Saturday 6 April 2024

James Pond: Underwater Agent (Sega Mega Drive / Genesis review)

Developer: Millennium Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: 1991

James Pond: Underwater Agent is an action game that was also released on the Amiga, Archimedes and Atari ST.

+ Gameplay can be rewarding for high score chasers, as there's tons of bonus items and secret rooms to uncover.

+ Survival element is similar to Ecco the Dolphin (1992, Sega Genesis), as you can't stay out of the water for too long.

+ Allows you to visit your home to store or equip power-ups, which gives you a tactical advantage on tougher stages.

- Mission objectives are unbelievably repetitive and usually amount to simple fetch quests with tedious backtracking.

- Level design is average, with confusing layouts and near-identical areas that look similar to previously traipsed screens.

- Controls are oversensitive, which results in many cheap hits while attempting to avoid enemies and hazards.

- Enemies often lie in wait once you enter a screen, and there's no invincibility grace period once you've taken damage.

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