Friday, May 24, 2013

Full Review: GoldenEye 007 (DS)

This review will refer to the 2010 remake by n-Space of the 1997 classic by Rare.  When the re-make of GoldenEye 007 was first released, I had a hard time, near impossible time actually, trying to locate a review for the DS game as everything I came across was for the Wii release, before the PS3 and 360 versions were released.  Everything I found was all about the Wii release, which made me sad because I wanted to know about how the translation to the DS was.  Even the Wikipedia article mainly covers the Wii version, only briefly mentioning the low GameRankings and Metacritic of 68.8% and 64/100 respectively for the DS version and the involvement of n-Space.

This post probably should have been one of my first reviews posted since, I feel like that I want to post things that I would want to read, and a review for a game that I was interested in, but couldn't find, that's something I'd like to read.

So on with the show.

If you don't think that is Pierce Brosnan's hairline, you'e right.  It's Daniel Craig's.  Maybe that'll sell more copies of the game?

The DS remake of the N64 Rare game GoldenEye 007 doesn't feel so much of a remake as it does as a re-imagining and sadly, not a very great one at that.  Believe it or not, the DS is a pretty good platform for FPS' regardless if you're right or left handed: you look around with the touch pad, move with the directional pad or ABXY buttons and shoot with either the L or R button.  I've played a number of FPS on the DS (Dementium: The Ward, Dementium II and Moon) so my general dislike for the game is not related, as one might think, to playing an FPS on the DS.

I'll be honest when I say that what I was hoping for from this game was a slightly revamped and beautified edition of Rare's amazing game.  Instead what n-Space delivered was a decent looking FPS with, among other things, horrible enemies.  I say "horrible" not because their AI was something ferocious, but because unless you killed them with a head shot, they did not go down very easily.  The enemies, whom all looked identical (just to note, but  not really a criticism) would take a handful of hits, stagger then keep on firing.  If you were lucky they would drop to one knee and then continue firing.  

Your life in the game was again represented by the red/yellow bars along with a set of blue bars when you had body armor equipped.  Now, apparently life regeneration is a current thing in FPS games and it is a thing in this edition of Goldeneye 007.  That's something I don't really like.  It almost makes the game too easy as all you have to do is come out from behind a corner take a couple of badly aimed shots, get shot yourself and move back behind the wall to regenerate while the enemy remains stagnant, patiently waiting for you to come out again.  So either the AI is very smart and holding their ground or really stupid and forgot that someone was shooting at them 3 1/2 seconds ago.  Oh yes, and your Walter PP7 has infinite ammunition.  I know that it's done in the Left 4 Dead series, but there you're fighting hordes of zombies and not stand-still Russian soldiers.  Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy.

Maybe I'm just being too harsh, considering that GoldenEye is one of my favorite James Bond movies and GoldenEye 007 sat unmoved in my N64 for almost nine months so I am kind of attached to what I know and love.  It's true that the 1997 GoldenEye 007 expanded on the story that was in the movie, filling in the nine year gap between the mission in Arkhangelsk and the stealing of the Tiger Helicopter in Monte Carlo.  The storyline too is something that bothered me as the DS re-make didn't do this, but simply took events that happened in the movie and reworked them to be plausible to have happened in a short-ish amount of time, like a Dan Brown novel.  I liked visiting Severnaya while it was still under construction and the missile silo  in Kirghistan before the Goldeneye satellites were launched.  Things that made the original game feel like it took information from a pre-existing book that the movie didn't have the time or money to fit in.  That feeling of an expanded universe/story just didn't exist in this re-make.

Another thing the game was lacking, and maybe I'm just nitpicking here, was the massive amount of playable cheats.  Yes, there were some but you had to purchase them after they became unlocked.  The other "special feature" for this game was collecting document files throughout each level.  With each file you were awarded a puzzle piece to put together an image from. . . something?  Concept art?  I'm not sure.  I only unlocked the tank busting through the wall in St. Petersburg.  I don't know who Activision and/or n-Space's target audience was for this, but it sure wasn't people who played the original GoldenEye 007 or anyone who would play this game.   

The re-make also didn't take the same approach that the original did when it came to stealth.  In the original, ducking behind boxes or walls and taking out security cameras was essential if you didn't want to get into a firefight, while in this game, I don't remember taking out too many, if any, cameras at all.  It felt more of a run-and-gun game.  Maybe that's what they were going for, but then why bother calling it GoldenEye 007?  Oh, probably to try and capitalize on how awesome the first game was.  It's not like it's been done before, right?

I should probably also mention that the game touts a six person local online multiplayer.  That's all I know.  I can't say how well it plays or how fun it is because I simply haven't met anyone else who owns the game to play it with them.

After all that, was there anything that I liked about the game?  Well, the game didn't look half bad and the spoken dialogue was a nice touch, although I couldn't tell you if Daniel Craig or Dame Judi Dench actually did the voice work, but whomever did it, didn't do too bad of a job with their lines.

Oh, and I didn't like that you couldn't duck if you were not behind a crate or box.  Just wanted to throw that in there.

Atrocious Humanity

P.S.  To note, I bought this game in the hopes that I would enjoy it as much as I did as the 1997 release AND because it came with a copy of the film GoldenEye on DVD, all totalling something like $24.99.  I decided that even if the game was bad, at least I would finally own a copy of one of my favorite James Bond films.  So I would still like to think that I have come out on top.

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