Earthworm Jim is a 2d platformer game created by Shiny Entertainment. It’s one of those games that the word nostalgia was made for. Recently, I picked up the Earthworm Jim HD remaster on the xbox arcade, and it reawakened the passion of when I first played it for pc back in the early 2000’s. I decided to play it through and give it an honest review.
Stories aren’t typically the primary focus of platformers, and that is definitely the case for Earthworm Jim. After a brief 30 second set up, Earthworm Jim is set forth to save his princess, and that’s all you’ll really need to know. So no points for originality in the story department, but this game doesn’t focus on story. Earthworm Jim is a hero after all, he’s not a storyteller.
So how does Earthworm Jim stack up in the platforming category? Besides a few kinks, pretty well. It’s got enough challenge, although since this game is more of an action platformer, you won’t find many puzzles to keep you engaged. It’s more of a “shoot em’ up” style, but that seems to fit it quite well. Run, kill the bad guys, and do it all over again.
Where the gameplay does get interesting is in both the boss fights and the alternative levels. Although many boss fights have the same mechanic; Shoot the bad guy then whip him with your neck, there will always be another angle to it. Sometimes you’ll have to hop around, and sometimes you’ll have to chase after them, but in all it’s satisfying.
In some alternative levels, there’ll be different challenges. Every other level Earthworm Jim will be chasing down a giant chicken through a wormhole. In one level, Jim must bungee jump while knocking the other boss into the water. And that takes up a whole level.
Sometimes however, the gameplay can become downright frustrating and not fun. As much as I hate to say it, some bosses will annihilate you time after time. And while bungee jumping against a boss can be fun, it can also be difficult when Jim gets stun locked and falls into the swamp. The game’s overall fun is sometimes overshadowed by becoming downright annoying.
Graphics and Sound
After playing the HD remake, it’s hard to recognize the differences between the original, especially since it’s been years since I’ve played the original edition. Suffice it to say, the loading times are short, and overall the quality is nice.
Nothing new has been added to Earthworm Jim HD, since there is really nothing to add.
Press X to shoot, B to whip, and A to jump. That’s basically it.
Earthworm Jim has a distinctively set difficulty. Things start out at a medium pace and rarely venture into harder difficulties until the last level. It’s even, but there is really no curve to speak of. I found myself getting through all the levels nicely, until the very last level that left me crying for help.
Earthworm Jim has a decent replayability. There are no rewards to go back to play for, but all the levels are fun enough in their own right, and there are secret areas to find if you missed them your first time through.