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flamecondor avatar 6:35 AM on 05.17.2009  (server time)
20 Game Boy games in 20 Days* Day 13

*days may or may not be concurrent.

Last time was about the Game Boy Color, today I'm gonna take a step back and look at the Game Boy Pocket. I got my Game Boy Pocket in 1997 I think. For some reason I didn't have my old Game Boy brick anymore, I think it was stolen by a friend of my brother or something. Anyway I really wanted to get another Game Boy as I was starting to miss it. However I did know that the Game Boy Color was coming out but no way I would tell my parents that when I wanted a new Game Boy now. So I got a Game Boy Pocket, a Silver one I think, or was it gold, meh one of the two. I gotta give Nintendo credit looking at the original Game Boy line, the Game Boy Pocket is just soo sleek and sexy looking, just like how the Game Boy micro for the Advance line. Anyway you can't just get a new system without getting any new games and that brings us to today's game.

So this game came out in 1997, same year as Golden Eye. To say it got overshadowed by its console counterpart would be a huge understatement. Its kind of bizarre when I think about it that Nintendo even had the rights to make James Bond games in the first place. I've always looked at Nintendo as this company that makes it own games based on it own properties, for them to be making a licensed game just seems odd. But at least they put the Bond franchise to good use. On one hand you have Goldeneye for the N64 which is one of the games that defined the system, a game that to this day many look back fondly off (as a side note I never owned Goldeneye played lots of it at a friends, but never bought it). And on the other hand you have James Bond 007 for the Game Boy, which while not as high profile as its console big brother, is still in its own right not a bad game.

The game is played as top down action adventure game drawing in many story elements from the 007 movies such as character cameos and so on. The game starts you off in China trying to steal some plans and take them back to London. You then have to go off and save fellow a 00 Agent in Kurdistan . After saving him he tells you to go to Marrakech to go get Oddjob for information and so on and so on and so on. Its all very straight forward and not that hard to figure out really. Each area looks distinct from the last, the graphics are detailed enough to convey where you are. The character spirtes while not overly detailed do have their own charm to them. Bond himself just looks soo smug the way he stands in the game, I swear he just walks around the whole game with his hands in his pockets. Don't ask me why but I think it looks smug. Soundwise its not the best the Game Boy can do, but I've heard a lot worse. Having said that any game with the James Bond theme in it automatically wins in the sound department.

Its not just a game of mindless wondering around the place killing guys, a big part of the game is finding various items so you can proceed such as you need to cross a bridge however the bridge is broken and the guy sitting on it won't fix it till you find his hammer. Go find his hammer give it to him and then you can move on. Its all very Zeldaish albeit a lot more linear. Also very Zeldaish is your inventory, press pause and you can select which item you wish to assign to either the A or B button, just like in Links Awakening. As you start the game your only form of attack is punching and you can defend yourself by blocking, as the game proceeds you get more weapons like pistols, machetes, missile launcher and so on. You also get more defensive items like a Shield which will block bullets and a Mirror to block lasers. Combat itself is very simple in most cases, the hand to hand stuff more or less goes along the line of you block, they hit, does nothing you hit them back repeat until well done. As soon as you get a gun though shoot till your hearts content. Its all basic and nothing to write home about.

I should also mention the Casino in the game which lets you play Black Jack, Red Dog, and Baccarat, so not only are you getting a reasonably decent little Action Adventure RPG but some nice little card games to pass the time. At the end of the day this is like a few of the other games I've done for this thing, this game will not set your world on fire. There are better games on the Game Boy, but there are also a lot worse. Nintendo did a good job bringing the Bond franchise to Handheld gaming, and from where I sit did more with the James Bond license in 2 games then any developer has done since. Honestly had I not been wanting to get a new game when I got my Game Boy Pocket, I would not of picked this up, but I'm glad I did, its nice to find little gems like this hidden a systems library. If you see it around for cheap I say pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

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