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CONSOLE: PC DEVELOPER: Kinesoft PUBLISHER: Activision
RELEASE DATE (NA): November 30, 1995 GENRE: Platformer
// review by Meow

Eat DOS, Evil-doers!

When a certain blue mammal hit the market by storm, the 90s was met with a flood of mascots attempting to get a slice of that juicy kid's allowance pie. Most were... questionable at best. However, among all the Bubsys, there are a few that stuck, and among the most notable is a certain dirt-eating chewy length of worm flesh.

Originally for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and quickly ported to pretty much anything else under the sun, Earthworm Jim was successfully embraced by kids the world over. Wacky cartoonish visuals and a weird sense of humor permeate the game, with a snowman from hell heck, Queen Pulsating-Bloated-Festering-Sweaty-Pus-filled-Malformed-Slug-For-A-Butt, and the most terrifying boss: Bob the Goldfish. And if the visuals and humor don't do it for you, the music probably will. We're dealing, however, with the DOS port here, so everything isn't quite on par with the quality of the console versions. For instance, there are various sound effects that seem to be missing, and the graphics seem to take a hit as well, most notably in the final level where most of the stage's background is just... gone.

The "fun" doesn't stop there, though. Earthworm Jim is a platform game and typically a pretty tight (though pretty tough) one. You can grab onto ledges, you can use Jim as a whip to attack foes and grab onto hooks and swing, and you also have a trusty blaster to shoot in 8 directions with a "Plasma Blaster" upgrade being hidden around as a super powered (and nigh necessary for the final level) upgrade with very limited shots. It makes for a fun game, but the DOS port has some really... iffy moments. For instance, I find myself just going THROUGH platform edges instead of grabbing onto them as you normally would, and ...again, going back to the final level, you can just clip through the world and fall to your doom. Or worse, in the last part of the final level, if you miss using your whip on a hook near the end, you miss fighting the stage's miniboss and wind up next to the final boss. "Great!" one might think, "I can just skip that annoying thing" but NO. The boss is invincible and won't really even activate until the miniboss is dead, but the worst of the worst is that there's a continue point right before this boss, and activating it pretty much means you have to eat a game over and pray you have a continue.


Jimmy whipped corn, and DOS don't care.

Now, with all this said, this, the second worst version of Earthworm Jim (the worst is the Game Boy Advance version), is the only one that I know is available on a current console, as it is. If you still have a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, you should be able to still purchase the HD remake (until those shops are closed down like the Wii's), but that's beside the point.

On Steam, you have only Earthworm Jim for DOS available. This wouldn't be so much a problem if it wasn't for the knowledge that a FAR superior version for PC was made called "Earthworm Jim Special Edition" which not only has a far improved soundtrack compared to the originals AND the original levels (a level was cut from every version after the MegaDrive/Genesis), but it ALSO had a new level and had all sorts of groovy extra stuff like character sketches included. But no, we get the inferior port. What's worse is that the Steam store actually has FALSE SCREENSHOTS.

Yes, that's right, and this isn't unique to Jim 1 either. Oh no, I'll call out each one I spot. The big giveaway for Earthworm Jim 1 here is that they included a screenshot of the level "Intestinal Distress", the level exclusive to the original version of the game (and the special edition).

But, it's what you got. If you can find a cartridge of the SNES or Genesis version, or if you can be so lucky as to get a copy of the Special Edition for Sega Saturn or PC, then go with that. But whatever you do, under no circumstances EVER get the Game Boy Advance version unless you love disappointment.


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