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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is the initial first person shooter on the Nintendo DS. As such it is, by default; the best. However, does that mean that Rogue Agent is a good or even great game? That is the exact reason this review is being written, to inform you of whether or not you should spend your hard earned money (or your parents hard earned, whichever the case may be) on Rogue Agent.This is in essence the opposite of every other James Bond game, since you play the other side of the field; the villain. You were once a qualified agent working for MI6, but your recklessness caused you to be dismissed. You are now being recruited by Auric Goldfinger in his battle against Dr. No, the man who cost you your eyesight resulting in the optical transplant that is the GoldenEye. With the GoldenEye, you are given extraordinary power that most men couldn’t even dream of, and yet we still can’t put metal in the microwave, so it’s all for naught. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent for the DS really is the best first person shooter on the system. Then again there is no competition, so that doesn’t exactly say a whole lot.

For starters, while GoldenEye: Rogue Agent does indeed at times, look good, it looks far too grainy at times. Characters appear way too small on a screen that’s already smaller than most would prefer for a first person shooter, thereby making it difficult to know where to shoot and especially, where you’re getting shot from. Backgrounds aren’t very detailed and the whole corridor shooting genre is way past its prime. Rogue Agent does sport some nice character models when viewed from up close, but who wants to get that close to your enemy particularly in a shooter? There are also some decent looking cutscenes between stages, but even those don’t redeem the game in the end. Overall, Rogue Agent looks good, but it’s clear that this is first generation software, and therefore won’t compare to anything that comes out in the next few months or years.

With the touted capabilities of the audio processors built into the Nintendo DS, it’s a safe bet to say that EA isn’t pushing them to their limits with Rogue Agent. The music just doesn’t have that James Bond feel to it, and while it’s not a Bond game that doesn’t mean it has to strive for anything less than a “Bond as a bad guy” feel. Music is limited and just doesn’t feel right for a game like this. I can’t remember hearing cheese rock in any of the Bond films, so why it’s here is beyond me. The music should help build tension as you’re progressing through the game and getting to the tougher to negotiate spots, but it just doesn’t do that. It doesn’t get any better as you get deeper into the game and it’s just a shame.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent does an admirable job of trying to get the controls just right for anyone playing, the only problem is they’re all just a bit weird, or at least for my tastes they were. You can use the stylus, which may work the best, but you can’t use the right shoulder button. You can use the thumb pad, but then the right shoulder button is hard to press because you’re finger is probably too long. You can use the A, B, X, Y, buttons, but then precision aiming becomes an issue. The last control scheme is using the directional pad and A, B, X, Y buttons opposite of the previous mentioned method. Again, the precision aiming becomes an issue and the sensitivity is actually worse because of the D-pads sensitivity. The fact that Rogue Agent tried to accommodate every type of player is a plus, but because they didn’t exactly pull it off, it ends up being far from a feature.

As different as the concept of Rogue Agent is, there’s absolutely nothing innovative about the game. You move from corridor to corridor shooting everything that moves occasionally grabbing a guy and using him as a human shield. There’s just not enough game and not enough innovation for the single player to enjoy.

Having made the aforementioned statement, there are tons of reasons for people to like this game if you can find other Nintendo DS owners to play against. For starters, there are maps that you can play from just the one cart. There are other maps for multiplayer mode if everyone has their own copy of the game. You can unlock various maps, weapons and several characters, to add to the depth of multiplayer. The unfortunate part is that, for one you’ll probably have a tough time finding several DS owners to play against, and two, the game just isn’t in the same league as what you would find on the home consoles.

While good multiplayer modes can erase all doubts for many a game, Rogue Agent just doesn’t have the same ability. The multiplayer can be thought of as fun, despite the probable inability to find other owners to play against, but the single player just isn’t fun at all. Even with their chance to do something different with the game by including some minigames that fully utilize the touch screen capabilities of the DS, they completely miss the mark. The only minigame they include for unlocking doors is a rather simple game akin to “Simon”. The door will play a sequence for you of four colors, you repeat it back, do it again and you’ve now accessed some door where you have absolutely no business accessing. Some security, it’s a guarantee that they’ll be looking for new employment shortly. The single player game is too short, the levels are too similar, and seeing enemies in the distance is just too hard on the eyes, due partly to the small screen, and partly to the enemies always knowing where you are, but you are left guessing at their whereabouts. In short the effort put forth was good, but it just doesn’t live up to some of the features we’ve become accustomed to on the home consoles and that’s a major drawback because this new breed of handhelds is in essence, just as powerful as those consoles from the last generation.

Final Verdict

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is a good initial effort for a first person shooter on the handheld, but it’s just not enough for me to recommend for your hard earned cash. If you’re dead set on getting a first person shooter to compete against your DS owning friends, then your options are limited: you can buy this or you can wait until something else comes along. My recommendation is for you to wait for the next generation of first person shooters to come along.

Score

5.0 out of 10

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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

Related Information

Posted by: Redeema
Date: September 3, 2005
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Tiburon
Release Date: 06/13/2005
Genre: Action
Number of Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: Teen
System Reviewed: Nintendo DS

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Categories: Nintendo DS Reviews, Nintendo DS, Reviews

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