As with the original release of EA’s GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, the game for the Nintendo DS has again met with some very mixed reviews. Gaming sites have given their reviews of the game; which site do you trust?
One of the most successful games of all time was “GoldenEye: 007” for the Nintendo 64, released in 1997 by Rare. The game was way ahead of other first-person shooters of the time, offering many missions, zany cheat codes and some of the best multiplayer action for up to four people to compete in. Many people today still play.
That said, it’s no wonder that a sequel has been produced. The sequel was released on Nov. 15, 2004, for the XBox, PS2 and GameCube. But now we have an altered version making its way to your beloved Nintendo DS.
“Rouge Agent” certainly lives up to its name by casting you as a secret agent who has been disgraced by MI6 and expelled from the British Secret Service. Since then, you have fallen in with a nefarious businessman, Auric Goldfinger. Dr. No, it would seem, has shot out your eye. In its place you have a golden eye that gives you a lot of new abilities, including the power to see through walls, a limited telekinetic ability and a shield.
All of this has been preserved from the console version of the game, along with the story line. Additionally, you will find a very nice multiplayer game.
One question that comes mind is whether the graphics are intact. The graphics aren’t 128-bit, like they would be on the XBox, PS2, or GC, so they have been reduced to the 64-bit level of the DS (think Nintendo 64, but a bit better). The graphics are certainly nice for a handheld system, and one thing that is definitely good is the fact that the frame-rate is up to par. The game runs at a solid 60 fps for the most part, which is important if you want to enjoy the game without it lagging on you.
On the console, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was a very “meh” first-person shooter where FPS games are in wide abundance. On the Nintendo DS, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is master of the domain if only because of the lack of any competition in the genre. Other than the basic Metroid Prime Hunters demo that came packaged with the first round of Nintendo DS units, the handheld’s been lacking in the FPS genre, and Electronic Arts is there to fill the void. The final product is a valiant effort, but it really does have a distinct “We need to rush this to market NOW!!!” feel from start to finish. It’s certainly fun for what it is, but the loose ends and overall lack of polish are too obvious to ignore.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is a James Bond game in license only. The storyline weaves through situations featuring familiar characters such as Dr. No, Goldfinger, Pussy Galore, Odd Job, and others, but Bond is nowhere to be seen. That’s because you’re playing as an agent dismissed from the MI4 agency, now buddied up with Goldfinger to assist in this evil mastermind’s feud with Dr. No. Whether the plot was successful on the console, it’s completely forgettable on the Nintendo DS version because of the poor storytelling through lame text cutscenes and talking heads.
As with its console ancestor, Rogue Agent sports both a single-player campaign and multiplayer deathmatch. The single-player game is as uninspired as it was on the consoles, with a few downgrades unique to the DS. For example, enemies don’t move or flinch when they’re hit or spawn in suspiciously, and have downright brain-dead AI. That said, the weapon selection manages to cover the bases and the eye-based powers and a unique hostage-taking mechanism add a tiny bit of extra flair.
Since it apes the previous console versions so closely, the single-player action seems decidedly mediocre. But midway through level two, something strange happened: I began to have a bit of fun. I played off and on as I chatted online, and found it vaguely enjoyable to mosey through the ultra-linear levels, taking breaks every now and then to rejuvenate my waning interest. I attribute this odd enjoyment to the game’s portable nature. Being able to play it in little bites while doing something else lets the game shine as a moderately engaging little time waster. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a middling FPS at best. However, the transformative power of context allowed me to squeeze out some enjoyment that I was unable to find in its completely boring, plodding, over-produced, under-delivering big brother.