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Written by  :  AkibaTechno (254)
Written on  :  Apr 13, 2010
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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The original and undoubtedly the best version of Earthworm Jim.

The Good

Earthworm Jim is without a doubt one of the marvels of the 16 Bit era of gaming. It's a wacky ride, full of imagination, clever level design and rock solid gameplay.

The game really holds its own in a genre flooded with generic Mario and Sonic clones by offering something distinctly unique, in so far that it is completely insane. There is no real coherence to the way the levels play out, they simply come one after another in a cavalcade of inspired insanity. You go from an alien junkyard, to hell and then underwater and into the dark underworld of an alien overlord.

Jim himself is an Earthworm, in a super suit, that falls on him. That is essentially the entire story. Princess Whats-her-name gets captured by Jim's arch nemesis Psy-Crow, of whom he doesn't even know and has never met before. Being an worm Jim has some interesting little moves in his repertoire. He can use himself as a lasso, swinging from hooks while he also has the ability to grab ledges and haul himself up. He controls a little loosely, takes some time to get used to, but you do get used to him and when you do it's hard to go back to more basic platformers. Jim can use himself as a whip and also has his trusty, modifiable Blaster to defend himself with. The Blaster never runs out of ammunition but does need to charge up when the ammo runs under 100%

Earthworm Jim looks beautiful. The game is made up of totally fragmented levels, designed differently from one another. This however, is not to the games detriment. This freshness of level design, the unpredictability of it all lends to it feeling fresh and exciting every single time. The levels are detailed and beautiful, with color being employed to imitate shadow and there are even some digitized images employed to further the eye candy present. Jim himself animates fantastically, with something like over 100 frames of animation.

The music in Earthworm Jim is composed by Tommy Tallarico and his genius shines throughout the whole experience. From the rock inspired New Junk City to the hilarious combination of Dantes Inferno and elevator music there is nothing but freshness.

The Bad

Jim himself feels a little loose now and then. Occasionally you might miss or mistime jumps from between platforms or you might slip in between a wall and fall down to a previously traversed area. This isn't always a problem, but it is a problem non the less.

The game is quite short, if you know what you're doing it can all be over in around an hour.

The Bottom Line

Earthworm Jim is a shining example of why games in the 90's were superior to what we have now. The clever, intelligent level design that doesn't, at first seem intelligent but rather incoherent begins to find its own sense of coherency. It's a really inspired exercise that is the sum of the genius level design, fantastic sound design and fluid gameplay. There's very little wrong with this game, it's an exercise in pure hedonistic gameplay nirvana.