Kombo’s Review Policy: Our reviews are written for you. Our goal is to write honest, to-the-point reviews that don’t waste your time. This is why we’ve split our reviews into four sections: What the Game’s About, What’s Hot, What’s Not and Final Word, so that you can easily find the information you want from our reviews.
What the Game’s About
James Bond is a sneaky guy. So sneaky, in fact, that he shrunk himself and is playable on the Nintendo DS. Taking a different approach than the console versions, Quantum of Solace on the DS is not a FPS game; it is a third person action game that makes heavy use of the DS touchpad as you hold the handheld like a book. Does the handheld version make 00 status?
When multiplatform games are made of the same subject, usually, the handheld version gets the shaft. The DS version of Solace dodges that bullet by being a different type of game all together. Playing as Bond in the third person view is more intuitive on the DS, and you can control a lot more that way. You start the game by getting a good tutorial about all the gameplay mechanics.
The game is controlled nearly entirely by the touchpad, which is actually very cool. The only time you need to press a button is when you want to go into attack mode. You touch and tap all over the screen, which makes Solace feels very point and clickish. You have control over where you walk and what you pick up. Holding the DS like a book didn’t feel right, at first, but it actually feels more intuitive than the traditional way. Combat is very interesting because it is broken into two parts. The first is shooting and that is fairly straightforward, you tap and that equals a shot. Melee combat is a different affair all together. You enter a Punch Out!!! type mode and depending on what direction you drag the stylus, you punch from that direction. So a movement from the bottom to the top would be an uppercut.
These are some of the innovative things going into the game. The visuals are also very well put together for a DS title. A fully-realized 3D world is something that is cool to see.
There are some inherent problems from using the touchpad as frequently as you have to. The first of which is being able to see the screen. When you are dragging the stylus around, you’ll obscure your own view and make it difficult to see what is happening. It also feels like it wastes the other screen even though the radar system will help you in pinch.
Solace just kind of clunks along as you explore maps because the camera is zoomed too far onto Bond. Everything you see on the radar will be just out of sight of your actual gameplay window and you’ll basically have to charge into the situation to figure out what is going on. Melee combos are rather pointless as a few quick movement will usually beat out trying to follow a pattern to do throws.
There is an upgrade system that you have access to if you collect enough points. You can replay levels as much as you want but you may not find it necessary as there are only a few really worth while areas to upgrade. No multiplayer also limits the lasting appeal.
It was cool to play a nearly all-touch DS game that is as involving as Solace. In a lot of ways, it succeeds at being a good game, but the way it clunks along won’t make too many fans.