Feels like Bond
Clumsy cover system
Most attention focused on James Bond’s Nintendo adventures these days revolves around GoldenEye 007, but there’s more than one Bond adventure currently available on a Nintendo system. Developed by n-Space, notable for developing the GameCube first-person game Geist, the DS edition of 007 Blood Stone features Britain’s top secret agent in an all-new, all-original adventure (the developer also handled the DS version of Goldeneye 007).
Blood Stone is not the same game as Goldeneye 007 by any stretch of the imagination. While both games feature the voice work of real-life Bond stars Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench, Blood Stone is not only a completely new story but also a different style of game. Unlike the first-person scheme used in the former title, Blood Stone shows Bond from a third-person, over-the-shoulder point of view, similar to Resident Evil 4.
Taking cover is a big part of gameplay during the shooting segments of play, and the first level serves as a tutorial for this mode, where Bond can peer out of cover to fire and snap back into place. A stealth mechanic is also employed in some portions of play, where Bond must sneak around or disable enemies and security cameras without getting spotted. Cameras and guards are shown on the lower screen via a map, similar to the radar mechanic in the first two Metal Gear Solid games. This radar is also present in shooting stages, albeit less vital for success. There’s no real penalty for being seen, although a number of additional guards will arrive to be dispatched upon getting caught.
In addition, there are also other modes which come into play, such as escaping on a speed boat in the first stage, or playing against an informant in a high-stakes poker game. These break up the more standard levels and also serve to more clearly tie the game to the James Bond universe.
With its plot and presentation, the game definitely feels like an unreleased Bond movie. All the expected plot elements show up, from the femme fatale to the casino to Bond gadgets — although of course Craig’s Bond has far fewer gadgets than, say, Roger Moore’s. As stated above, it features voice acting from the actual actors, and a score that’s better than well-orchestrated.
The game is not without its flaws, however. The touch-screen aiming is sometimes a bit too sensitive, and it seems as if the targeting reticule is a bit small for precise aiming, especially against human targets. It’s often easier to run up and melee a foe than to shoot from a distance. The cover mechanic is vital at times, which makes it somewhat inexplicable that it tends to be quite hard to use. Often the system will not realize Bond is a position to take cover if he is as much as a virtual inch off the mark.
With so much effort going into presentation, it seems like more could have been spent on tweaking the game mechanics. Since there wasn’t a tie-in movie, there shouldn’t have been a big rush to deadline. Blood Stone definitely feels like a James Bond game, but it needs a bit more polish to feel like a good James Bond game.
Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.