James Bond 007
By Scott Stilphen
James Bond 007 sends you on 3 different secret missions, based on 3 different movies - Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, and The Spy Who Loved Me. Parker Brothers pushed versions of this for the Atari 400/800, 5200, Apple II, Commodore 64, and Intellivision as well, and even include an extra mission (based on For Your Eyes Only).
Your vehicle controls much like the buggy in Moon Patrol in that you can move forwards or backwards across the ground, or jump up (and over objects). When in the water, you can also dive below the surface. The 3 missions are very similar to each other, and feature many of the same objects. In the first mission, you have to cross a desert and land on an oil rig. In the second mission, you have to destroy 3 satellites. In the third mission, you need to destroy an underwater base.
The game features some of the most frustrating gameplay mechanics ever devised. Why can I destroy submarines, rockets, and satellites, but not helicopters? Often you'll start the next mission immediately in harms way, or find yourself being attacked by 2 or 3 different objects at once. The graphics aren't much better, and that can be said for versions on other platforms. What am I driving? A car? A boat? A giant rat? The gameplay on versions for other consoles is much more forgiving, though sadly, all these 'missions' are basically the same game. If you somehow manage to complete all the missions before physically destroying the cart, you'll be given an agent rating - the highest being (surprise) "007".
Honestly, after that effort, you should be paid a visit by a Bond girl. According to On Time Software programmer Joe Gaucher, "Parker let us have free reign on what the design was going to be. It just had to have the James Bond 007 opening, correct music, and proper James Bond action. So, with that said....it was really our idea." Wonder why they chose to essentially make a poor-man's Moon Patrol/Scramble mashup? Perhaps it was due to the game being behind schedule to begin with, before OTS took over, but whatever the reason, this version should have self-destructed early in development, and why the previously-advertised Octopussy game was dropped in favor of this mess is a mystery even James Bond himself couldn't resolve. Oh, and James... my highest rating would have been an 'F' if not for the accurate theme song rendition.
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