reviews\ Jul 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Earthworm Jim HD review


Earthworm Jim has always had a special spot in the realm of platformers. Not exactly taking itself serious, the game is a bizarre romp through strange levels and employs encounters with oddball boss fights such as a fish in a bowl and a robotic chicken. With an HD upgrade, to the 1994 hit that was born on the Sega Genesis and consequently ported to the Super Nintendo, Game Gear and many other platforms, Earthworm Jim is ready to win over nostalgic fans and newcomers alike.

Introduced in Earthworm Jim HD are three bonus levels and four-player co-op that won’t be grabbing a hold of the player’s interest for much longer than 30-45 minutes. The meat and potatoes of Earthworm Jim HD happens to be the single-player’s 16 levels that offer a diverse set of gameplay and level types to keep players stuck in front of their television. Whether it’s traveling through someone’s intestines or fighting a snot monster, Earthworm Jim HD is clearly an ode to a classic with touched up graphics and a small helping on the side to make gamers warm on the insides. Besides, what’s not to love from a game that serves up a level titled “Buttville?”

Absurdity is makes Earthworm Jim HD so enjoyable. From a worm that ends up with a super-powered suit after an alien spaceship crashes into him to the asteroid-dodging levels where Jim has to race Psycrow for no apparent reason besides to finish first, Earthworm Jim HD is a one of a kind platformer that is rare in today’s landscape of gaming.

The level of detail in the environments and artistic style pack a wallop that is sure to reside in the memories of gamers for a long time to come. Jim’s signature suit and ray gun ought to be enshrined in a Hall of Fame for video games one day; they’re that recognizable. In addition, the soundtrack and sound effects are above and beyond what is expected from video games, especially from the age of the Sega Genesis. The level of charm and inspiration that can be grasped from the few hours of gameplay are among the most colorful that can be experienced in a platformer not named Mario or Sonic.

The downside to Earthworm Jim HD is that while it isn’t increasingly difficult (there are several difficulty settings if it does become challenging at Normal), the controls at times prove to be an uphill battle. Whipping Peter Puppy across the level to safety couldn’t have been more aggravating if a two-year-old child was screaming in my ear the whole time while attempting to save the life of the innocent canine with a dark side. Looking past the control issues that flare up every other level or so, Earthworm Jim HD is as enjoyable as it was in 1994, though the wrinkles have began to set in on the beloved megadrile.

The personality and surreal art style of Earthworm Jim HD win out over the fidgety controls, but they aren’t capable of moving the title into the stratosphere of a must-buy.


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