I'm here to talk about a very unique game that was made back in 1994 for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Gameboy, Sega CD, PC, Gameboy Adavnce, and Xbox Live, that's quite a lot of system just for one game, but this version of the game I'm going to be talking about in particular is the Sega Genesis version which most people consider the best version of the game. Now what game could I possibly be talking about? Well, if you were born in the 80s or 90s chances are you've heard of Earthworm Jim, it's basically a platformer with shooting mechanics, but what sets Earthworm Jim apart from other games of its day was its smart and witty humor, something that the series was probably best known for. Anyway let's get into my review of the game and to start, let's talk about the story.
Story: Trying to explain the story of Earthworm Jim is kinda hard since you're thrown into the action right away, yet thankfully the instruction booklet gives you a little heads up on what's going on. Basically the story in Earthworm Jim starts as our hero Jim, who is just your typical earthworm is digging around in the dirt and enjoying himself. He digs himself from the soil and is promptly attacked by a crow and while this is going on in space a mutant crow by the name of Psycrow is transporting a special suit to Queen-Slug-For-A-Butt that was designed by Professor-Monkey-For-A-Head to help her in her conquest of the galaxy. Trying to reach the Queen as fast as he can Psycrow makes a mistake and the super suit ends up falling to Earth where it ends up landing on top of Jim and the suit mutates him into a much larger and smarter, if you can call earthworms smart. Jim surprised by what the suit has done to him experiments with it by zapping the crow that was attack him with the ray-gun. It's not too long before Psycrow comes around and sees that the suit isn't around. He contacts the queen and tells her of the situation and Jim overhears Psycrow talking about keeping Princess-What's-Her-Name prisoner. So basically Jim decides to play hero and rescue the Princess which leads him all over the galaxy, meeting a colorful cast of characters. The story is quite weird I'll admit, but I really don't have a problem with it and you shouldn't let it put you off from playing it.
Sound: Despite the weirdness of the story of Earthworm Jim, the sound is quite a different story for the game. Depending on which version of the game you're playing, you'll experience probably one of the most original soundtracks in a game I've heard and that's all thanks to Tommy Tallarico who worked on the soundtrack for the Genesis, Sega CD, and PC version of the game. He didn't work on the Super Nintendo version for some reason, but I'm not going to complain since the SNES version has its own unique sound. Anyway the music is definitely one of the strong points of Earthworm Jim, there's not a song within the game that doesn't fit and all of them are quite catchy too and some of them are quite funny too, like in the second level, What The Heck? the level starts off with Night On Bald Mountain and then a record scratches turning it over to the main song, it's a nice little touch and you'll definitely laugh your head off when Peter Puppy actually skips in beat with the song on For Pete's Sake. There's various sound bites of Jim saying silly stuff which also adds a nice little touch to the game and overall like I said, it's a great soundtrack that everyone will love.
Graphics: This is definitely another one of Earthworm Jim's strong points is the graphics, despite being made for the Sega Genesis which is supposed to be a technically less advanced system than the Super Nintendo, I'm quite surprised by what Shiny Entertainment was able to pull off on with the Genesis. The graphics despite being made in 1994 hold up quite wetland you can definitely tell a lot of effort went into the game to make sure there was no graphical hiccups or slowdown within the game and after playing the game a few times, I've found no issues with the graphics either. In fact I'd say the Genesis version of the game is better in the graphics department versus the Super Nintendo version because the graphics from what I've seen on the SNES version seem to be washed out compared to the Genesis and there's also some graphic effects that were left out of the SNES version that make the Genesis version look better, but that's only a small little problem and overall the graphics for each version are quite good and show a level of creativity that seems to be missing from today's games.
Game Play and Controls: Earthworm Jim is pretty much your basic platformer with shooting elements thrown in. It works quite well for the game and its bound to keep you entertained for a few hours, but there's only so much the game can do with the shooting part, sure they try to mix up the shooting by throwing in a race where you race Psycrow through an asteroid field, but it tends to wear thin after a few hours of play. This is probably where Earthworm Jim is at it's weakest, the game play. It would have been nice to see some more variety besides going from level to level and shooting things up and thankfully the sequel remedied that problem, but for the sheer amount of humor and great music, Earthworm Jim will keep you going to the end. The controls within the game aren't anything to complain about and they allow you to set the controls to you're liking which is always a plus in my book. One more thing I'd like to mention about Earthworm Jim is that it's not a game for beginners, the game can be quite difficult in some areas especially during the third level where you're forced to do a race. It will frustrate new players to the game, but if you can get past that, the game gets much better after that.
Overall: Earthworm Jim is a fun and addicting game to play despite having some difficult levels and a lack of a save feature, but for those of you that are willing to look past that, you'll find a game that's definitely worth your time for at least an afternoon. 8.5 out of 10.
Link to player review