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YMMV / James Pond

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  • Awesome Art: Both James Pond 2: Codename RoboCod, and James Pond 3: Opertation StarFI5H have gorgeous backgrounds and environments. RoboCod has the various toy shops, and James Pond 3 has the multiple dairy-environments.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Theme 4/7 from the CD32/PS1 version of James Pond 2note  is surprisingly catchy and upbeat, becoming especially popular after its use in NPCarlsson's How To Spend Your Morning.
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    • The "Spirit of An Agent" theme, used in both the first James Pond and James Pond 3, as well as the above-mentioned Amiga CD32 and Playstation versions of James Pond 2. It gives off a jazzy and '60s psychedelic rock feel that emulates the James Bond atmosphere without being a Suspiciously Similar Song (except in the aforementioned CD32 and Playstation versions, where it does have an extra section sounding similar to the James Bond theme, but it doesn't make it any less awesome.)
    • The intro for James Pond: Underwater Agent, especially the original Amiga version, which has a nice, New Wave and Jangle Pop guitar sound to it.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Not that anything would be mentioned, since the game lacks any dialogue except for the intro and ending, but one of the bonus rooms in the tabletop games-themed level from James Pond 2 has a checkered-tile background that moves around extremely fast like its having a seizure. It's only in that one bonus room.
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  • Broken Base: The remake of James Pond II: Codename RoboCod by Play-It, ltd., for the Playstation, Game Boy Advance, and recently, the Nintendo Switch, unsurprisingly, isn't the most popular among the fans.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny:
  • Cult Classic: All three of the games (or four if you count The Aquatic Games) have their fans.
  • First Installment Wins: Inverted, while the first game is considered to be good if frustratingly hard, the two sequels are more popular, especially the second one.
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  • Fridge Brilliance: As stated on the main page in Opening Shout-Out, the first game parodies the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer logo, who owns the James Bond film franchise. However, the Sega Genesis versions of the James Pond games were published by Electronic Arts, who were actually named in tribute to United Artists, the actual original distributors of the James Bond franchise, who were bought out by MGM in 1981, and the Electronic Arts splash screen at the time had horizontal lines going though it just like the UA logo at the time did, but Electronic Arts wasn't the original publisher of James Pond, just on the Sega Genesis, meaning the most accurate Opening Shout-Out James Pond had was completely unintentional.
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm: See the third James Pond 3 Nightmare Fuel example below.
  • Nightmare Fuel: As silly as James Pond can be, there are some pretty creepy moments in the series, most of which are in James Pond 3.
    • A more accidental one from Underwater Agent, at least if you're not expecting it, is the ridiculously dramatic sting that plays if you pause the game. If you're used to it, it's either just annoying or entertainingly silly.
    • In James Pond 2, some of the rooms have no backgrounds—just pitch black. This is especially creepy on the SNES and Sega Genesis versions, where the backgrounds are changed from the vibrant abstract backgrounds of the Amiga into random onjects in the background, and you'd expect the black-backgrounded levels to have this change too.
      • Even creepier is in the Tabletop Games-themed level, there's a bonus room made up of black dominoes, and there's no clue as to where the walls or ground are aside from random dots.
    • James Pond 3 in particular...
      • Similarly to the above, some levels in James Pond 3 also have nothing but stars in the black sky for a background as opposed to the mountain backgrounds usually seen. This is mostly on boss levels such as "Lair Of The Mush-Beast", though there are some normal levels that have this too. (Except in the Amiga versions, where all the levels are like this, making it more boring than creepy.)
      • In addition, the first boss in the game, "The Lumpsville Lurker", is pretty terrifying, as it's a giant frog with sharp teeth, and you fight him in a dark purple-pink custard cave. Oh, and there's lava to the side, and it's very hard to jump over without getting hurt,note  and if that wasn't scary enough, the frog can even eat you! You don't die instantly from it, but it's still scary.
      • The third boss, "Kentucky Fried Fiend", is also terrifying, it's a giant chicken jumping around. By all means, it shouldn't be scary, but the chicken hatched eggs that self-destructing chick enemies come out of, and you can't jump on the chicken, or even hurt it by shooting it. (It doesn't help that the sound of enemies getting hurt plays if you shoot it.) You have to grab corn flakes (with eyes!) on a platform above, and place them on the bridge above a lava pit, and the chicken will eat them, and fall in. But that doesn't kill it, it turns it into a giant golden phoenix that shoots fire! You can actually hurt it by shooting it with the fruit gun, but it's constantly chasing after you, and the only way to stay safe is to jump on invisible platforms to the right. Good luck figuring that out.note  The background also isn't an empty black void, but it still gives off a creepy vibe by only having green beanstalk vines in the background, and no mountains or land in the background.
      • Another James Pond 3 example, and also overlapping with Fridge Horror. You have to stop Dr. Maybe from mining the cheese on the moon and destroy the stiltonium machines. The cheese mines are only in cheese levels, but the largest environment in the game, the "slime" levels such as "Lower Gloopy", "Murky Moors", and "Toadstool Point", look very much like the cheese levels in their reuse of graphics (they have the same swiss-cheese-like holes, trees with swiss-cheese/sponge-looking "wood", and they even have the same exact flower sprite.), but there's still something... off... about it, like how there's, of course, green slime on the surface, and how, there's mushrooms (and very likely the poisonous kind). Could the "slime" levels be what the moon cheese looks like if Dr. Maybe mined it successfully, and the cheese is now poisoned?note 
      • Also in James Pond 3, three levels in the game, "Parmesan Plains", "Slimeswold", and "Slippery Slopes" have Bottomless Pits. The first two levels have very long bottomless pits that actually give Pond a different death animation with him giving a horrifying scream. In "Slippery Slopes", Pond just bounces off the bottom of the screen, without even giving his usual death scream. It's hard to say which is scarier.
      • Even scarier is a glitch that can cause you to fall through the level's ground and die in this way!
  • Older Than They Think: James Pond is frequently considered a Mascot with Attitude, like Bubsy and Cool Spot, but James Pond actually predates Sonic the Hedgehog by a year (at least the original version of the first game, the Sega Genesis version of Underwater Agent did come out in 1991), as the first game was released in 1990.
  • Polished Port: In addition to the below-mentioned aversion for a CD32 version, an absurdly region specific Polished Port is the Japanese/Super Famicom version of the SNES version of James Pond 2 (known as "Super James Pond [II]" on that console), which not only adds the original Amiga and Sega Genesis intro that the American and PAL SNES versions removed, but also added screens with Dr. Maybe that show up after each levelnote , and the bosses break down and explode in the most over-the-top way.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • Downplayed with the Amiganote  and SNES versions of James Pond 3, which are pretty functional, and even have a bonus track not heard in the original Sega Genesis version, but the sound quality in both is lesser, especially the Amiga, and the ports both have downgrades (the levels in the SNES version are simplified, and the Amiga versions just have a black void with stars for the backgrounds, and lack the mountain backgrounds that were in the SNES and Genesis versions).
      • Played straight with the Game Gear version, which has slower physics and poor jumping (much like the examples of James Pond 2 below), and needlessly changed level layouts.
    • Played straight with Commodore 64 and Game Boy versions of James Pond 2, especially the Commodore 64 one, which have poor graphics (though not so much for the GameBoy), poor physics and jumping control, and the levels are in a confusing order, and there's only one music track used in the levels (the Gameboy version has more music overal, including a boss theme, but the level music only has one track,). In the Commodore 64 version, jumping on enemies is absurdly difficult to do without getting hurt.
    • Surprisingly Inverted with the Amiga CD32 version of James Pond 2: RoboCod, which has a revamped CD soundtrack and better graphics than the original Amiga 500 versions, and has an animated video intro and an animated short made to preview James Pond 3 (both of which only exist on YouTube in low quality, but is pretty fun for what it's worth). Quite impressive considering the quality of the CD32 in general.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Not so much the gameplay, which is actually genuinely fun if unoriginal—James Pond 2 and James Pond 3 both clearly have a lot of Mario-type elements—and James Pond 3's gameplay style, which actually combines Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario gameplay elements, is considered genuinely fun for it's somewhat unique style resulting from said gameplay combination, but what makes the James Pond games truly entertaining is the absolutely ridiculous puns and the Campy aspects of the games, such as the ridiculously dramatic pause sting from the first game, the Saving Christmas theme of the second game being mixed with a RoboCop parody, as well as the blatantly Misplaced Wildlife of Penguins in that game, and the third game's literally cheesy puns and premise of the moon not just being made of cheese, but other dairy products, which a few of just happen to have sponge holes just like the swiss cheese does. This is very likely intentional.
    • The Playstation 1 version of the Play-It, Ltd. remake of James Pond II is also this, though clearly unintentionally so. Unlike the Camp animated segments from the Amiga CD32 version, which have a fairly decent, Hanna Barbera-esque animation and art style, the PS1 intro has awful cel-shaded CGI mixed with even worse actual 2D animation, and takes itself seriously, trying to make Pond look cool, and Dr. Maybe is shown tying an elf to dynamite outside for no reason whatsoever. And there's a thunderstorm outside of Santa's castle! And the ending is even worse than the intro because it has two kids getting the game for Christmas for no reason at all... and then Pond winks at the screen, and the background visibly jolts behind him. The Play-It remake itself is controversial, as stated above in Broken Base, but the Playstation version is definitely worth getting for all the wrong reasons.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Actually averted with the first game, which doesn't have music Suspiciously Similar to any James Bond themes.
    • James Pond II: Codename RoboCod has intro music that very intentionally is supposed to sound like the RoboCop theme.
    • James Pond 3 has an intro with a theme similar to the Flash Gordon theme, which the game's working title, "Splash Gordon" parodied.
    • The track, "Spirit Of An Agent", used in Underwater Agent and James Pond 3 averts this in those games, but the version of the theme used in the Play-It, Ltd. and Amiga CD32 versions of James Pond 2 as well as the Amiga versions of James Pond 3 have an extra section that does sound quite like the iconic James Bond theme.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: This is how some fans feel about the Play-It, Ltd. remake of James Pond 2 for the Playstation, PS2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and most recently, the Nintendo Switch, due to it revamping the entire game layouts, rearranging the levels drastically, and removing hidden levels entirely in exchange for bonus stages that you have to collect all of the bell items in each stage in order to get to. The music itself is either from the Amiga CD32 version (for the console versions and Switch) or from the MS-DOSnote  (for the GBA and DS versions), but the musical arrangement is questionable.note  Though the Playstation version might be worth getting if you find the animated intro and ending entertaining.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Or rather, Unfortunate Character Sprite, since James Pond's own design isn't bad, but in the Commodore 64 version of James Pond 2, Pond's sprite has a face that looks like a butt. It doesn't help that he doesn't have clearly defined eyes.