James Bond 007: NightFire Review

Developer: Griptonite Games Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 24, 2003 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

Rejoice handheld gamers! James Bond makes his first appearance on a handheld, that I know of, here in the form of Nightfire. By the way, let’s just forget that The World is Not Enough for the Game Boy Color ever existed. Nightfire for the Game Boy Advance is a FPS, just as its console brethren are.

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The levels in this game include the Austrian Castle, Mayhew’s Estate, Phoenix Tower, Power Station, Island Caves, Island Base, and the Space Station. There are a total of 9 different missions, including two missions using previously-mentioned levels, twice. So, the bases are pretty much covered when it comes down to what levels from the console version made the cut.

I guess the most impressive thing about Nightfire is that it recreates its console brother very well. Well, I’m speaking about the level design, because the controls, difficulty, and objectives are all either made more simple or difficult. The biggest problem, that we didn’t have on the console versions, that’s a problem on the GBA is that the frame rate doesn’t hold steady at times.

Being that the GBA has limited control capabilities, you’ll find yourself using multiple buttons to do some of the most simple things. For instance, to swap a weapon, you must first press B, then L or R to toggle between both weapons and gadgets. Your weapon doesn’t automatically change when you run out of ammo, so that means, even when in a gun-fight, you’ll find yourself toggling between weapons. Add to that, that if you die, you have to restart the level, and you’ll see why I entered a cheat code to play all of the levels.

Here’s a rundown of the control setup. As I said, it’s unfortunately a must to do what EA did when putting the controls together, since GBA just doesn’t have many buttons. Strafe with L and R, fire with A, press B and down to crouch, press B and up to jump, press select to reload ammo for weapons, etc.

Gadgets include your grapple, among other things. Press both L and R to aim your grapple. The grapple can be used when you see a green “grapple point�. Your sniper rifle works the same way as the grapple for aiming. Simply hold L and R, move your scope, then fire like a normal gun.

One thing that Nightfire seems to do moderately well is depict the environments from the original game. You won’t find extravagant beauty, nor will you find a large variety of textures, but the game does represent the Nightfire level design, along with look and feel, quite loyally. The same can be said for the sound, which takes small sound bytes out of the Nightfire console version.

There are so few FPS on the GBA, I don’t know how I could refuse to give this game a spin. Even with a crowded field on the consoles, Nightfire is still one of my favorite FPS of the current generation. Yet, the GBA version lags behind other shooters in the fun department, mainly due to the difficulty and control issues. If you can look past the shortcomings, Nightfire should whet your appetite until GoldenEye is released on the Nintendo DS.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 4.5
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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