Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Mar 19, 2012
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars
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Shaken, Not Stirred

The Good

This is the first (and only) James Bond game for the Sega Genesis and the Domark managed to create several platforming levels that take 007 to familiar locations. The animation sequences for Bond himself are pretty well done.

The Bad

The story line is almost non-existent, which is pretty hard to swallow for a James Bond game. Basically, a mad man named Blofelt has cloned some classic Bond villains, planted some bombs in various locations and kidnapped an assortment of women, who all look identical (maybe they are also clones?)

Basically you wander around each level, finding bombs and saving generic looking women. The henchmen are all pretty generic, and instead of traditional bosses, the classic Bond villains simply appear through the levels.

The small character design and backgrounds are decent enough, but nothing fancy. Sometimes it is difficult to determine what is an actual platform, that you can walk on and what is simply part of the (often oddly bright) background.

The music and sound effects are easily to forget. Again, not something you would expect in a video game based on the 007 franchise.

Perhaps the biggest flaw in the game is its basic mechanics, which border on buggy. Your are armed only with a gun, with limited ammo and thus have to collect ammo icons scattered through each level.

The gun lets you shot diagonally, but does not let you fire up and down, making some enemies nearly impossible to hit, without taking damage.

Bond is able to jump very high, almost like a super hero, but will die if he falls down more then a screen and does not seem to be a terribly good swimmer either.

James Bond can crouch, which is helpful, but not able to move or change direction when in the crouch position. Sometimes defeated enemies come back when you leave the screen, sometimes they stay dead. The classic bond villains are very easy to defeat and almost feel like recycled cameos, rather then bosses.

The controls are awkward and even you do manage to get a handle on 007, the game play itself is rather tedious. You spend quite a bit of time jumping around, climbing ladders, locating the required number of bombs and women. James Bond is simply not very exciting or fun to play.

Where are the cool Bond gadgets and toys? Where is the action packed stealth and espionage? Where is the cool story line and larger-then-life villains?

The Bottom Line

James Bond 007: The Duel feels like a substandard platformer that was given the franchise almost as an after thought. The programers either did not care about the final product or were not given the resources to treat Mr. Bond properly. If you really want to see what James Bond could have been on the Sega Genesis, then check out the Rolling Thunder series.