The problem with perfect
ports is that you cant help but feel that everythings been said before.
Earthworm Jim is no Mario, but he still has a following out there that will be more than
happy to take him on the run. Im all for revisiting classic games, but in all
honesty EWJ just doesnt seem old enough to merit any real nostalgia. The Game Boy
Advance is clearly demonstrating how easy it is to take some of the great games from the
SNES days and move them onto a handheld platform, but if youve already played it,
there really isnt any reason to go back.
What do you write about a
game that is everything it promises when it doesnt promise anything new? Earthworm
Jim for the Game Boy Advance is just what you would expect: a solid port of the SNES
version of the same title. The character is still wacky (but pretty tame in the
post-Conker console world) and the gameplay is entertaining without really being
revolutionary. Earthworm Jim is your typical game about your average worm discovering a
super powered suit and having to save the world. Its got a fun sense of humor and
the levels are inventively designed. The run, jump, shoot, head whip format of the game
feels like a dozen games before it, but it still plays well. Im sure when the game
was first released people were surprised at how off center the humor was, but almost 10
years later it has a definite been there, done that feel.
This isnt to say I didnt like the game. Platform fans who
havent played the original owe it to themselves to give this a try. The game looks
fantastic. The graphics are a lot more demanding than some of the other titles youll
see on the GBA. The level design is colorful and creative and the sound is top notch.
There just isnt enough reason to go back to the game if youve played it
before. It would have been nice to see a little more put into the release. Going from the
SNES to the GBA is like going from the theater to the DVD. All of the elements are there,
but if there arent any great extras, its a little bit less of an experience.
Super Mario for the Game Boy Color is a good example of enhancing a game without changing
it. It was a perfect port with some great new mini-games and levels. I hope that future
ports of SNES games do more to exploit the superior capabilities of the GBA and have us
look at old games in new ways.
Like Majescos Pitfall, this game lacks any means to save your progress.
Theres not even the much abhorred password access. As I note in my Pitfall review,
theres something inherently wrong about being forced to finish a handheld game in
one very long sitting.
Dont expect to be blown away. Just expect to be entertained. Colorful,
sharp graphics and strangely addictive gameplay make for a pretty good time. Despite my
main annoyance with the lack of a save feature, I really enjoyed playing the game. And for
that generation of gamers who missed EWJs first time around the galaxy, this is
great opportunity to enjoy him in all of his 2D splendor.