A CLASSIC WHOSE AGE SHOWS
Originally released in 1991, Another World (known as Out Of This World in the US) has seen multiple ports to many different consoles since its debut. Now the classic 2D action platformer has arrived on the latest PlayStation consoles with its 20th Anniversary Edition. Does this classic still maintain its timeless appeal, or should it have stayed a treasured memory of gaming’s past?
You play as physicist Lester Chaykin who, after a science experiment went wrong, is transported to a strange alien world inhabited by man-eating monsters and hostile natives. The game provides no objectives or instructions — minimal exposition is given to the player. This alienating nature is one of the game’s best assets as it places us in the shoes of an individual who is thrust into a completely new world full of the unknown. This makes Lester feel fairly relatable as players are thrown into the same experience as the playable character.
Another World really captures the feeling of being an “old school hard” game; the charm and appeal of each new area is diminished with each continuous respawn. The game’s difficulty is unrelenting and, to a point, unforgiving. Many of Another World’s puzzles and enemy encounters are based on trial and error with very specific solutions to overcome obstacles. Players will have to undergo plenty of experimentation to find these solutions, leading to a magnitude of rapid and violent deaths. Another World is a full remake of the original with no additional content and, as such, the game’s length is rather short, even for players who take their time. However, the game’s length is artificially extended with the large number of times players will be faced with game over and death screens.
This unrelenting difficulty is fairly frustrating and is compounded by clunky and sometimes unresponsive controls during and outside of combat. Expect to die repeatedly at the hands of highly outdated controls as the game’s controls are highly reminiscent of the original release.
Make no mistake, Another World is a product of its time with its archaic design being highly noticeable. Movement is slow and clunky, jumping feels stiff and shooting can sometimes be glitchy. With so many actions being mapped to very few buttons, there are plenty of times players might find themselves performing undesired actions.
The mysteriousness and atmosphere of the alien planet is brought to life with the game’s distinctive art style which has been left untouched from the original. As an added bonus, players can easily toggle between the original and remastered visuals of the game. If anything, this feature provides players an insight to what the game looked like over two decades ago.
Also included are three different variations of the the game’s soundtrack. Players are given the option between the original soundtrack, the soundtrack which came with CD versions of the game and the new remastered version.
The Verdict: 5.1 out of 10
Another World 20th Anniversary Edition is an old game and its archaic design and controls really show. While the game’s art style is still appealing and allows players to experience the game in different stages of its lifetime, it is held back by its punishing difficulty and clunky controls. There is an adventure to be had here for those who don’t mind Another World’s difficulty and outdated design, but this is a game that is best appreciated for what it is; a preservation of video game heritage.
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Andrew Lee is an Associate Writer for MONG and you can follow him on Facebook as he continues his never-ending quest to keep playing.