrity and the head-hurting visual effect that guarantees a visit to the ER are just the beginning of your problems. As per Golden Eye 007 veteran Graslu00, the game’s poor emulation, graphical glitches, performance issues, and extreme input lag create an experience so sour that you’re advised to stay as far from it as possible. And I second this declaration.

Time To Boot Up The PC Port

If you are looking to relive the legendary original before the reboot, or have developed an interest in the series’ origins after learning about its existence, Nintendo’s port is the last thing I’ll recommend. If you’ve played it already and thought “The reboot looks impressive, what is this garbage?” I implore you not to curse Perfect Dark over something that is not even close to the true experience.

This iteration doesn't do the legendary Perfect Dark justice | Source: IMDB
This iteration doesn’t do the legendary Perfect Dark justice | Source: IMDB

Of course, I’m not asking you to change your mind out of the goodness of your heart. I believe in changing your mind with ample evidence, so I’ve brought the perfect helper to achieve that. May I present the unofficial PC port of Perfect Dark created by the fans’ tireless efforts?

Just experienced Perfect Dark using the unofficial PC port for the first time
byu/NanoDrivee inpatientgamers

N64 emulation has reached an unprecedented milestone now. With downright unreal stuff like N64: Recompiled making a triumphant entry, it’s now possible to create native ports of the iconic classics you know and love. That’s not all. With enhanced framerate, visual upgrades, and a perfect input registry, it makes you question reality. These native PC ports have become the definite ways to play these gems.

Recompilation: An Incredible New Way to Keep N64 Games Alive
byu/terrcraftguy inemulation

As such, Perfect Dark N64 also has a PC port, and it’s generations ahead of whatever Nintendo decided to do. Thus, if you’re looking for a pristine Perfect Dark experience while you await the majestic reboot, the fan port is the way to go.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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