Retro Review: James Pond 2-Codename RoboCod
Written by Lewis Terry
James Pond 2 takes place straight after it's predecessor, James Pond. The game is a typical 90's platform romp, in which you play a fish that, you guessed it, is a parody of James Bond. The villain from the first game Dr. Maybe, survives and not content on spoiling water any more, travels to Santa's Grotto and holds all of his workers hostage.
Many of Santa's helpers have fallen prey to Dr. Maybe's wicked experimentation and are now his evil minions. It is up to James Pond to free all of the hostages, get the toys back and most importantly save Santa.
Due to the greater risks involved with this case, James Pond has been given a robotic suit as well as the title of, "RoboCod" (As if the first pun was not bad enough) This suit then allows James Pond to stretch his midsection to reach new heights. This ability allows James Pond to move around the map in all directions, much like Ladd Spencer's Bionic arm in Bionic Commando.
The game was originally released in 1991 on the Amiga, DOS and Sega Megadrive, the game was later released on numerous platforms, most recently the Nintendo DS and Playstation Network. All of these ports retained the orginal game play and graphics.
Unlike most games of today, James Pond 2 was rather long, allowing players to traverse through fifty levels. Each section of the game boated new art for the backgrounds, enemies and a unique boss. There are items to collect and secrets to uncover along the way making the games experience very long indeed.
The most charming part about James Pond 2 and the biggest draw had to be the artwork. The graphics within the game were not only cute but very well detailed and animated, each little creature having its own personality and some of the giant bosses looking brilliant.
James Pond offers very little to the platforming gaming genre apart from his gimmicky ability to stretch upwards and grab things above him. Much like the classic Mario games, each level is about stomping on heads, amassing points and getting to the exit in one piece. Each level is fairly vast an expansive allowing often for some exploration and some fairly annoying puzzles from time to time.
Overall, James Pond 2 is an visually athletic and vast platformer that does prove to be a challenge. The game is well designed but does, like all standard platformers get very tired and boring after a time.