Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Retroulette #5: James Bond 007: The Duel

Today the Select-droid gives us James Bond 007: The Duel, for the Sega Game Gear.

Enough small talk, let's get to the point: This game is hard as balls.

But now you're getting ahead of yourself. Let's back up and start at the beginning.

The game starts with a photo that, based on the time of release, I guess is supposed to be Timothy Dalton. Though really the sloppy mess of pixels could be anybody. Or anything.

Is this one of those Magic Eye things? I'm seeing a ninja riding a skateboard.

The music kicks in and it takes me a few moments to realize they're trying to do the Bond theme using a series of screeching bleeps and bloops. It's actually the best part of this game though. Next is some credit screens and it's all the usual stuff.

That actually explains quite a bit.

You start the game, and it becomes immediately apparent how much this game wants you to quit it. Unless you have the reflexes of a cheetah or ESP, your first playthrough will probably look something like this:

You have to memorize the layout of all the enemies in this game or you are dead. They're attacking you before they're even on the screen. This game should have included a pack of Tarot cards. You've pretty much have to plan your moves a minute in advance and even then things will just pop out and kill you.

What the game boils down to, really.
The biggest problem is how long the animations take. Tell Bond to jump and he'll consider it a moment before he lazily leaps upward. Tell him to shoot and you're probably already dead before he's done mulling over his options. But the worst is when he gets hit. He stays on the ground so long I'm convinced he thinks all the enemies in this game are bears.

The levels are a mess to navigate and there's no story setup or goals or objectives given. There's briefcases scattered around the level, but as far as I can tell they don't do anything but raise your score. Why the fuck would you think I'd care about my score on a James Bond game for the Game Gear?

Also, at first I thought they'd spent all the music budget on the Bond theme because as soon as I started the game there was no music. It turns out on the main menu you have to pick whether you want sound effects or music, but you cannot have both. Screw this game.

After quite a bit of effort I made it to the second level. I didn't make it very far before I died and got a game over though.

But whoooo high score!


I imagine this is Bond as he's being shot at, just before he decides if he'll listen to your pleas to duck or fire back or do anything.