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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

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Developer: Tiburon Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: June 13, 2005 Also On: GCN, PS2, and Xbox

The Nintendo DS, as innovative as it is, just can’t do a few things correctly. It isn’t a very good floatation device. It won’t get you to the moon. It also can’t handle a first-person shooter. This is very evident in Electronic Arts’ port of Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. Rogue Agent is so heavily flawed in some aspects that it makes it difficult to enjoy the game at all.

The story of Rogue Agent DS is pretty much a pointless add-on to a generic and clunky first-person shooter. Basically, as a rogue MI6 agent, your goal is to assist Goldfinger in his pursuit against Dr. No and his evil henchmen. The gameplay itself is mauled by a horrible control scheme, which is utterly painful in execution and jumbles up any sort of entertainment that could be found.

The only real way to control the game is with the strap-and-thumb piece that came packaged with the Nintendo DS. This wouldn’t be such a big problem if it just felt a little less awkward. I practically had to do finger warm-ups in order to stretch them out far enough to hit the shoulder buttons while I was using the thumb piece and directional pad. The small – and inconveniently placed – GoldenEye power-up icons don’t help one bit either.

The gameplay isn’t only hampered by the control scheme. The single player missions are limited in number and are void of any entertainment whatsoever. It seems that there are only four or five different enemy skins throughout the game, so I found myself blasting away at the same dull baddies that never really posed a threat. In fact, the only time I died was near the end of the game when some of the enemies carried single-shot-kill weapons. This was made more frustrating by the lack of checkpoints in each level, meaning that I would usually run through the same boring hallways and rooms only to die in the same spot.

Fortunately, Rogue Agent DS carries a slightly stronger point in its graphics. They don’t look like they’re from the Nintendo 64 era (like many other DS games). The corridors are a little bland in some spots, but overall the game looks nice and runs at a very constant speed. I found it a little odd that enemy characters don’t react to bullets -they sit and suck them in like human shields. Rogue Agent DS has taught me that in the future, nameless grunts are really walls in disguise, that or Kevlar has gone a really long way.

I wish I could give the same praise to the music and sound effects, but the effects themselves are very bland, typical shooter stuff that has probably been recycled a few times. The music is so bad that it’s almost a good thing. Anytime I ever have an annoying song stuck in my head, I’ll sleep well knowing that Rogue Agent DS sounds much worse in every way.

In conclusion, a decent multiplayer mode doesn’t save a broken game. Goldeneye: Rogue Agent on the Nintendo DS is the first shooter on the console, and if they’re all going to feel and play like this, I’d like it to be the last. Unless you’re a real sucker (like some sort of Ultra Dum-Dum sucker) for wireless multiplayer shooting, you’re not missing anything in this game.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 3
Gameplay: 4
Creativity: 4.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 4.7
Written by Cliff Review Guide