You guys remember James Pond?

Were those games any good? They looked pretty awesome in gaming mags back in the day.

Worth looking for?

I liked how they looked but imho they didn’t bring anything memorable to the table.

Heh, I remember how good the games looked in magazine ads too!

But it always reminded me of PC and Amiga based platformers like Zool, completely lacking the refined gameplay and tight level design of the Japanese platformers that were coming out at the time. I think you can give the series a pass and not miss out on anything.

1 Like

I remember seeing it in Sears and asking my mom to buy it for me. She probably did me a favor by not doing so.


Wow, the last time I remember hearing about James Pond was reading an old issue of Advance magazine, which covered an upcoming Game Boy Advance version. Seem to remember it reviewed okay - but I didn’t pick it up since nothing really stood out to me mechanically. But I also shamefully didn’t get Ninja Cop back then - so clearly my priorities weren’t as well sorted out as I thought they were :smiley:

1 Like

They are serviceable platform games with the typical Eurojank of the era. The second game is the best one IIRC.

As an aside, I revisited Rare Replay this week and man, their early “hits” pre-NES do NOT hold up well for the most part. Same phenomenon as games like James Pond… just so janky.

It’s funny how Eurojank was a thing lol. Makes the DKC games so impressive looking back.

It really was a thing, and it was especially prevalent on those 8-bit computers. I think @Yakumo does a good job of pointing it out in many of the Battle of the Ports videos.

Eurodifficult was also an effing nightmare and that shit persisted long into the PlayStation era. It just seemed like British developers specifically always wanted to give you a sharp poke in the eye in their games and you felt like they did it so they could laugh at you. To this day so many games from that era have left such a bad taste in my mouth that I am leery of all games that come from there geographically.

1 Like

Battletoads, right lol

I can’t argue with that. So much crap. But then again the US developed games of the same time were just as bad if not worse. Only the Japanese knew how to make a great action game back then besides a few small exceptions. These days it’s so different. So many amazing games come from the West including many of the best.

1 Like

They changed the concept a bit by putting him in an armor suit and calling him ROBOCOD in the sequel. The only reason for this was so he could be on land as a regular platformer.

That first game being on land was literally a fish out of water. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

I remember an extendable body. That’s all.

Part 3 they send him to the moon and forgot he’s supposed to be a fish!!

Typical Amiga mascot platformers, humour but weak design.


Japan had well funded professional studios, the west was mostly small hobbyist outfits, some which grew into something slightly bigger in some cases, but even then often just knocked out stuff quickly for ‘kids’, mostly licensed or knockoffs of one sort or another.

I’ve been loving this thread, some really terse descriptions of how I also viewed games of this ilk in the short period of time where I could pay attention to them (unfortunately I’m too young and missed the home computer era).

This in particular may have made my day (emphasis mine, of course)

Only ever played the sequel and thought it was good but then I didn’t have a lot of games on the Atari ST. I remember liking the vibrant visuals and thought it was cool that you could turn into (ride?) vehicles. Certainly not as memorable as the best available on 16-bit console platforms.

This is making me want to play it again and see how it holds up!

I think it had some random tie-in with a chocolate bar?

My favourite odd toe-in was platform domino puzzler Pushover - sponsored by Quavers crisps! Only mentioned in the intro.

Holy crap, completely forgot about that game. I was too stupid as a kid to know how to play that!

Loved it! One of the games I finished back in those days. Annoying controls though. Something about holding the fire button to switch modes and I’d often do the wrong thing and have to restart the level.

1 Like