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Nintendo DS Review: Goldeneye – Rogue Agent

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It just should not be possible for a game to do this much wrong. First person shooters have officially been sent backwards five years by Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. This abysmal title barely even covers first-person shooter basics, while adding the most aggravating, annoying, and repetitive soundtracks in recent memory.

Players take control of the opposite side of the Bond universe, siding with villains from the long-standing series after being dismissed from MI6. They’ll control two weapons at once for the most part (except for the few weapons that require both hands). A clunky weapon switching system either requires the touch screen or out of reach select button. It’s aggravating to switch weapons when in need, only to be blasted while trying to figure it all out.

That’s really not a problem with some of the most hilarious AI ever implemented into a FPS. Enemies don’t have the common sense to raise their guns an inch to fire over a table (which they’ll rarely use for cover) before they fire and entire clip into it. Then they stand still, reload, and repeat the entire process. The ones that do find a way to aim properly do so with brain damage, blindly running into the player while firing, only to stop point blank to reload.

There’s no real strategy involved in playing since hit detection is completely random. A clear headshot is never a truly clear headshot. Each gun has an inconsistent range. It’s frustrating enough to kill this title after the first stage. Multi-player does manage to be somewhat enjoyable, though it suffers from every flaw the main game does (except for AI obviously).

Level design was obviously an after thought too. Enemy ambushes are obvious and predictable. Ladders are automatically ascended, giving the players no chance to defend themselves. You’ll take a few shots before the game allows you to set up after the climb. It’s welcome that there’s no need to fight with a control sequence to do this, but you’d take less hits if they let you perform the action yourself.

Fog is an issue in certain stages, obscuring enemies as they do their cheap maneuvering and other hazards. Enemy fire will appear on screen before the shooter, a considerable problem for which there is no defense. Objects are well constructed, though pixilated. The opposing force is barely varied, and they share the same animation set between them.

Gunfire is the best thing the game provides audio-wise, and even that lacks impact. The music is hideous, made up of cheap bleeps that would barely be home on the NES, let alone the otherwise surprisingly capable DS sound hardware. Stages tend to drag on, due to both length and lack of entertainment value, while this soundtrack maddeningly loops non-stop. Turning it off only creates a sparse, lifeless environment.

Even with all the control scheme options and weapons, EA has published an incompetent shooter that borrows heavily from the home console versions, while eliminating anything that made that version fun (and that version wasn’t very fun). It’s ugly, it sounds bad, and it offers nothing worth noting as far as gameplay is concerned. It’s fine for a few laughs between friends as an overnight rental, but certainly not worth purchasing.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    “Rouge” Agent? An agent wearing too much makeup? Scary!

  • JR

    I had no idea the cosmetics industry was so cutthroat. But then, what do you expect from people who torture bunnies?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    The bunnies were asking for it. Their reign of terror has gone on long enough. They’ve been attacking American interests at least as far back as the Carter administration, and maybe even longer.

    We oughta nuke their whole country!

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Yeah, yeah, sue me. =;)

    It’s fixed.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Excellent, Matt! Now you just need more Bond links. Couldn’t you fit another 7 or 8 of ‘em in there? You’re focusing entirely on the games and movies, hook us up with some of the Ian Fleming novels and the many other books about Mr Bond.

    Here’s a free ASIN to get ya started: B0006BVHM8 (a fitting choice given your negative review of the game, as this book has one of the stupidest titles in the history of publishing).

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    I’ve already got a dozen Victor. Can’t do much more than that, or so I’m told. =;)

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    I thought we could link 19 or 20 Amazon items, but maybe that’s been changed since the last time I checked. No worries; I’m just kidding around with you anyway. Not having any Nintendo myself, there’s not much else I can do other than say what a fine review you’ve written, and everybody can already see that for themselves.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Thanks for the compliment Vic. Is it 20? If it is, I’ve been limiting myself.