Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
22 August 2006
You don't mess around with Jim
Earthworm Jim is coming back on the PSP and I just watched a movie of the gameplay at GameSpot. Let me save you the time and bandwidth: it's terrible.

The movie demonstrates a complete play through one level and takes about five minutes. The single thing worth watching was Jim dancing at a disco club at the end. Nothing has been added in the ten years or so since I played it with Ruffin on the SNES back in college! Same gameplay, same enemies. On the other hand, the sound effects are off, Jim's voice is wrong, and the music was unimpressive. They could have at least ripped off the "Groovy!" screen at the end of level, but that charming bit of the original actually didn't get put in this new game.

Furthermore, Jim himself is in 3D and the levels have some depth even though you can still only move in two dimensions. Bad move making Jim out of polygons, I think. The hand-drawn artwork of the original was better. Wasn't Alien Hominid using hand-drawn 2D sprites? I think that works better for this kind of game. (New Super Mario Bros. fans feel free to set me straight on that. Doesn't it use 3D?)

Unless something serious changes, I'm thinking my Earthworm Jim money is better spent on a SegaCD and my own copy of Earthworm Jim: Special Edition. Or I could pick up that only-released-in-Europe version of Earthworm Jim 2 for the PSOne. (I thought it didn't exist, but apparently it does. I wonder if it supports saving to a memory card, unlike every other version of EWJ2. Even the Saturn version won't save your progress!)

Another thing about the preview movie: it's recorded at 640 x 360 and takes up 136Mb when uncompressed. Who's dumb idea was that? The PSP only does 480 x 272, for crying out loud. Idiots.
--Matt Matthews at 21:23
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

Yep, NSMB does use a 3D Mario, and it doesn't suffer from that at all. Looks great, has gameplay based on him getting huge/small too, which isn't as easy to do with a Mario sprite.

By Blogger Zachary, at 23 August, 2006 11:58  

Two words, Zach. SPRITE and SCALING. Refreshing to see some folks never get a clue.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 August, 2006 19:45  

Uh, no. Not at all, this is incredibly smooth and pretty, with good animation.

By Blogger Zachary, at 24 August, 2006 00:34  

Wow, you prove your cluelessness with that one. I was referring to your claim that it would not be easy to implement the variable sizes in 2-D. I know "NEW" SMB (Now with hat!) is 3-D polygons. The scaling thng was done in Bonk's Big Adventure for TurboGrafx-16 in 1992.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 August, 2006 19:41  

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