The Ultimate James Bond
MGM Interactive has created The Ultimate James Bond, a two-disc set that they call “an interactive dossier.” A James Bond CD-ROM was inevitable, but who would have guessed that it would be a reference work? The Ultimate James Bond’s main menu offers fancy names (along the lines of “interactive dossier,” which really means “CD-ROM encyclopedia”) for subjects that include babes, gadgets, allies, cars, actors, movies, decades, and behind-the-scenes talent. Everything is hot-linked together, so you can reach every bit of info in the program from any entrance point. Gadgets, babes, allies, andcars offer short video introductions followed by brief text blurbs that painstakingly mention every example of the current topic (and then, naturally, have nothing much to add; how much can you say about a watch that turns into a garrote, or a woman named Pussy Galore?). Actors provides longer blocks of text, up to eight pages for each star. Decades uses a simple timeline to keep track of what was going on the world when each Bond film was in development, pre-production, production, and post-production (it also tells you how high on the charts each theme song got – Duran Duran hit number one with A View To A Kill). Movies is the part of the disc that uses longer samples of video (there’s a trailer for each film), which is sometimes impressively rendered in full screen. There’s also a search function and a trivia game. You can kill an hour or two with this disc, but after that you’ll need to either rent a Bond movie or read a Bond book, if you want a Bond experience that isn’t hopelessly superficial.
– November 1996