|Title||:||Earthworm Jim 2|
|Review by||:||Ken Gagne|
Just when you thought you'd seen it all, Shiny does it again. Prepare yourselves for a roller-coaster of blasts with Earthworm Jim 2 on your Super NES. The sequel to the craziest game of 1994 is even crazier!
The plot's the same: the evil Psy-Crow has kidnapped Princess What's-Her-Name, and Jim, an earthworm in a space suit, must save her. What could've been an unoriginal platformer turns out to be an incredibly inventive game for the holiday season.
The stages are a mixed bag. One second you'll be swinging from snot and blasting at enemies; next flying a rocket in a Zaxxon-type perspective; then swimming around the Villi People, disguised as Sally the Blind Salamander. The final level is similar to the Rat Race stages of the various Battletoad games. There are few bosses. Some stages have their own controls which must be learned separately. The rocket race from EWJ1 is replaced with Puppy Love, which repeats three times. You need good reflexes and much patience for this one.
Standard controls are a snap to learn, and let Jim pull off a variety of moves. In-air moves are a bit confusing as the fire button becomes the parachute, and jump becomes snot swing.
The graphics, using Animotion II, are rich and vibrant. The sprites are a bit smaller from the first EWJ, but are marvelously detailed. Jim has a number of hilarious expressions to assert. Some great Mode 7 effects show the artists put more effort than was necessary into exalted backgrounds.
The music is a bit redundant, but not bothersome. The sound effects really shine with their screams, explosions, whirrs, and moos.
A special password system lessens the frustration of repeating defeated levels. If you can find four icons on a level and complete it, you receive infinite continues to the next during this gaming session. Once the SNES turns off, you're back to square one. Three difficulty settings provide the opportunity of a challenge to any level of gamer.
As mentioned earlier, EWJ2 is like none other. Dave Perry pays a tribute to Gary Larson with a generous helping of cows. The hilarious, if occasionally a bit twisted, humor keeps you smiling as you assault the baddies. This is never a serious moment in this game. The dry wit continues in the instruction manual; however, this makes it hard to find real information or tips when need be.
If you're looking for a good game with a few laughs, look no further. Bait your hook with Earthworm Jim 2!
This article is copyright (c) 1996, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.
Original publication: Boston Herald, 15-Jan-96