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Mission- Impossible (N64) - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

(Intro plays, with the Mission: Impossible theme playing over clips of past AVGN episodes while a lighted fuse travels across the screen. At the end, it blows up a drawing of a Nintendo 64 controller and displays the title card.)

The Nerd: Mission: Impossible. It was a TV show back in the '60s. It was part of the spy fiction craze back then. You had James Bond, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers, The Saint, and Agent For H.A.R.M. However, Mission: Impossible stood out. It featured great actors like Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Leonard Nimoy, and many more. They work for the IMF. or Impossible Mission Force. Dumb name, but cool concept: the team going on dangerous and daring missions together. It pioneered a few tropes, like an audio recording of secret assignments that would explode after listening to them. It coined the term "self-destruct". You can see it spoofed in Inspector Gadget.

The Nerd: Mission: Impossible ran for seven seasons, came back for a bit in the '80s, and then became a successful movie franchise in the '90s, that's still running to this day. They star the one and only Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt. I just had to get the soundtrack from the second movie. It has Metallica, Rob Zombie, The Butthole Surfers. Well, anyway, we're gonna listen to this on the best CD player ever, the PlayStation 1.

(The Nerd places the CD into his PlayStation. The first track starts playing, but is suddenly interrupted by an incoming transmission from the Bad Games Force.)

Bad Games Force: Hello, Nerd. The Bad Games Force is in need of your help. We fear the increased output of Mission: Impossible movies will lead people to play the shitty games inspired by the series. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to review Mission: Impossible for the Nintendo 64. Good luck. This message will self-destruct in 3 seconds.

The Nerd: Oh! Wait, that's NOT ENOUGH TIME!

(The Nerd runs away as his PlayStation starts to catch fire and explodes, damaging the console beyond repair.)

The Nerd: (sighs) Ya know, I'm cool with reviewing bad games, but... y'know how long it takes to get the smell of explosives out of futon cushions? Dicks. Okay, so, there's only been a handful of Mission: Impossible games. The first was made by Konami for the NES in 1990, and was based on the second TV series. And then there was Impossible Mission II... which is a totally different thing.

(The Nerd shows gameplay of Impossible Mission II. The main character jumps into a pit and plays a very loud death sound, which is played again while text is shown saying "That's the actual death sound".)

The Nerd: The last game to be released was Operation Surma in 2003, which was an original story, but kinda had characters from the movies in it? It's weird because the movies... did pretty well, I thought, so it would only make sense that there would be a video game tie-in, but the first one we really got was, in '98 on the Nintendo 64, which was a few years after the movie came out. And, y'know, wouldn't you think that they'd release the game the same year as the movie to get the most hype?

The Nerd: Then again, GoldenEye 64 came out two years after the film, and that game was very well loved. So, maybe, both game companies took extra time to focus on quality. Oh, never mind. It's from Ocean, the same company that pissed out Waterworld on the Virtual Boy. I've heard this game was a horror to make. It was originally meant to be a PC game. There was a corporate buyout of Ocean, and then different programmers took over, and that's the kind of shit show that leads to a shit game.

(The game's opening cutscene plays.)

The Nerd: Well, they got the theme song down, so that's good, but who are these people? That guy looks nothing like Tom Cruise. And these other IMF characters weren't even in the movie. And the character Jim Phelps, looks more like Peter Graves from the TV show, and less like Jon Voight, who actually played him in the movie. Okay, lemme explain. Peter Graves played Jim Phelps in the original show, and he was basically the main character and director of the IMF. But Graves refused to be in the movie, because they changed his character into a bad guy so that Tom Cruise has someone to fight. So in the end, they replaced him with Jon Voight, who looks nothing like his in-game character.

The Nerd: And if you look at the cover to the game, it's so generic! Don't you think they'd put a big picture of Tom Cruise's face on there, just like they did with Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye? So the gameplay, I was under the impression it was gonna be like a GoldenEye clone, but it's not. You can't go in all guns blazing. Each level is set up like a stealth mission from the shows and movies. Ya have to do things like knock people out, take their identity, sabotage equipment, fake documents, frame other people, etc, etc. Classic spy stuff. What the game is trying to do, is actually pretty advanced for the time. I haven't played the Hitman games but this sounds a lot like them. Except this one will be more like Shitman.

The Nerd: So Ocean tried to innovate in many ways. Wait, what's the opposite of innovate? De-vinate? Regress? Uh, I don't know. The controls... are, whatever that is. They're ass backwards. If you have to hit a control panel or something, you better be standing in the right spot, or else you'll just jump up and down, like a kanga-fuckin'-roo.

The Nerd: You ever try to pick something up, but jump instead? Don't ya hate it when that happens?!

(The Nerd tries to pick up the Konami LaserScope, but he keeps jumping instead. He eventually gives up and flips the bird at the box.)

The Nerd: There's a few moments in the game where jumping is important, and the controls will do everything to mess things up for you. This stage has an electric floor. The red squares are where you'll get hit. You'll have to memorize which ones are red, 'cause they'll fade back to blue and confuse you. I'll try to jump onto the blue squares, but no matter how well I aim it up, there's still a chance I'll land on the red and get fried or shot! There's a stage later in the game where you have to jump over a wall of lasers. It took me forever to find the right point I was supposed to jump from. I kept hitting the wall over and over again. Fuck! When I did manage to jump over the wall, I fell and took damage. There's no way to avoid it! Who designed this shit?

The Nerd: If you're even a little bit familiar with Mission: Impossible, you know that gadgets are a big part of it, and this game made sure to deliver on the gadgets. A few are actually from the movie, like the Facemaker, which creates a mask of other people's faces, so you can disguise yourself as them. And then there's the exploding red and green gum. And last but not least, a small mobile device that sends you messages in the form of text! Wow, imagine a world where you can send a text message, to a device that can fit inside your pocket.

The Nerd: There's fifteen different gadgets but occasionally, you do have to use one of the 16 weapons to complete a mission and this is where the game really goes to shit. The gun controls are grade A ass. The box says it has interchangeable third and first person view points, but that's not the case. It goes from third person to... closer third person. You have to go to this closer mode in order to kill anyone successfully. Shooting without manually aiming is a waste of time. The problem is when you manually aim, you can only move your body left and right to avoid getting shot. Your character is so slow and takes forever to aim. Sometimes I get a headshot lined up, and then the enemy kneels, so I have to aim again.

The Nerd: It's pretty funny when you manage to shoot someone in this game, because Ethan will randomly shout out lines like "Rocksteady", "Got 'em", and, for some reason, his voice changes to an old man when he says, "Way to go!"

Ethan Hunt: Way to go! (3x)

The Nerd: Whenever possible, you wanna do a headshot for two reasons. First, the ammo is super scarce and one shot to the head will take an enemy out. Second, headshots cause the bad guys to do backflips, and it's hilarious.

(Various clips of Ethan Hunt shooting bad guys are shown.)

The Nerd: Back to the objectives, the game gives you a little radar that lets you know where each objective is with a red, white, or green dot. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you which dot is which objective. Sometimes, it's not an issue, because some objectives can be done out of order, but sometimes I'll do something too early, and ruin the entire mission. Oh, and go figure. There's not checkpoints or saves. If you die or mess up, you have to start the mission from the beginning of the level.

The Nerd: I think the dumbest mission in the game, is when you're in the warehouse in Russia. You have to blow up some equipment and look for an exit. The first obstacle you encounter is this wall of boxes full of toxic gas. So what do you do? Well, obviously, you shoot them and fill the room with poison! After this, you have to find health and eventually get a hazmat suit. And the whole time, you shoot more boxes full of poison and explosives. Why doesn't he just pick up the boxes and move 'em? Ethan Hunt can climb the tallest building in the world, hang on the side of a plane that's taking off, and scale a mountain with his bare hands, but picking up a crate is just too hard? It's literally... impossible for him.

The Nerd: There's also a few levels that turn out to be one long escort mission. You know, when you gotta get a character from point A to point B? It's infuriating. This girl, Candice, is constantly getting killed or arrested. It's almost as bad as having to walk around with Lois Lane in Superman 64. Why do so many games do this? Has anyone ever enjoyed an escort mission?

The Nerd: As said before, the game doesn't resemble the movie very much. Unlike GoldenEye, it does its own thing... until the midway point, where it suddenly remembers, it's based on a movie. Ethan gets framed and is accused of being a mole who leaked secret identities of IMF agents using a stolen data file. So, he's forced to break into CIA headquarters to get the other half of that list, for reasons. But all you need to know, is the game has that famous scene where he breaks into the high-tech vault and suspends down on ropes. You know, you've seen countless parodies of that scene, yet instead of being suspenseful and exciting, this scene in the game is just infuriating.

The Nerd: The room is filled with lasers you have to avoid. How do you avoid them? By swinging around like an idiot, of course. Look at this asshole, swinging around the room. Imagine if this happened in the film. It looks like some Battletoads bullshit. This part takes forever. You constantly have to move the camera and rely on the awful controls to swing around the lasers. I lost count of how many times I tripped an alarm or face planted.

The Nerd: You eventually meet the arms dealer, Max, and I love how the background characters are so poorly programmed, that they actually walk through the main characters in the cutscene. In this level, you have to snipe enemies trying to kill Ethan. The sniper you play as is the character Luther from the films. Here's what he looked like in the movie, and here's what he looks like in the game. I'm starting to wonder if the people who made this even seen the movie. So you find out Phelps is the mole, and have to kill him. This could be fun, but Ethan moves like a mile an hour on top of this train.

(A caption saying "WTF?!" is shown while an arrow is pointing at a car going through the semi.)

The Nerd: The whole time you're chasing him, you gotta shoot bad guys and blow up cars and helicopters with rocket launchers. That's a fun idea for a level, but this game finds a way to make it boring... as... fuck. They add a bonus mission at the end, where you return to the base from the first mission. It's more the same, except for the final level, where you're on a gun boat blowing up the entire base. Feels like it was from a completely different game and they just shoehorned it in.

(The caption from the game saying "The End" pops up.)

The Nerd: So is the game done?! No. They throw something after the credits. You return to another previous level and can talk to people standing around. They're all the people who made this game. You can ask their names and what they do, or you can punch 'em in the face. Be careful, though, because they'll gang up on you. The game programmers... are KICKING MY ASS!

(The Nerd takes the game out of the Nintendo 64.)

The Nerd: Well, that's Mission: Impossible 64. To be fair, the programmers had some good ideas, they just didn't pan out well. But kicking my ass was the best idea. A year after the game was released, a PlayStation version came out. It has more cutscenes, looks a lot cleaner, has better sounding music, and has even more, uh... voice acting. If you can call it that.

Character: Oh, you're the movie star from Hollywood!

Ethan Hunt: Sorry, you must be mistaken. Phelps! So, you're the mole! You rat!

Jim Phelps: Sorry, my friend, I have a train to catch. Goodbye.

The Nerd: From what I can tell, it's just a more polished version of the same shitty game. I'd play it too, but my PlayStation is, y'know, blown up. So I say, DO NOT accept the mission of playing this horrible game, and disavow all knowledge of its existence. And I do find it really shitty, that the Ethan Hunt character in the game looks nothing like Tom Cruise. But, I mean, let's be honest...

(The Nerd takes off his mask to reveal that he is Tom Cruise.)

Tom Cruise: How can anyone copy a face as perfect as mine? (laughs) Yeah, it's me, Tom Cruise. (laughs) And yeah, I've been the Angry Video Game Nerd the ENTIRE time! (laughs) See the Nerd room back here? Yeah, all a green screen! It's fake! Hollywood magic! Woo! Remember the AVGN Power Glove episode? Yeah, that was me, landing the plane in Top Gun. Oh and remember the movie Top Gun? That was also me, landing the ACTUAL plane! (laughs) Woo! Playing the Nerd has been my biggest acting mission. So, mission accomplished. (laughs) This episode will self-destruct in five seconds. Did I mention I do my own stunts?

(Tom Cruise laughs hysterically for five seconds before the episode explodes. Tom Cruise's severed head is seen falling down while laughing.)