Back in late 1997, N64 owners were playing GoldenEye 007. Rare’s smash hit proved that first person shooters could work on a console, even on one that had a goofy 3-pronged controller. Even though it was released well after the launch of the film, it wound up being one of the best-selling games on the system and created an uncountable number of memories playing multiplayer late into the night for teens and college dorm dwellers alike.
What fans might not realize is there was a Gameboy 007 game released about a half a year after GoldenEye (it was actually released in early 1998 although the copyright on the title screen says 1997). This Saffire developed handheld title was easily overshadowed by the success of Rare’s console release and was a late original GB game. Strangely enough, Nintendo actually published this game and it eventually became a Player’s Choice title as the Gameboy Color started to make it ways onto store shelves later that year.
So what is the big deal about a forgotten Gameboy game starring everyone favorite spy with a license to kill? Well, James Bond 007 is a pretty good game and is basically a level-based version of Link’s Awakening if it needed to be summed up quickly.
Personally, I received this game as a Christmas gift later that year as I was all about James Bond games thanks to the countless hours I spent playing GoldenEye. I remember playing it on my Super Gameboy and beating it that same Christmas weekend. It isn’t a super long game but I remember enjoying my time with it.
It has been over 20 years since I last played James Bond 007 and I thought why not replay it and see if my pleasant memories hold up. For the most part, they do as this game still holds up. However, replaying it with more experience eyes it is easy to see some faults: entire rooms repeat and it is very easy to get lost in the long maze levels, fighting through a throng of guards can be pretty brutal without a stockpile of health packs, clicking on non-highlighted parts of the environment to find objects is random at best, and collision detection can be rather shoddy.
One thing I didn’t recall from my initial 1998 playthrough was the level of humor in this handheld game. One hulking boss gives up and cries mercy after a single hit because he is a scaredy cat, there is an NPC literally peeling potatoes in a middle of a warzone explaining that he doesn’t really like potatoes but continues to peel them anyway, and Bond has some witty Bond-like remarks especially when taking to female characters. You can even play any of the three casino games right from the main menu by starting a new game with a specific name.
If you are interested in this forgotten James Bond title, my videos are embedded below broken down stage. Be warned, there are moments of frustration as I die several times and have to restart, but that is what fast forwarding is for.
Also, if you are interested in learning about some additional sleeper hit original Gameboy titles, check out my other video HERE.
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 1&2:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 3:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 4:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 5:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 6:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 7:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 8:
James Bond 007 (GB) Stage 9: