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James Bond 007 (Atari 5200)

James Bond 007 Atari 5200 Title screen

MISSING COVER

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Brian Pendell (18)
Written on  :  Feb 19, 2004
Platform  :  Atari 5200

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Summary

Not bad, but more Moon Patrol than Moonraker.

The Good

An innovative concept -- take a combination car/plane/submarine through four different episodes representing four different bond movies, each with its own enemies and tasks that need completing. The game mechanic itself isn't bad either, giving it replay value as the later levels remain challenging even after practice.

The Bad

Unfortunately, much of the challenge comes from making some half of your enemies invulnerable. A helicopter dropping bombs on you? It's invulnerable! A supertanker in the way? Invulnerable! An aircraft taking a passing shot as it goes over? Invulnerable! There is a section of the game which consists of letting the same vehicle pass over you again and again, taking potshots at you while you can do nothing but dodge. Being the pigeon in a shooting gallery may be fun for some but didn't do it for me.

But my biggest complaint is that -- although it's a passable side-scroller -- it simply isn't Bond. There's nothing in the gameplay itself to make you feel like Bond. Your "airplane"-car simply means that it can jump. The "Submarine" component means that it can dive down in water using the exact same parabola as the "airplane" jump. The "Las Vegas" sequence turns out to be driving over flat, near-featureless desert as barren as the moon. The glitz, the glamour, the dash and excitement that made Bond one of the phenomena of western moviedom is simply missing.

The Bottom Line

An average action game that plays much like Moon Patrol, but without moon patrol's pretty mountain and city backgrounds. Better espionage games of the same era would include Elevator Action and Spy Hunter.