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005 from Sega

The coin operated Sega game 005 first came on the scene many years ago, all the way back in 1981. The game is based on the James Bond film style scenario where you are controlling your own secret spy aptly named, ‘Agent 005’, on a secret mission to deliver a briefcase to its rightful location. Sega didn’t end up using the actual James Bond name so as to save the expenses that would be incurred in the licensing agreements. The game appeared as a stand up arcade game in the average sized wood grain panel cabinet. These were widely used generic housing for all Sega arcade games at the time and would have been used before for different games and then used after once more were made.

The missions that you are given for this game is collect and deliver a briefcase, containing valuable documents, to a helicopter waiting for you that you will have to fly in order to take you to safety. During this mission you will need to avoid the enemy agents that are cropping up all around the game armed with torches and all you are armed with are canisters of gas.

When it was released, the game ‘005’ was always described as ‘a game in four scenes’, which were namely, the Street Scene, Warehouse Scene, Skate Rink Scene, and the Aerial Fight Scene and it is of a maze/adventure genre. The game begins as you are dropped off by the helicopter in between a series of buildings so that you can go and pick up the important briefcase, you will then have to work your way through a maze of buildings to reach the helicopter again who will be waiting to pick you up. During the third scene you will navigate your helicopter through the air while avoiding many hazards in order to arrive safely. The final scene is a test to see if you can plot a course through a variety of buildings and dangers to take your helicopter through to the next level.

It is difficult to review the graphics and enjoyment factors of the game after what we have been exposed to since the 1980s. Computer games now are so advanced that we forget what they used to be like. Though, even being compared to other games of the same era, 005 was not one of the best regarding enjoyment factor or graphics. The game had a catchy theme, people were very interested in James Bond and spies in general at the time, though it seemed to lack a lot of explanation while playing. People found themselves wondering what exactly they were shooting at and often were unsure as to what their current mission actually was. Sound quality was not brilliant, even for the time. There was a lot more potential for the sounds and affects to be more inspired and captivating than they were. Some say that this game was rushed at the end in order to be released in time and so some corners were cut which could have been improved. The main thing that critics thought at the time was that Sega had tried to do too much and add to much detail without the right tools for the job.

People who played the game when it was released were all of the same opinion regarding difficulty. The first couple of levels where you helicoptered in and have to go around the building were fine. These levels were just described as ‘bizarre’ by most as you ended up ice skating through a building and then using a forklift! But most people appear to find it very difficult to get past the helicopter flying level as you suddenly get an onslaught attack of ‘balloon like’ bubbles coming at you from all directions. There was an average score of around 18,000 that seemed fairly easy to attain and then there is a massive gap between average and the highest ever score. The highest score ever recorded for this game was about 1,500,000 and no one has ever come close apart from that winner.

All in all, given what was available during the time and the interest in the subject, made 005 a game that provided people with a lot of intrigue and delight that was desired. 005 was one of the first stealth games released on the market and in its way it opened the doors for other games to come out, adapted and approved to increase graphical quality and game play function.

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