Playing all the video games - Part 000010

I am continuing with the rather futile task of playing all the video games.

I tried to play 007: The World is Not Enough for the N64 earlier today, but my controller pack (memory card) has become corrupt. So while I wait for a new one to arrive, I thought I'd take another crack at the appalling Gameboy Color version.

Game 000010: 007: The World is Not Enough (Gameboy Color)

007: The World is Not Enough begins as a difficult, but possible, top down shooter. It ended for me, after sinking five hours into the toughest stealth level (mission four of eight), that I have ever played. You can check out this guy on YouTube struggle through it, (it soon gets tedious), and he's playing with save states on an emulator!

007: The World is Not Enough (GBC)
007: The World is Not Enough (GBC)

The World is Not Enough is slightly unusual in as much as all three versions of the game had different developers. The N64 version seems to be considered similar, but superior, to the PlayStation game - whereas relatively little information about the Gameboy Color version, developed by 2n Productions, seems to be available on the internet. I do wonder if perhaps no reviewer managed to progress far enough with it to give it a thorough appraisal, (have I mentioned that this game is virtually impossible yet?) Although I also observe that this was released on 11 September 2001, so an alternative hypothesis is that the world was too distracted by the tragic events of that day to pay this game any attention.

The level design is rather... shocking.
The level design is rather... shocking.

Each of the four levels I played essentially were essentially of the same format. Navigate around some sort of maze, (in one case literally a hedge maze), while trying too much damage. If you're health bar fully depletes you lose, and you must start again from the beginning. The world is full of identical villains who despite being cosmetically indistinguishable from each other seem to fall into one of three AI types which determine under what circumstances they will detect and chase you. Not being able to predict how each enemy will react until you have been detected makes this a frustrating game of trial and error... if they'd just made the minor adjustment of giving the AI types different coloured suits then this may have added an interesting puzzle element - as it is, it is just a dull memory exercise for when you inevitably get caught of guard, take too much damage and have to restart the level with a little bit more hindsight.

These guys are everywhere!
These guys are everywhere!

The guns in this game require you to continually shoot and move in order to avoid taking return fire - fine - but each time you punch a guy he is temporarily stunned allowing you to punch him again. Unarmed combat soon becomes the unsatisfying method of choice, as on average this approach means you take much less damage. If the levels were say split into two, then you'd probably have more fun sticking with the guns - but the missions are so long and bland, that there really is a huge disincentive to having to restart them.

Although this game did suffer from the same issue as the top down shooter for the Gameboy Advance, 007: Everything or Nothing, that the screen was just slightly too zoomed in to get a sense of where you were - to this games credit, at least the enemies don't spot you until they are one the same screen - giving you slightly more of a fighting chance. There bright green uniforms also mean that they were easier to tell apart from the background than some of the games I've played so far!

However it is in the fourth level, a forced stealth mission, where my growing frustrations eventually caused me to quit. Numerous lazer traps requiring pixel perfection precision for a control scheme that didn't offer it was too much for me, and my Gameboy Color was once more returned to my shelf of retired portable game consoles.

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A cautionary tale... if you ever go on holiday to a city where there is a possibility that you'll be stranded indoors due to major flooding - take more than just this game with you.

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