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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
James Bond games have been a roller coaster. Some games such as 2012’s 007 Legends have been a disaster while others such as the N64 Goldeneye are highlights of gaming history plus everything in between. Today, let’s talk about one of the lesser known 007 games and the first ever to not be directly based on a movie or novel. Today’s game is James Bond 007: The Duel, developed by, and I’m not making this up here, The Kremlin and released for the Sega Master System, Genesis and Game Gear in 1993.
The Duel is a side scrolling shooter made primarily for the 16-bit Genesis. Each level has Bond entering a non-linear area where he must find and rescue a number of hostages. Once the hostages are saved, he must plant a bomb and escape the map before it blows. Along the way, there are a number of enemies and small platforming challenges that must be overcome. Most of the game, however, is navigating the maps and finding your targets.
While it wasn’t based on a movie, The Duel does use the likeness of Timothy Dalton and is actually the last official appearance of Dalton as Bond until 007 Legends on the Wii. There is little in the way of plot to The Duel although the manual and the back of the box tell the story of a crazy professor who has cloned some of 007’s greatest villains and is holding hostages to try and defeat the MI6 agent. It’s Bond’s mission to rescue the hostages and defeat the professor’s evil plan.
James Bond 007: The Duel was not well received by fans. Although critics felt it was middle of the road, fans trashed the game, often calling out the bad artwork and awkward animations. It was frequently compared to Rolling Thunder or Alien 3 which featured nearly identical gameplay. These days, The Duel is an interesting look back on where games, particularly licensed properties, used to be but in terms of a fun James Bond game, this one just isn’t it.
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