Earthworm Jim is what happens when you have an artist lead a game project and focus more on cool ideas and style than actual gameplay.
It's not a bad game, and you can certainly do a lot worse in the 16-bit 2D platformers department, but it's overall not very well designed from a gameplay perspective. Almost every level is a completely different style of gameplay, the difficulty is all over the place, and certain things just aren't suited for being a game. Sure, Jim eating Bob the Goldfish instead of actually fighting him is funny, but it's not a satisfying way to conclude a difficult level. The whole game was clearly designed with "what would be a cool or funny situation for Jim to be in" rather than "what would make for a fun level?"
If my memory serves me....
I think the SegaCD version had improved music and additional levels.
I always loved Earthworm Jim. Highly creative, great animation, multiple routes, ridiculous level design. I really loved the flying sequences and the fights with psy-crow were just annoying enough to try to actually win those races.
Also had most hilarious ending.
This game is one of the reasons to play classic games. For real. Go play it.
Pretty much sums up my opinion on it OP. Didn't get the hype back then and I've got even less love for the games now. A mess of poorly thought out stages that never quite seemed to hang together. The puppy bouncing stages in the sequel rate among my last favorite experience in anything, ever.
On the positive side I used to dig the cartoon as a kid.
Yes, it's a messy game, certainly not tight enough of a design for arcade standards, but it's not like gameplay was completely neglected. It may be more of interest for novelty/variety/style than pure platforming excellence but I don't see many people claiming that the latter is its strength. And at least it's a decent challenge, which is more than manageable once you get used to Jim's weird feel.
I'm pretty sure everybody agrees about the game's design being an unfocused motley of gameplay concepts, but there's this weird, increasing eagerness to pick it apart, usually reserved for neighboring lines of hindsight merit policing, mostly the overration patrol.
I mean, EWJ is hardly OoT; the popularity of the game came from its brutal production values and a well-researched exploit of the mascot era and its ADD-ridden intended audience. You won't find any real fan defending the games as some kind of milestone in videogame histoy; it's been always about all those crazy characters and memorable setpieces. The gameplay was just competent and serviceable; it didn't need to be any more than that, and I'm having a hard time recalling any instance of the developers pretending otherwise.
It hardly qualifies as the medium-tainting conspiracy that has apparently become fashionable to denounce. But, to be fair, OP's got a point about artists potentially making poor game designers; though Doug Tennapel's input in the game was limited to character/scenario concepts and no actual gameplay, it's pretty obvious his ideas on game design are a bit shallow, from his graphic novel 'Power Up' (the main characters work at a copy shop and are working on a 'game design pitch', which is presented essentially as some character and weapon drawings).
>/vr/... The place where hating became a popular thing.
Sure the appeal of the game was the humor and characters, but it's still a very enjoyable and solid game.
Back then I really appreciated how every stage was different. It's like Battletoads. You have your sidescrolling levels, the ropes, the scooters etc. etc. EWJ was fun because it threw all these different concepts at you.
GOAT? No. Good? Yes.
Let's go get Lunchables and play Sega at my house, you sound like an alright guy.
Rented these as a kid and they were ungodly hard.
It wasnt even about being "bad" at games, I'd beaten Contra 3 and Megaman X without subtanks and shit like that, but this game was just the epitome of frustration. Floaty controls, levels constantly changing, things just being retarded in general.
Never cared for the series after that.
Chill man. You're not writing a term paper or something.
I find the sequel to be really cool until you get to that one fucking part where you have to ride around in a fucking ship thing and bounce like a bomb across the enTIRE FUCCKING STAGE AND IF THEBOMB HITS SOMETHING YOU GOTTA GO ALL THE FUCKING WAY BACK TO THE START!
I never understood why they even made that stage.
I feel like you should be required to back this claim up. I don't find EWJ satisfying anymore, but the mechanics and level design are on par if not above average for its time. How is this game worse than any other platformer from the early-mid 90's?
You got a bad ROM of the game, anon. Same thing happened to me. I thought the gameplay was bad, too, until I realized my ROM was screwed up. For some reason, a flawed ROM of the Genesis version has been circulating online.
Try downloading the game again from Emu Paradise. Then you'll see the gameplay is much faster, smoother and tighter. Trust me.
>guy states his opinion in a single sentence
>"lol can you back that up?"
>guy explains his opinion in about a dozen sentences
>"lol, TEE EL DEE ARE"
Well, I have the original cart, too, but I recently played the ROM version, instead. Which version did you play? The ROM or the cart?
The bad ROM has slower gameplay that isn't as responsive. Typically, the gameplay in Earthworm Jim is very good. So when I read the OP saying the gameplay wasn't all that great, I just figured you got the bad ROM.
I love it when games change things up from level to level like EWJ.
It's popular now to give a game 5 seconds of gameplay and repeat it throughout the game but I thinks that's shit.
The bungee level was one of my favorites, there were easy races with little punishment for failure to mix things up and Peter Puppy put a cool spin on your regular moves. I'm not a big fan of the globe-subs but they aren't difficult like many other old school underwater levels were. I wish more games tried so many new things to keep it fresh.
There are only two parts I hated on EWJ 1 and 2, on the first game was that fucking part in the ship on the water level, Down The Tube if I remember... it was annoying to see how careful you had to be while driving that shit. And the sections of Puppy Love in the second game were the worst. Other than that, Its a really good game. EWJ2 had a lot of creative levels overall, keeping gameplay fresh... if it wasn't for Puppy Love.
That's one thing I really, really liked about retro games, they often had large varieties of gameplay in them. Seperate modes of play within the same game, minigames, etc. were all great since they helped shake up a simple game otherwise. I always loved FF's minigames, particularly FF7's stuff.