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James Bond: Quantum Of Solace

Rating: 16+ (PEGI)

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  licence to thrill & frustrate in equal measures

| | See all AngrilyHot's reviews (53)

OK...I admit it! I was suckered in and bought this game purely based on the movie tie-in !! I admit I was a bit skeptical, (as licensed products are commonly victim to short development cycles and a lack of overall effort) and while this isn't quite the "must have" title I'd hoped for, it's an interesting design with some great ideas. The execution, however, never quite pans out as you would hope.

The developers went with a book design for Bond, so you'll turn your DS on its side, and have the option to use any face button, d-pad direction, or shoulder tap as the game's main action key. Everything else is touch-based, and since the game follows a somewhat close camera of Bond as he runs around 3D environments in a simpler, similar, Metal Gear type design, that includes everything from running, fighting, shooting, jumping, sneaking, and quick close-quarter combat on unsuspecting enemies.

From the design standpoint, the game seems to all be there, and general mobility in the game is decent, with a simple "drag to move" mechanic in place similar to Phantom Hourglass, but there's a fundamental issue with all-touch gameplay, and it centers around one key area; COMBAT. During combat the camera zooms in behind Bond, and you are required to make line & circle drawings for different attacks which are very unreliable, with the biggest offender being the "hold the stylus on the far left or right of the screen to block" concept. Since you're drawing all your punches and grabs on the screen, a tap and hold doesn't always register (sometimes the game thinks you're starting a line), so Bond can often get his butt kicked in a fist fight. The concept is there, as you've got some neat animations and a unique fighting mechanic worked in, but it doesn't translate as well as it could have into the game.

If you can get into the main gameplay though, Bond is a great overall package that pushes DS interface and depth in a big way. The Bond feel really comes across in the menus, voice overs, cut scenes, and even the game's 2nd screen is filled with a very 007-inspired map and icon system that animates and moves in a very sleek, fluid way. Quantum of Solace isn't a bad little action game on DS, but it is not quite as clever as it thinks it is!

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