The game Another World has two words to describe it: frustrating and confusing. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t find it good or dislike it completely; it has its charm. I will explain some of the good things I like in this game and in the end, why I put a dislike checkmark.
The game was made by a French guy name Eric Chahi and was made for the Amiga which was a really old computer back in the day, so you can imagine this game is also old. The game was praised by the interesting cut scenes and platform interaction. You play as Lester (the unlikely) a ginger guy who had a lab accident and is sent to another world (insert family guy reference) You meet up with a humanoid looking Sangheili (if sangheili and human had a baby) named Buddy.
I don’t know if Lester called him Buddy since they don’t speak the same language, but I always thought it was Mysaruba since that’s the first thing he spoke to you; then again maybe he was saying thank you. The plot is really simple, escape from planet…Tatooine from mine slavers (I think) and that’s about as much plot as you can say, and it was a simple interaction platform game.
It’s a cinematic platform and I can see why it was pretty interesting with the cutscenes and the atmosphere the guy put into the game. The graphics are good for the time; in fact it looks more like “alone in the dark” graphics, and the backgrounds were okay, but only better if it is HD. The music is good, at least the very few of them, and the controls are responsive.
The game has no hints so holding your hand is a no, but I like it because you’re a human and at times you have to make a real quick decision to escape and use your mind to see if the object will do something, so it’s a good brain exercise. Also since you’re only human you die once but that’s okay because the game doesn’t start over, it just resets to where your checkpoint lands which means you have unlimited lives and plenty of checkpoints.
The game IS hard – NOT by gameplay, no it’s very easy to navigate and such – but hard by being confusing at times which I’m talking about the puzzles themselves. The game really doesn’t do any hand holding here so you’re on your own. It’s good at times when you want to accomplish something on your own, but at times you just don’t know what to do.
I know Eric did this because the game is really short, so if you completed it in a breeze, you could complete it in an hour or twenty-five minutes! The average for those who don’t know how to beat the game would probably be a few hours or even days; which again I could agree with the difficulty, but then there’s just some unfair stuff. Like I mean there are some areas you have to complete or do in order to progress, and you try to think hard and press anything, but you just can’t so you look up in the guide or if you’re a 90s kid talk to a friend and see if someone has the answer.
Then you know the answer and say to yourself, how the hell I should know that this rock would trigger this or that stupid lamp will fall at the soldier’s head!?! Yes, this game is more of trial and error but the puzzles that it throws at you just make me want to say, is this right what I’m seeing?
Yes, again I don’t have a problem with thinking on my own, but for those of us who want to move forward to a new area and don’t want to look at the same frame over and over again, with countless deaths on enemies or stuck by a dead end, it grows boring fast. Especially when there is not much plot in the game and the two characters are one-sided, there is not a lot of immersion into the world! Like really do we know anything about this Lester guy? I didn’t know his name until after I looked in the Wiki; do we also know a reason why he built a portal? Who are the aliens, why did they want to enslave their own kind; how far are we? What planet are we from!? These are things that are left unanswered, and don’t give me an excuse that there is no dialogue or there are no characters to interact with, it’s a cinematic game! Just add a few cut scenes showing some plot detail, or some area backgrounds that explain the plans of the aliens, or the very least a journal that Lester could carry along to read.
There is little plot or immersion to feel about Lester’s situation or the new world as much as Half-Life I can tell – and that game explains better than Another World in terms of show don’t tell. Now I’m not going to complain about that issue all day, oh no that’s not the full reason why I returned it, that’s just a big slice of it.
Going back a bit on the difficulty, I would say for those who want to move on a bit faster, it should add a highlight system to highlight objects; now there is the difficult setting but I don’t really find a difference to the settings? I don’t see a two hit settings to not go back again to the checkpoint or less enemies, none? Unless I’m missing something, then I apologize. One last thing, and this is a small nitpick, is that they don’t include like a laser bar to track how much ammo you’ve still got, or when you’re swimming you don’t know how much air bubble you have, so you have to guess.
Now all of that should be included in the 20th anniversary of the game, and frankly I find the “special edition” lackluster. No commentary by the original creator? No concept art? And most importantly, no Heart of the Alien which is a sequel to Another World, why? I know Eric made the game but didn’t want to include the credits and I heard the game wasn’t really good but still, the ending of the Another World is a cliffhanger so it should include the sequel in the package, because the game is becoming rare since it was a Sega CD game. Honestly when I saw an LP of this, I thought the sequel looks a bit better than Another World in terms of more cut scenes and details to the world. Buddy as the main protagonist and the ending for me was a bit surprising and I like it, though maybe that’s why it wasn’t popular for the ending I guess.
In the end a graphics update and a re-master of music isn’t worth $10; it’s not even $2.47 worth, because it didn’t show it was worth the price if they include both the games. For those who want it for nostalgia, then sure why not. But for those who are curious and still want to try it, wait for a price drop. This game gets a 2.5/5 star rating. It’s more of a mixed feeling toward the game and I wish I could put a mix check mark, but I think a down check is a bit worth it in my gaming experience. Maybe I don’t really see it, and I’ve played a lot of old-school games, but this I just have to pass off by the lack of content and unfair frustrating difficulty.
About Nick… “I am a studious person who loves reading and loves researching about virtually anything! I play the piano and every year I have to give a performance in a church. I love video games – especially when it’s a puzzle and action game. I would like to become a programmer one day in the field of computer science. I love my family so much, even if we drive each other crazy sometimes, we’re still one big happy family.”