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Earthworm Jim

Preview By: Chris Lee

Developer:   Game Titan
Publisher:   Majesco Sales
Genre:   Action
Est. Release:   June 11, 2001
Posted:   5-23-01

In 1994 when the original Earthworm Jim was released on the SNES it was one of the few non-mascot platform titles on the market, not to mention the fact that it was actually a pretty great game. By that time most of us were used to only company-released flagship titles as being good platformers, but Earthworm Jim was one that was able to break the mold because it wasn't flagship. What made the game a standout was it's animations, personality, and originality. Jim himself also helped to make the game a success. He was slightly irreverent, very quirky and always funny. Jim was so cool in fact that he spawned a couple of sequels and special editions, a short lived cartoon show and action figures.

One of the things that made Jim such a curious little character was his origins, and here it is according to Shiny....."An ordinary average earthworm named Jim goes about his normal daily life, cruising around avoiding crows and doing other general worm-like things. Jim is suddenly struck by a very large ultra- high- tech- indestructible- super- space- cyber- suit. Through sheer luck, Jim rests safely in the neck ring of the suit. Suddenly, the ultra-high-tech space particles of the suit begin interacting with Jim's soft wormy flesh. A radical light-speed evolution takes place. Jim soon realizes he is in control of the suit, and we witness the birth of... EARTHWORM JIM!".

The range of the game was what was amazing. I mean one level you'll be cow launching (yes that's right, literally launching our bovine friends) and the next you'll be bungee jumping using Jims......head. That ones tough to explain. And EJ isn't just a platformer, it's also a shooter. Jim has several utilities at his disposal thanks to his newfound suit. He's got a really cool pistol that has a couple of modes, a semi-automatic burst type mode and eventually a cannon, needless to say it comes in handy for blasting Professor Monkey for a Head and Major Mucus. He's also got the ability to manipulate things with his head which is really his body cause ya know, he's a worm and all. It's the variety in the levels that really make it a great game ranging from protecting a puppy to racing on rockets to Jim losing his suit and having to fend for himself. Not to mention that the game has a nice amount of ditzy one-liners and speech samples that add to it's personality.

Well for any of you who loved the original or never got to play it, you're in luck, Shiny is re-releasing the SNES version of the game plus many bonus levels as Earthworm Jim for the Gameboy Advance. This is great for nostalgia purposes, but also because in my opinion Jim's animations and gameplay can still stand up to most of the stuff released as "next-generation" these days. And that's one of the great things about the GBA, it's going to prove that old school still rules. Aside from that you can look for Earthworm Jim as a launch title come June 11th.

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