Sega, the war is over. You're not making consoles anymore. There's no reason to try and destabilise Nintendo's success by bending over and farting this wretched game in the Wii's general direction, hoping it will somehow trip the console up and drive disgusted Wii owners to the Dreamcast. It's not going to happen. There is absolutely no reason for The Golden Compass to be quite this bad. None. At all.
The Golden Compass opens with a wonky ice-world platforming section where you control a polar bear slapping badly animated wolves, switching to control of a girl who gets past guards by making you press left on the D-pad when they lower their head and charge you. You step out of the way and the guard keeps running until he hits a wall and a badly animated explosion of ice kicks in and insults your eyes. God, you think. This is bad. But The Golden Compass is just getting warmed up.
You're then thrown into adventure style gameplay where you have to 'deceive' people by playing small mini-games that involve pixellated red and green blobs. Sometimes you have to bounce the red blobs off the screen with the green, sometimes you have to dodge the red blobs with your single green blob, most of the time you're not entirely sure what to do so you mash on buttons until the screen shouts 'SUCCESS!' and you wonder how exactly that constitutes deceiving people. If you're reading that description and thinking that it doesn't sound like it makes sense, that's because it doesn't.
Then there's the collecting clues to find questions to ask the golden compass, in a mini-game that doesn't involve red or green blobs but is somehow even worse, the rooftop game of 'Cat And Hare', the stealth sections, the smashable crates, the cat fighting the monkey while you throw vases from the balcony... it's like a compilation of gaming's worst moments, wrapped up in a film license few will care about and presented by a strangely terrifying virtual Nicole Kidman, who looks like she's been cobbled together out of cereal boxes and coloured in with felt-tip.
We have a lot to be thankful to Sega for. Sonic The Hedgehog. Outrun. The Dreamcast. Yuji Naka. Shenmue. And now, The Golden Compass. Oh Sega. What have you done?