Monday, May 12, 2014

Nerdicus Genesis Review #15 : Another World (Out of this World)

Title : Another World (OUT OF THIS WORLD)

Publisher : Virgin Games

Genre : Cinematic Platformer

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1992

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $15-$17

The first time I had ever played OUT OF THIS WORLD (ANOTHER WORLD in the UK), it wasn't on the Sega Genesis or the SNES, it was on the PC. I was with my folks in COMPUTER CITY, at least I think that's what the name of the store was and we were looking around trying to find a new computer to buy. Nowadays I just build my own computer, but when you're 10, you really don't know how to buy and install computer parts. So we had to stick with going to a store and buying them.

Anyway, as you probably recall, some computers are set up to be tested out and every so often you'll run into one that has a game loaded on the screen. Some times, you'll be lucky enough and see OUT OF THIS WORLD on it. 

I bet some of you had the same experience I had with this game. Your character wakes up on a strange planet, and then you are attacked by a giant lumbering beast, and then what? oh, you die. The beast kills you EVERY TIME. That's what happened to me when I was testing out this game. I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to do, but by God I loved it.

So as you may have guess, when this game came out for the GENESIS, I had to rent it out and finally try to beat the game that had caused me so much torment back at the store. Who would have known that I would have died thousands of times over trying to beat this game.

Despite it's difficulty, the game transforms into an artistic journey that stands as a testament of time in the gaming world. How I wish there were more games like this out today. I give you, OUT OF THIS WORLD (ANOTHER WORLD).

Our story begins with our protagonist Lester working the midnight oil and sipping on a can of coke. First of all, you should know that you NEVER drink by the control panel of a particle accelerator. Secondly, you don't work with particle accelerators during a lightning storm. Seriously, has your mother taught you anything? I seriously think he dropped some soda into the keyboard and that screwed everything up. That's my theory anyway.

Innocent old Lester screws everything up (I'm blaming him) and his accelerator goes haywire, opening up an inter-dimensional portal to...ANOTHER WORLD.

And then you die. A lot. Over....and over...again. Mainly by a vicious black beast, but also from being vaporized by lasers. The End.

I'm kidding.

Taking a look at this game in retrospect to when it was created, you can tell how ground breaking it is. Visually it was one of the most creative games ever designed. The animations were absolutely flawless, and while they are blocky and pixelated, it was specifically developed that way. Everything appears to be very flat, and designed with a minimalist approach, yet at the same time containing a lot of depth. This unique artistic style was one of the things that drew so many people to this game. If you remember how Prince of Persia was, this was a similar aspect. Although this far exceeds that.

I can't help it, but as an artist this is a game you just have to appreciate.

The game is designed to be somewhat of a platformer, but with cut scenes taking over during certain scenes. You're given a chance to do an action, then a cut scene takes over with the result of your choice. Most times, leading in death. After all, Lester isn't really your average hero. He's just a normal guy stuck in a very foreign environment.

You don't have many weapons, and even when you get one which is a gun, you can't just abuse it by firing away at monsters. The game is a lot of trial and error. You've got to figure out the best opportunity when to use your weapons when you have it. For the most part though, it's all about puzzle solving with new elements added into the mix as you progress throughout the game.

You're not always by yourself, and you have the help of an alien prisoner during some puzzles. Puzzles that will drive you MAD. But that's where this games entertainment value soars. It's a rewarding game, that doesn't offer a mindless journey. You need to stop, and think about what your next move is going to do. Each time you move to a different scene, the game changes. Each scene is a new challenge which is what really makes this game powerful.

I can't lie when I tell you I was extremely tense the whole time I played this. And I loved every second of it. Even if there is a lack of a story that's told to you directly, you can tell what is going on in this world and the suffering it's going through. You are not only rescuing yourself, but rescuing the aliens of this world. I don't want to spoil it for you, it's really something you need to experience for yourself.

This game will never age in my mind. There is too much perfection that you just have to sit back and appreciate this for what it is. Even Indie-developed games now are taking design traits from this game and applying it to their own. That's how influential this game has been on the industry. 

Revolutionary isn't even a word. This was the start of video game art, and remains to this day one of the reasons I am proud to be a gamer. 

And if you haven't had the chance to play it, you can download it on your tablet as the anniversary addition was just released recently. It's cleaned up, and the graphics are a lot more crisp than they were 30 years ago, but it still remains true to the original. Do yourself a favor, and play this now. You will not be disappointed.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time, keep on gaming!



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