007 - Everything or Nothing Review by: EirinnMore British guys with guns
Bond, James Bond.
Okay, I had to get that out of my system before I could actually review this game.
So I have to admit first off, that I went into this game with a highly skeptical attitude. My thought going into this was "Okay, recipe for disaster here. First we have a Handheld port of what started out as a Console series. Almost always a fail. Then we have James Bond, and guns. They've given us this same mix time and time again. Can this time be any different than the last ten? Probably not.". Was I right? That's what this review sets out to discover.
In this one, you set out to (again) single handedly disable an entire army of men that are armed with advanced weaponry and gadgets, but you are not without your fancy gadgets, of course. I mean, what would James Bond be without plenty of high tech gadgets to play with, and ultimately destroy?
The controls are simple, and you'll easily master them after a single stage. Besides the obvious controls, the A button (NOT the A key on your keyboard) fires your gun, while the B button punches, kicks, and when close enough (and behind the bad guy), silently kills your enemies (presumably by snapping their neck), tapping the R button crouches, which can afford you some cover during a gunfight, while holding the R button will bring up a sighting mechanism that can also help you scout the area around you, tapping the L button will use whatever item you have equipped, and s
elect will cycle between items in your inventory. Simple to master, really.
So now that we've covered the basics, let's get down to seeing what this game has to offer.
The graphics here aren't terrible, but they aren't good for a GBA game, and in all honesty, Everything and Nothing barely eeks by with a five in this department.
The sprites look good in design, and I can really commend the developers for that. Unfortunately, the sprites --characters and objects alike, are blurry. It really takes away from how much you can enjoy a game, when the graphics make it feel like you're wearing glasses covered with smudges. The saving grace of the sprites is the way they animate: decently. The cut-scenes setimes make it look like Bond has had one too many Martinis when he runs, but in-game motions are alright.
The effects are okay, and are what pulled the graphics rating up from a four to a five. While the gunfire isn't anything to write home about, the explosions are pretty decent. My personal favorite being the Frag Grenade explosion, that starts relatively small, and eventually whites out the entire screen. A small touch, but unique enough to set it apart somewhat.
The sound is impressive at points, and disappointing at others, with little to no in-between.
The title screen music is great, and really enjoyable, unfortunately, after you start the game, you'll be switching to a new set of tracks, that are considerably less enjoyable, like a boy band album: it almost sounds promising at first, then the music really begins, and it's all downhill from there (just kidding about the boy band thing). The in-game music sounds generic, and repetitive. It's unfortunate, because this game's audio shows a lot of potential, it just fails to deliver. The end credits track tries to pick up the slack, by adding quality music and even lyrics, but sadly this is a little too late, as the bland in game music for several levels, has already taken it's toll on your poor unfortunate ears. Okay, so it really isn't that bad, it just isn't good.
The sound effects: now these I enjoyed quiet a bit. The explosions were really nice, and the gunshots were decent enough. What I really liked was the sound effects when you stealthily eliminate an enemy, and hear them make a stifled gagging sound and die (how morbid of me, I know). It just sounds so realistic. I also loved the sound that plays as you are awarded style points for the stealth kills, it's your classic Video Game sound, but it feels fresh. I have nothing but good things to say about the sound effects, including the good (if few) voice overs for a Handheld of this time.
-A few good tracks, that make you actually regret having ears a little less than the in-game music does.
-Great sound effects, that make it more than worth keeping the volume up.
You know the drill: Some bad guy gets his/her hands on some new technology and tries to use it to take over the world. James Bond swoops in with flashy gadgets and guns, and tries to stop him/her, women are treated as objects, and spoken to with some suggestive "humor", then there's a final fight, a cut scene with more women, and the credits roll. Nothing changed here, but I did appreciate that there was a small twist or two in the story, and those small twists are what kept me from rating it lower. I don't believe a game should necessarily be rated poorly for having an unoriginal story, but this story wasn't impressive in the first Bond game, and it still doesn't wow us today.
-A few minor plot twists...sort of.
This rating may be a bit generous, but I've been hard on the game up to this point (especially the story. Didn't know I could be that cynical, did you?), so it deserves the break.
There are two modes: Single Player and Multiplayer, and anyone that knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a multiplayer mode in any game. There are also three difficulties to play on, as well as an unlockable mini-game: BlackJack, which also sports some nice music to play to.
To top off the depth, there are items that can be bought with style points that you earn by completing Primary and Secondary objectives, as well as earning stealth kills. It was a nice thing to see a 007 game encouraging stealth and strategy, rather than just throwing a gun in your hands, and telling you to shoot (almost) everything that breathes. In this aspect, the developers actually managed to impress this skeptic, with a welcome change to the typical Bond game style. It shows potential to improve the many more games that will inevitably follow it.
-Unlockables! What gamer doesn't love unlockables?
-Stealth and Strategic gameplay.
-Did I mention Unlockables?
While I can say that I played the game almost nonstop, that was mostly for the sake of finishing it and moving on to a better game. Still, it wasn't bad, and I did finish it without losing concentration. Unfortunately, there isn't any reason to come back and replay it, at least, not for me.
-Keeps your attention through the first play. Does that count as a highlight?
There really isn't much of a challenge to be had in Everything and Nothing, but it does have it's moments that can challenge you somewhat. The "boss fights" can prove challenging until you learn how to hurt them. Other than that, the rest of it shouldn't be any trouble.
Despite how I may have sounded during certain portions of this review, Everything and Nothing isn't a bad game, but it's far from being great. Average sums it up pretty well, really, and while I won't be playing it again, I don't regret playing it the first (and last) time. It's just one of those games you play through, and say "Meh, that was alright. Now what do I play next?", shelf it, and forget it's there.
To sum things up, I can't recommend this to anyone, except maybe the biggest of James Bond video game fans, nor can I discourage it. It's one of those games that just leaves you asking "did I enjoy that, or not? I don't really know.". All I can really say is, read the review, and decide what you think from there, I guess. Also, it would be worth noting that the version we have on Vizzed is in Chinese, so...yeah, that could prove a challenge for you. Chinese food: good. Chinese text in a game in America: Not so much. Maybe we should raise the difficulty to a nine? In any case, it's a playble game, that I can't really praise or criticize...too much.