[EXPRESSO] Sly Spy/Secret Agent NSWDDL | Rolling Thunderball

Another Switch eShop sale on old arcade games from Data East (as part of the Johnny Turbo’s Arcade releases), another EXPRESSO review.

This time i picked up Sly Spy… never even heard of it before, but it look like it’s gonna be heavy on spy movie cliches and Bond references…for 2 bucks, sure,

And my intuition was spot on, alongside plenty of posters in the background, bearing titles or characters from other Data East games, like Karnov or Bad Dudes, there are plenty of Bond references in it. I was also right in guessing it being a fairly transparent Rolling Thunder rip-off, from the screenshots and description.

While it’s totally that, the game tries to disguise it a bit byt adding some variety, since it opens on a sky.-diving level, has a driving section on a bike with built-in machinegun and a couple of underwater levels where you harpoon sharks avoiding scuba enemies and mines.

The variety isn’t bad at all, but the main bulk is still on-foot levels and it’s basically Rolling Thunder, with a limited amount of ammo for the gun and the deliberate inability to just shoot upwards. Same sidescroller formula, plus the ability to shoot while jumping, use fists and kicks when you’re out of bullets, minus the ability to enter doors to replenish ammo. You can also fire a powerful golden gun-rifle when you get all pieces from fallen enemies.

And like Rolling Thunder, while there is some challenge involved, it’s way more about memorization of the often unfair level design through multiple quarters inserted into the machine and out of your pockets.

It’s alright, all things considered, but i don’t recommend spending more than 2 bucks on it, since it’s a very short experience from an era of design best left in the past.

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