James Pond (Second Review)


Title		James Pond (Second Review)
Game Type	Platform
Players		1
Compatibility	All
Submission	Dino Dini (Celebrity Reviewer)

Review
OK so when asked to do this I thought back "what was the Amiga Game I
loved the most?".  Sometimes memories of such things are tempered by what
was happening in your life at the time.  I had completed Kickoff 2; I had
moved in with my future wife; various bits of mayhem that I don't want to
get into occurred. In the midst of turmoil, there was a game that kept my
hopes for games alive; that rekindled that appreciation of great game
design; that caused my eyes to sparkle with admiration.  Yes.  James Pond.

Pam (my wife) and I brought it home, and with trepidation (I always hate
looking at new games because so often I feel disappointed) we loaded it
up. The first level started and James Pond came out; the little fairy
danced back and forward in time to the music with a well crafted dance;
subverted James Bond music played;  the screen graphics were well designed
and allowed you to see everything clearly; little bubbles rose through the
water.  I exclaimed "This is a great game!". We had only played it for
about 5 seconds.

Sometimes you just know quality when you see it.  The main characteristics
are attention to detail and a coherence.  The name, the music, the fact
that being water based meant that there was a rational reason to be
"flying" (which makes for more fun).  The game stuck to its theme, and was
true to itself.

The gameplay itself was great fun.  There were a number of ways of doing
things if you explored the levels.  Some of the pleasure came from not
just completing the levels, but trying to complete them perfectly.  The
sound effects were extremely good, and the game had a good difficulty
curve.  One characteristic of a great game is when you still enjoy doing
the first level after you know it like the back of your hand.

The only criticism I can make is that a few levels in, it became less fun.
The levels were harder, which is OK, but they also lost their direction.
Thus I am sad to say, I never completed the game, despite playing it for
many long hours, because the magic died a little.

Nevertheless, James Pond remains an inspirational game I remember with
great fondness.



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