Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
This EA developed first person shooter for the Nintendo DS simply lacks polish.
EA had a chance with GoldenEye: Rogue Agent and they blew it. A platform like the Nintendo DS offers a lot of great opportunity to do some really interesting things with a first-person shooter, as has been shown with the oh-so-brief Metroid Hunters demo, but Rogue Agent really just reeks of laziness. Convoluted control schemes, a short single player campaign and all around horrendous collision and hit detection give the impression that there was very little QA put into polishing up this title, and if there was they were definitely asleep at the wheel.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent has you playing as, well, Golden Eye. Not the satellite as featured in the movie of the same name, but a rogue agent kicked out of MI6 for being far too hardcore and ruthless. After losing your eye in a nuclear explosion at the hands of Dr. No, you are recruited by Auric Goldfinger and given a chance to take revenge. In exchange for you getting to use a flashy cybernetic ocular device that grants you evil spy powers, you must do Goldfinger's bidding.
The control scheme of the game is morbidly illogical. The basic concept sounds solid enough: use the stylus to direct where you are looking/aiming, fire with the left shoulder button and walk around with the d-pad. Well, since the designers elected to implement dual-wielding weapons in this title, in order to take full advantage you are expected to not only use the left side of the DS' controls but also the right. Without a thumb stylus and a third arm, this configuration is completely impossible to achieve and renders the dual-wielding aspect of the game completely useless.
Game mechanics in GoldenEye: Rogue Agent incredibly are sloppy. Enemies see you even through walls, and will blindly shoot at you as if you were right in front of them. When you actually face enemies head on, they do not react at all to being hit until they actually die, thus activating their canned death animations. While there is no jumping there is the ability to crouch, which would be nice to add some strategy and the ability to hide from gunfire now and then, but due to the poor layout of the games controls chances are players won't be making much use of the ol' crouch. Gunplay never really feels solid, as weapons just sort of spray everywhere with very little feel for accuracy, so most of the time conflicts have one spraying wildly in the general direction of their enemies until they are no more.
The time spent fighting the games' computer-controlled enemies leaves quite a bitter taste in the mouth. Almost the entirety of the battles are spent with you standing face to face with a wide array of incredibly non-descript henchmen, firing away until one of you dies. There is little room or need for strategy, as the predominant behavior of enemies once they know of your presence is to stand in one location until one of you are dead. They might move back and forth occasionally, and the bosses tend to run around a bit more making them more challenging of a target, but in the end combat in Rogue Agent is incredibly shallow and monotonous.
Multiplayer in GoldenEye: Rogue Agent gives you some momentary thrills, but they quickly subside when the core game flaws rear their ugly heads. In all fairness, the multiplayer functionality has everything it needs to: a variety of maps and lots of weapons, but they're all just wrapped in such shoddy packaging. Rogue Agent does ship with game sharing, which allows one player with the actual DS cartridge to beam a game out and have those more fortunate in having not bought a copy join in. A great idea, and it's refreshing to see it appear in more and more portable titles, but since Rogue Agent is such a weak title to begin with it really takes more than game sharing to save this multiplayer. When it all comes down to it, though, you're really asking yourself why someone would even want you to share this one with them.
If one wanted to be truly hateful, it's not unreasonable to say that the Metroid Prime : Hunters demo has shown more promise with what the DS can do with first person shooters than the final product EA has given us with GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Granted it might be unfair to compare a finished product to a title that's yet to be released, but the fact of the matter is that the brief demo for Hunters showed more promise for the FPS genre on the DS than Rogue Agent shows in its entirety. On the positive side, Rogue Agent shows that as far FPSes on the DS are concerned, at this point in time things can only get better.
What's Hot: Multiplayer offers some brief entertainment.
What's Not: Everything else. Terrible collision detection, asinine control schemes and comatose-grade artificial intelligence.