Monday 16 March 2009

The worst games I ever played: Number 2

I have been burdened with an unusually high penchant for vitriol this week, and as such thought I'd add to my gradual revelation of the worst and most shameful games to ever have graced my gaming presence. Hopefully this will give you a basic idea of the kind of games I like, or at least make it less surprising when a truly terrible game finally tips me over the edge and sends me on a homicide spree. Anyway, there'll be plenty of time to dwell on that in future instalments.
Now, traditionally, I would base my opinion of a game on the first time it was released, assuming that I'd played it that time round. However, in the case of this game, that is not a possibility, simply because due to this game being complete and utter toss, I have actually blocked all direct memory of this game. I do, however, remember WHY I got the game James Bond Jr. for the Super Nintendo.

Let's get this out of the way right now. I love James Bond. For every detractor who says it's an outdated series which is offensive to women, there's me saying "shut the fuck up, you fucking fuck." James Bond is MEANT to be outdated and borderline offensive to women, that's the whole point. Are you seriously telling me that you have to be offended by stuff like that if it's intentional? Fine, have it your way, I now object to everything starring Jason Statham.
Having said that, I already did, I find his films shit.
Anyway, back in 1967, James Bond Jr. appeared in an unsuccessful novel designed as a spin-off of the main series. Unsurprisingly the book tanked, and the concept of James Bond having any living relatives, while touched upon in the novel "You Only Live Twice", was never really explored again in any significant depth.
That is to say, they didn't until 1991, when American TV networks decided "You know what's cool? TV cartoons based on failed 1960s novels!" and decided to produce an animated series. You can only assume that if TV networks decided to do that more often, there'd be a series based on Tekwar...

Anyway, the TV series of James Bond Junior followed the adventures of Bond's nephew, also named James. With me so far? He's a student at pretentious Warfield Academy along with his friends Gordo Leiter and I.Q, both supposedly the grandchildren of their more famous 007 counterparts, and the headmaster's daughter. Have a guess what their relationship is. If you guessed "She often chastises his crazy schemes but secretly has romantic feelings for him", congratulations to you; you're smarter than a glass of water.

If you'd got the question wrong, this would be you.

The game, based on the cartoon series, promises to take you as James Bond Jr. through a series of 3 zones trying to stop the evil plans of S.C.U.M (I know, fucking imaginative no?) That's right, in case you glossed over that fact, I'll repeat: The game only technically had 3 levels. Technically, isn't the game based on the short story in that case? They've probably got more in common.

To give you an idea of the quality of the in-game graphics, here's a shot of the franchise's most notorious villain, Dr. Derange (which frankly sounds like a terrible 80s wrestler).

In all seriousness, what the fuck was I thinking giving this game the time of day? The nephew of fucking James Bond, the most famous spy of all time, and all they could think of as far as how his enemies would look is that Day-Glo freak? Bollocks. Bear in mind that the SNES was able to run Flashback, a superb graphical experience, as well as a game of considerable length. Compare Flashback to this game, where James Bond Junior's hair seems to be attached permanently to his head, and it seems to paint a different picture.

Never fear though, this is not the only aspect of James Bond Jr's gameplay. After all, a spy wouldn't be a spy without some sort of gadgetry at his disposal. In the case of this game, the gadgetry at his disposal comes in the form of vehicular motion. However, take a look at the screenshot of the vehicle levels, and see if anything becomes instantly familiar.

Looks an awful lot like almost every side-scrolling arcade game doesn't it? Funnily enough, I have a game on my iPod which is more fun than this. It's a not entirely dissimilar concept, you play the role of a cannon which fires at helicopters and parachutists as they try to destroy your cannon. It's more fun for one main reason: I expect shit graphics from an iPod, and as I previously stated, the SNES could run some decent looking games. In this case, it just chose not to.

1 comment:

  1. Never mind computer games based on failed `60s novels... it's about time we finally got the computer game adaptations of some highly successful '60s novels!
    I've been waiting for the PC versions of 'To Kill A Mockingbird', 'Catch 22', 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'Stig Of The Dump' for decades!