[REVIEW] Another World – Super Nintendo

Another World is a game that has to be experienced, and I say that with pride. This is a game which in 1992 made everyone sit up and scream ‘ my 16bit machine can do THIS!’

From the moment you put in the cartridge and the firsth thing you witness is a loading screen, you know something is VERY different, and that’s before the animated intro commences.

So the plot? Well you play as Lester, arriving to work at his underground laboratory in his Ferrari during a heavy thunderstorm and proceeding with his experiment using his prototype particle accelerator, trying to break the barriers of knowledge and understand how the big bang came to be. Of course before the experiment can be completed, lightning strikes the lab ripping Lester from time, space, from this dimension into a barren unknown world..

Here you try to find your way back…

another-world-2011-10-10-19-28-24-60_jpgNow before you start your adventure, a word of warning. You will die, a LOT. This game is unforgiving with almost a 1-shot kill setup, but when you work out the pattern.. it becomes a cinematic piece of entertainment that can impress your friends and showcase any system.

So here’s what happened to me in the first 10mins..

Teleport to the pool..
Killed by creature.

[reset]

Teleport to the pool..
Swim up,
Climb out of pool.
Walked right
Killed by slugs falling from ceiling.

[reset]

Teleport to the pool..
Swim up,
Climb out of pool.
Walked right
Timed movements and kicks carefully to go kill slugs.
Continued right.
…..
RUN!!!!!
Run left..
Run left past pool
cliff..
…dead

[reset again…]

Teleport to the pool..
Swim up,
Climb out of pool.
Walked right
Timed movements and kicks carefully to go kill slugs.
Continued right.
…..
RUN!!!!!
Run left..
Run left past pool
cliff, jump onto vine,
vine breaks, swinging me to right.
RUN right,
HOORAY someone shot the beast!

And me….

At that point i’ll stop the introduction to the world, but you’ll get the idea. Sure the game does have checkpoints, but like it’s sister title ‘Flashback’ these are few and far apart requiring you to memorise situations to survive. Yes it’s frustrating at times, but let the story unwind and you’ll find quiet a charming tale of the unknown hero standing against the odds and making a pivotable difference in a war they didn’t belong.

And I still haven’t mentioned the graphics, which for the time, were incredible! This game wasn’t the first to play with vector art, but it was the first to fully utilise it in a way to tell a cinematic tale in a platformer. With the game coming from an unknown french company, Delphine Software, the art style feels more like the evolution of cinemaware, with a touch of Sierra/Lucasarts in for good measure. Every screen oozes the effort that was put in make us believe in these locations, and the animation holds up just as well.

Just like Donkey Kong Country afterwards,  it’s quiet incredible how the designers were able to compress so much data without comprimising on the absurd quality of the title. It’s just such a shame only a small amount of games ever utilised this style linking platforming and puzzles with an artistic beauty. With the only real downside to the game being once you learn (or use a walkthrough to find) the route through, the game lasts just over around an hour from start to finish. But it’s probably one of the best spent hours of 16bit gaming.

Bridge
Image from the 25th anniversary re-release, and not much has really been enhanced.

 

Surprisingly the game is still a reasonable price on the retro market if your after an original, and is well worth a look to experience a hidden classic.

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