James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Game Boy Advance) - Review by Andrew



Bond has had something of a turbulent relationship with the Gameboy. Nothing, from The World is Not Enough on the GBC to Nightfire on the GBA, has done much to truly capture the excitement of the franchise. Everything or Nothing is a movie project that's had the developers and film companies working much closer together and which has resulted in the original actors not only lending their likenesses to the game but their voices too. The difference here though is that this game isn't actually based on a Bond movie, making it a kind of 007 installment that doesn't actually exist, except electronically of course. This new direction sees the games industry officially taking over the big movie studios in terms of entertainment stature. Financially anyway. The question is how will this affect your gaming pleasure. Read on and see...


Like most other games of this nature Everything or Nothing is split into several missions in a variety of locations across the globe. What's interesting about this title though is the open-ended nature in which the tasks can be completed which in turn affects your overall style rating, which we'll talk about later. Each section starts off with a briefing from M describing both primary and secondary objectives and while the latter are not essential they?re always a challenge. The objectives themselves range from using stealth to attack guards to stealing data disks. It's this use of stealth which makes this latest Bond outing that much more interesting as, while shooting henchmen will always be enjoyable, sneaking up behind them and 'taking them out' is much more satisfying. Completing each mission will give you a style rating that initially appears purely cosmetic but which does open up a locked Blackjack game once you achieve the required number of points.

Apart from your 'on-foot' missions you'll also get the chance to drive the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, which I'm sure every Bond fan has dreamt of, especially when you consider that it's also loaded with weapons and gadgets. Like the rest of the game this is played out in an isometric environment and generally involves you taking out the lead vehicle. The problem here is that you're not only being pursued by a handful of henchmen?s cars but you only have a limited number of missiles which are essential to complete the mission. These occasionally appear on the road as bonus items but unfortunately not always as often as you?d like. Finally the save feature, as expected with a title with such high production values, involves each level being automatically recorded to cart on completion or at one of the many save points. This works perfectly with each mission, or portion of, being just long enough to be challenging without becoming too drawn out and frustrating.


For a title involving an isometric environment Everything or Nothing is remarkably easy to control. This is even more remarkable when you realize just how many gadgets you have at your disposal though rather than having to root through your inventory to activate them, the developers have wisely made many automatic allowing you to concentrate on the various henchmen who are using you for target practice. The driving sections are also a joy to control with almost all the weapons being automatic although you do tend to run out of ammunition very quickly and other vehicles seem to bounce off you rather than hinder your speed in any way.


Visually the whole game is well above average with some varied and detailed locations helping to create the right atmosphere. These appear suitably organic or manmade depending on exactly where you are with some spot animations bringing the whole thing to life. More impressive are the explosions that occasionally engulf the whole screen, thankfully with no noticeable slow down in the gameplay. It is linked with some static cut screens from the console versions that help to push along the action nicely. If there's anything we could criticize it has to be the rather camp fashion that Bond first appears in that most famous of images. Does anyone actually walk like that?


It's refreshing to see a developer actually utilizing the GBA's strengths rather than tying to pack the cart with low quality samples or rather badly composed original content. I only mention this because the audio here is excellent with the gameplay accompanied by some choice and well selected samples that add greatly to the atmosphere. In addition there's also some speech by original cast members most notably Judi Dench as M. If that?s not enough the game also has an original tune based on the title performed by Mya. It goes without saying that a lot of this has to do with the fact that this was always going to be a high profile project but the GBA's ability to 'borrow' the best aspects of its bigger console brother certainly pays dividends on this occasion.

Final comments

From the classic Bond opener to the Mya recorded theme song it's clear that you're in a 007 game and what's more the developers have been reasonably successful of capturing the essence of the movies. The various levels are well paced and the introduction of realistic stealth sections really separates this from other similar titles. It does have some minor problems though. In addition to Jaws being a little too easy to defeat, the odd level can be run through ignoring your objectives. This doesn't really harm the overall enjoyment though as some of the later levels contain enough new ideas to let pretty much any coding error go. Then after you've completed the main game there's still much more enjoyment to be had with the four player game and the 'hidden' blackjack game although you'll have to prove your 'secret agent' style before it becomes available. It's certainly been a long time getting here but Everything or Nothing is a handheld Bond game that we can highly recommend. Get it now.

Pro: Great Soundtrack
Con: A Little Too Easy
Final score: 8.1


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Boxart of James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Game Boy Advance)
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Developer: Griptonite Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts