Review by KFHEWUI

"James Bond 007 is a decent game with a few problems"

The story goes that 008 has been sent to Turkey to break up a smuggling ring however communication with 008 has stopped. So 007 is sent in to find 008 and break up the smuggling ring, and the journey will take him all over the world from China, London, Sahara Desert, Tibet, and Russia where he will run into several villains from the movies including Odd Job and Jaws.

The controls are simple and easy to pick up, but they are not flawless. Certain parts of the game involve block then attacking, and the controls will sometimes not respond. The other flaw is the start and select buttons and pressing Start brings up the save menu while pressing Select brings up the item menu. These two buttons should have had their functions swapped and several times I kept on hitting start and bringing up the save screen when I really wanted my item screen.

The background graphics look great while the characters are simplistic and do not have a lot of detail.The levels are on the other hand look great, and each level has their own distinct look. Only the Sahara Desert looks bland with lack of details save for a random palm tree.

One of James Bond 007's strong point is the music and each level has a different song that sound great and the final level song is an excellent rendition of the James Bond theme song.

James Bond 007 levels are maze like and they start out short but get much larger as you progress. In each level, the player must complete several objects and while most are obvious other objectives are not so obvious and sadly there is no way to check what your current objective is. The problem with this is the checkpoint system. In certain levels if you complete your objective then die, you start back at the checkpoint with the objective still completed however the game does not tell the player if the objective is completed or not which means either backtracking to see if the objective is still completed or heading forward to the next objective.

Along the way James will engage in combat and the melee combat is not bad, but the weapons in this game are flawed. The bazooka and grenades are very powerful and kill with only one hit except on bosses however the machine gun and pistol are about as effective as a pea shooter. They are weak and very slow. Also you get a machete as a melee weapon that is great for hitting enemies that are around the corner, but it takes too many hits to kill the enemies. Luckily you can block melee attacks and later on you obtain a shield and mirror that block bullets (except for bazookas and grenades) and lasers. Some times when an enemy is defeated it will drop a box which will randomly be either health, ammo, or booby trap, but the problem is that the only way to find out what the item is, is by picking it up. If you are running low on health and the item is a booby trap well chances are James will die.

The hit detection on the other hand is questionable. Several times I found myself standing around a corner from an enemy, and he would start shooting at me. His bullets would go by, and I would take damage even though the bullets did not always hit me. Another example would be the warehouse in one of the later levels where you have to go through a room with tanks. If there is an enemy with a bazooka on the other side of a tank, and he shoots at the tank. James will take damage if he is too close to the tank even though the bazooka does not go through the tank you still take damage even though you were not hit.

The save system allows the player to save at any time and it starts you off at the last checkpoint which can be a bad thing on certain levels. The final level is a perfect example. Whenever you die you start back at the beginning of the level and if the game is saved, the game will save your items which mean if the player used up a lot of healing items then save well it can put them in trouble.

James Bond 007 starts out as an easy game and it gets progressively harder and the final few levels are unforgiving especially the final level where the player has to go through a lot of halls with lasers and bullets. Now while the bullets and lasers can be blocked, getting past them is another story and usually results in taking unavoidable damage especially one part where the lasers are shooting out like grease lightning.

The replay value for this game is not that high and the only purpose for replaying it is so you can see the extended ending.

James Bond 007 is a decent game however it is marred by questionable hit detection, weak weapons, brutal difficulty in later levels, and a lack of direction.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/13/12, Updated 04/29/13

Game Release: James Bond 007 (US, 02/09/98)

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