EARTHWORM JIM - REVIEW A GREAT GAME DAY
How anyone would come up with the idea of an earthworm superhero with a living piece of snot on its back still remains something of a mystery, but as out-there as Earthworm Jim was, it never stopped me from watching the cartoons or playing the games.
Speaking of which: let's talk Earthworm Jim on the Sega Genesis.
Easily one of the most surreal games you could play, this is a side-scroller where logic and reason do not apply. I mean, you're a super-worm who uses his own head as a helicopter to fly around once in a while or as a whip to hang onto platforms, and that's not even the weirdest part of the game! You start in New Junk City, a place made of trash and tires. You're going around murdering crows and launching cows...
The first thing you'll notice, besides the WTF content, is that the game looks fab: the backgrounds are detailed, three dimensional, the design is creative and colourful, the animation is top-notch. It's a really visually enjoyable game and boasts some kickass music and sound effects to boot. One of the bosses you face in that first level is a big dude who not only tries to drop trash on you but also vomits large fish towards you.
The second level is completely different: an intergalactic race between Earthworm Jim and arch enemy Psy-Crow to the sound of a banjo-led soundtrack. It's a lot of fun, especially when you pick up boosts. Try to win the race on the first go, though, that wormhole is hypnotic. You'll get lost in it...
And, in case you're wondering, yes that level ends with Earthworm Jim using his own worm self as a lasso.
Maybe my favourite level is next: it's basically hell. You're going around this spiky, fiery landscape fighting demons and ghosts and whatever else while random screams are going on in the background. So it only makes sense, of course, that the boss you face would be...
A fire-breathing snowman no less!
You also fight an evil cat and... lawyers on that level, by the way. Pretty great. But this level is actually when the game starts getting more difficult. Another asteroid race is next and then comes the level I always dread: the water level. I just want to go on record as saying that, 99% of the time: I HATE water levels. This one's different in that you're not actually swimming in the water but you're on some kind of underwater station where you're floating around in bubble-subs going from one side of the station to the other.
This was always my least favourite level due to those darned time limits every single time you're taking that sub. And when you're going through narrow rock pathways and you're not sure exactly where you're meant to go it gets pretty stressful after a while. Plus you can't bump into too many things as the sub will break. Enemies this time include fish and hamsters. Do your best to put up with this level, it gets better very soon (right after another asteroid race lol).
The next level is stupid, don't get me wrong, but it's shamefully fun. You're bungee-jumping against an evil piece of snot and the goal is to slam it against the rocks as much as possible and do that for two rounds but it does get harder and harder so don't underestimate your snotty opponent: he WILL destroy you. Level 5 sees you get back to a tangible side-scrolling level finally and walk around some sort of demented space lab where you fight brains more often than not. It's another tough level but back in the day I was so happy to be done with that submarine level that I always enjoyed it. At the end of that one you face what can only be described as a failed experiment.
Now we know where the Robot Chicken gang got their name from.
To shake things up a bit, the next level sees you protect Pete, that pink dog character from the show. He's walking with you and it's your job to make sure he doesn't get killed or doesn't fall down a cliff. It's pretty darn hard, especially when you've never played it before and you don't know what's coming. Just make sure you don't make Pete angry, you wouldn't like Pete when he's angry...
A whole level dedicated to whipping a dog's ass, I love how that exists. The next level is called:
"Intestinal Distress" lol
Actually, if you've ever played Earthworm Jim 2, the whole colon theme isn't too surprising. That level doesn't appear on the SNES version of the game so make sure you go Genesis, clearly the only way to enjoy this poo-tastic level. It's pretty disgusting and it loves it. Not sure what that thing is you fight in the end but it's gross: get rid of it. By this point, I'll admit you'll kind of wish those asteroid races would end once and for all. Mostly because the harder they become the crappier YOU become playing them. But ok, let's stop the childishness and play a somewhat classier level, shall we?
Or not, whatever...
In a level designed to be annoyingly hard, you're flying down what I can only assume is someone's weirdly spiky ass and literally everything you touch hurts you so... don't touch anything. Trust me, that's easier said than done. You finally land and resume your side-scrolling. You beat the villain and finally make your way to your beloved princess, whom you greet Tex Avery style.
But what of the cow you launched earlier on in the game, you ask?
Overall, Earthworm Jim does have its needlessly tough moments, I'll concede, but as a whole it's so much fun and it's so addictive that you'll just stick with it. It looks great, sounds great, the controls are smooth and varied, the entire thing is creative, original and very funny: it's a great game. I would also recommend its sequel which, in some ways, is actually even greater.
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