Earthworm Jim HD Review
Earthworm Jim HD is a classic remake done right!
Many gamers may recall fond memories of playing Earthworm Jim in the 90s, the game has since gone on to spawn various sequels and even TV shows. With Earthworm Jim HD, Interplay and developer Gameloft have attempted to revive the classic for modern day consoles with optional additions to the experience. They were successful.
It might be difficult to keep track of the story; this is an issue that has plagued Earthworm Jim since its initial release. While this issue wasn't remedied entirely, a "comic" cutscene plays at the beginning of the game giving players context in regards to how Jim got his suit. It's not much but it seems if they had gone further they could have risked destroying the feel the original had entirely.
The visuals are all completely redone for the HD re-release and simply look outstanding. Perfectionists will find some disappointment due to the lack of playing the game with the original graphics or sound effects. The new visuals largely follow the design patterns of the original characters so drastic re-imaginings aren't present. The engine runs fairly smoothly as well so framerate drops aren't much of an issue, something that is a vital component for platformers.
The team at Gameloft has also added new features to the release which range from a multiplayer mode to new singleplayer levels which are optional. Four player co-op is present either locally or through Xbox Live, the levels you play through have been tweaked to take advantage of the addition and require team work to complete. Players must do separate tasks in order to proceed, one such example of this is hanging on a lever while another player goes through a door only to find another lever that must be held for the other players to regroup.
New levels were added which attempt to recreate the experience found in classic Earthworm Jim levels, they aren't very long and will likely be completed in about 30 minutes for the average gamer.
Music and other sound effects were enhanced or redone to a certain extent although some of the classic sounds from the Genesis/Super Nintendo release are present. Once again, retro perfectionists may be somewhat disappointed by the lack of a "classic sounds" mode.
A frustrating gameplay element I found was one that occurred when you acquire new weapons, your main weapon would automatically switch to the weapon you had picked up causing you to often waste powerful weapons on meaningless scenarios. The difficulty, especially during the latter half of the game hasn't been toned down and few hints were put in place to compensate from them. The final level was notoriously hard and it still is in HD.
Earthworm Jim HD is definitely a standout case of how a classic should be revived, the release does suffer from a few flaws and retro perfectionists may feel teased by the blends of old and new. At 800 MP ($10) Earthworm Jim HD is well worth the price of admission and will keep you entertained for quite some time.
Plenty of new content for you to get through but it might not take you too long. Certain odd control decisions hinder the game partially.
Textures are completely redone in HD and look remarkably beautiful, a fantastic visual experience throughout. Retro perfectionists may be disappointed by the lack of a classic graphics mode.
A fantastic soundtrack with sound effects and voice overs that will bring back a flood of memories and laughs.
Earthworm Jim HD shows the world how to do HD remakes right, and at the perfect price point to boot.