MI6 reviews the Game Boy Advance version of "Everything
or Nothing" - the only new James Bond 007 adventure
EoN Game Boy Advance Review
3rd December 2003
Bond fans may have to wait until late February 2004 for the next-generation
console release of "Everything or Nothing", but hand-held
gamers can sample 007's latest adventure early on the Game Boy
Advance version - out now.
Squeezing the Hollywood cast, feature-length plot and
mammoth locations onto such a tiny and restricted platform
can not have been easy, and it shows. Although the game
blurb boasts a parallel plot to its' "bigger brother"
console version, in reality it is more of a "lite"
Shoe-horning the plot of the next-generation console version
of "Everything or Nothing" onto the GBA clearly
has its problems. Not only do we completely lose Shannon
Elizabeth's "Serena St. Germaine" character from
the plot (Mya takes over the Bond Girl role), but also huge
swathes of the plot are condensed into 3 lines of text from
M in between missions. Poor old 003 only gets a couple of
lines before he makes his exit, although going by the track
record of other 00 agents in the movie series, he should
probably count himself lucky.
Official Game Blurb
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
once again finds the world’s greatest secret
agent fighting to save the world from a diabolical
madman; former KGB agent Nikolai Diavolo. Armed
with metal-eating nanotech, Diavolo’s private
army will steamroll the forces of the free world,
unless Bond and CIA agent Mya Starling can stop
Diavolo’s forces in Egypt, Peru and New Orleans,
culminating in a deadly battle beneath Moscow’s
From cutting-edge gadgets to exotic
locations, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
will add a new level of drama and excitement to
the James Bond experience.
There are two main elements to EoN on the GBA:
Third Person Bond
The game starts promisingly with Bond escaping the Nanotech Facility
(as with the EoN demo for the next-generation consoles) with shots
of a cut-scene, plenty of dialog from M and Q, and a pumping music
track. The disappointment hits on mission two however, when you
discover mission one only took 45 seconds to complete, and there
is very little CG artwork or adrenaline pumping action from here
The later third-person perspective levels are mainly roamers,
where you follow a set path around a map shooting, punching or
strangling goons as you progress. The graphics of the locations
change, but the gameplay stays much the same.
"Driving" is perhaps a misnomer for this part
of EoN. "Sliding" would perhaps be more appropriate,
as there seem to be no real-world physics present at all. The
gameplay is similar to the classic "Spy Hunter" (which
Domark's "The Spy Who Loved Me" later `borrowed`) but
put on an isometric perspective rather than top-down vertical
scroller. Your cars (Vanquish, Porsche Cayenne) are exactly the
same functionally - only differing by the tiny static sprite.
Smoke screens, machine guns and rockets are standard equipment,
and reap havoc with the enemy cars with little effort. It is all
worth while though, as the highlight of the driving missions is
John Cleese screaming "Great driving 007!".
Above: Front and back box artwork.
|Is That All, 007?
Longevity is where EoN falls short, and by some distance.
With only eight missions (yes, 8!), and you should not really
count the first mission as it only takes one minute to complete,
there is very little to come back for. We play-tested the
game with ten volunteers - some regular gamers, some just
Bond fans - and everyone completed it in under 2 or 3 hours.
This is expensive entertainment for $29.99.
There are a number of reasons why the game will not have
you coming back for more after you run through the missions
with very few restarts. Firstly, the scoring system is based
entirely around "style points" (earned by stealth
take downs and completing objectives), so there are no bonuses
for completing levels quickly, accurately or healthy. These
elements, and having secret unlocks for cheats, is what
made "GoldenEye" the best Bond game ever - sadly
nobody since seems to have caught on.
Secondly, the two-tier objective system falls short. Initially
it looks promising, with "Primary" objectives
needed to complete the mission, and "Secondary"
objectives for bonus style points. Unfortunately the secondary
objectives are almost always the same (Stealth take downs,
find data discs, destroy so many items, etc), and no reward
is offered except style points. The only "unlock"
in EoN is a bonus game of BlackJack which has been tacked
onto the options menu once you earn 2,500 style points (out
of a maximum of 5,000). Do not get too excited though, the
only Bond element during the mini-game is the 007 theme
The highlights of the gameplay are the boss levels which are
excellently executed for the GBA. You get to fight Jaws twice
(once in a train yard and once in an underground HQ), a couple
of vehicles (including Nadanova's platinum tank), and of course
the villain in his HQ for the finale. There are no hints offered
as to how 007 can defeat Jaws or Diavolo who are immune to bullets
and punches, but stay tuned to MI6 later this week for a players
guide to EoN.
EoN is saved by its graphics. GBA games often suffer from a cartoony
graphical style due to the low resolution display, but credit to
Griptonite for making EoN look semi-realistic given the obvious
restrictions. Bond is modeled well, as are all of the human characters,
but the vehicles could have been better. The character artwork for
the dialog and mission briefing sequences are also well done - John
Cleese in particular. John Cleese steals the show with his passionate
one liners ("Oh really, 007!" when you punch a scientist).
The graphics are only let down by the representation of Judi Dench's
M who looks a little like a monkey sporting a moustache whilst sounding
worryingly like a female Yoda ("Help you I will, 007").
Regrettably Dame Judi Dench did not voice her own character due
to time constraints.
The music, cut down from Sean Callery's console score by Ian Stocker
for the GBA, has it's moments of Bondage and the tracks suit their
locations well. Some GBA games have sounded like cell phone ring
tones, but EoN sounds good - even with the volume ramped up to
maximum. The real musical treat is Mya's theme song for "Everything
or Nothing", which makes two appearances. The main menu contains
an instrumental version (recreated rather than sampled due to
the restrictions of a GBA cartridge), but the end credits have
some lines sung by Mya overlaid. The song is catchy and poppy,
much in the same vein as "Die Another Day" by Madonna,
but this song seems more commercially friendly. It got most of
us humming it the day after, which is a sure sign of a potential
MI6 Rating (10 Maximum)
James Bond Will Return
If you can remember the Super Nintendo from 10 years
ago, you can imagine what this game looks and plays like,
albeit on a 2.5" screen handheld. Yes, Bond is back,
but the overwhelming impression is that this `mini-me` has
tried too hard to compress a console game onto a handheld
- rather than focusing on what handhelds do well.
$29.99 might seem a little pricey for an 8-mission game,
but as a first course it certainly whets the appetite for
the next-gen version of "Everything or Nothing"
due out in February next year.
Time's up, 007
We didn't have time to mention: the nanobot swarms surrounding
some guards that "eat" bullets, having your health magically
restored between sub-levels, the abundance of medi-kits making
the game too easy, the Russian sub-villain called Antonov (did
nobody watch "Die Another Day"), the dull dialogue Bond
reels off to characters, and just how does Q manage to create
new gadgets so quickly between missions?
- MI6 GBA Price: £24.99
- MI6 GBA Price: $29.99
Game Data - Game