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Earthworm Jim 2 – SNES

Earthworm Jim 2 – SNES

18083front-5204Platform: Super Nintendo

Developer: Shiny Entertainment

Publisher: Playmates Interactive

Release Date (NA): September 18th, 1995

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Aaaaaaalright, here we go. Earthworm Jim 2, the much anticipated sequel to my first review. What do I think of this game? I’ll bet you’re all on the edge of your seats, anxiously awaiting the verdict on this.

Oh. Wait.

The score is already up there. Welp, that’s a spoiler if I’ve ever seen one.

So yeah. Not a bad score. I don’t hate this game. Surprised?

Here’s the deal – I think Earthworm Jim 2 is pretty solid, BUT…I am of the opinion that the first game did not need a sequel. It’s the kind of thing that got everything right on the first try – a perfect stand-alone title. I don’t believe it is possible to do a sequel justice to a game that was so expertly crafted in the first place. Any more Jim and you ruin the subtlety that was found in Earthworm Jim.

Let’s start off with the pros.

For one, it’s a fun game. It’s challenging. It’s harder than its predecessor. Or maybe I’ve just played the first one too many times. Either way the tradition of fun gameplay is continued with this star-studded sequel, bringing back most of the quirky characters from the first Earthworm Jim. You’ve got Peter Puppy, Bob the Goldfish, Evil the Cat, all those wacky folks. Oh and Jim is there too. I think.

(Kinda hard to tell since he’s changed so much in personality, but we’ll address that in a bit)

hqdefault

Homing Missiles. Get it?

This time around you’re given a whole new arsenal of weapons. Each gun offers something different. They’re fairly comedic at times, from the annoying bubble gun (which doesn’t do a damn thing) to the homing missiles (yeah I get it, very funny). And a new move is added in Jim’s Manta-shield…though I must admit I’ve never found it to be very…useful.

You also have the addition of Snott who takes over some of the functions Jim previously performed with his head (according to the manual he was having back issues from the ol’ heli-head trick). Snott changes the dynamic of these moves, ultimately making them easier to engage. Your thumb will enjoy a nice respite from the repeated beating it got fighting against gravity in Earthworm Jim. Just lightly press the jump button and Snott will unfold from your backpack allowing you to float safely to the ground. Snott also replaces the hook-swinging dynamic used before. Instead of having to whip a tiny hook with your head to clear a wide gap, all Snott has to do is sling onto another viscous surface and away you go. Making things a little easier for the player isn’t always a good thing but in this case it certainly helps. There is no shortage of difficulty in Earthworm Jim 2!

33607-Earthworm_Jim_2_(USA)-2

Continuing the tradition of the first game, there is a ton of variety in Earthworm Jim 2. Many of these stages are quite enjoyable, such as Puppy Love – a fun and challenging mini-game that you’ll get several chances to play. The Salamander level is much like that hated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stage only it’s better. Still annoying, but better. Not all the levels will be pleasant, however.

earthworm-jim-2.1

Puppy Love

This brings me to some of the game’s cons.

The variety in Earthworm Jim 2 is both a virtue and a vice. Where the first game had a perfect balance, this one takes it way too far. There are fewer platforming levels, which will leave you pining for the simpler days of running around, unleashing a whip-ful of devastation, and cruising along on your pocket rocket.

Some of these stages are just downright frustrating. I mean, trying to get that fucking TNT balloon all the way over to Major Mucus will encourage you to turn off the television and read a good book. Maybe even go back to school, get that degree and start doing something with your life. Can’t we just go back to bungie jumping with Major Mucus? Like old times?

The-Flyin-King2

Earl from Toejam and Earl? What are you doing in Earthworm Jim 2?

The game tries too hard. Abandoning the serious overtones of the previous Jim, this time it goes for an all out wacky comedy angle. And you know, if that’s your thing there’s nothing wrong with that. But Earthworm Jim had such a unique style, it’s sad to see its younger brother take a crayon to the Mona Lisa.

Remember how in Earthworm Jim each level had a title, and then the fifth level was just called “Level 5”? Brilliant. But then Earthworm Jim 2 just HAD to be in on the joke and do one of it’s own. Level Ate. It’s food themed. HAHAHA, GET IT! Yeah…way to beat a dead horse there, Jim 2.

That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. This game has no style.

SNES--Earthworm Jim 2_Aug4 18_30_18

Who’s this goofball? What happened to the badass Jim of the first game?

Remember how cool Jim was in the first game? He looks like a goof in the second. And speaking of which, the design of the game just isn’t as sharp. Even though animotion II was meant to improve the look of the sequel the sprites are now too cartoony…almost, greasy, in fact. It’s not terrible to look at but it’s just not as good as it was before. Not even close.

earthworm-jim-2-pc-windows-screenshots__1947_0

Here you can see in the Genesis port he’s holding his gun as he whips. Apparently they were too lazy to even remove that detail for this version

Also, some of the animation is reused.  It’s minor but you can tell by the disparate look between most of his movement and certain actions like forward jumping, whipping, climbing up ledges, and so on.  And if you’re playing the Sega Genesis version it’s even more obvious as they didn’t even bother to remove the blaster from his hand!

Jim, why the hell are you drawing your blaster every time you whip, or climb, or…ugh, never mind.

I know some may call this blasphemy but I’m gonna say it anyway – I don’t like the music this time around.

Hey, who threw that shoe?

It’s just…I dunno, weird to me. A lot of it isn’t original (that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I know) and the tracks that are don’t possess that same edgy sound you had in levels such as New Junk City and Down the Tubes.

Like Zelda II, Earthworm Jim 2 takes the first game and does it differently. Unlike Zelda II, it doesn’t do it better.

GENESIS--Earthworm Jim 2_Sep4 20_08_08

So there you go. It’s a decent game. It’s fun. But it just doesn’t live up to the original. And nothing could for that matter. It’s easy to see why Jim started out so strong but ultimately fell to such great depths – he didn’t go out on a high note. Like George Costanza, when it was all over he should have just walked out and said, “Alright! That’s it for me! Goodnight everybody!”

Written by ZB

ZB

Since the tender age of four, I have been playing video games to occupy my free time. Raised on Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I have an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the classics. Also an avid collector, I have accrued such consoles as the Atari Jaguar, Super Famicom, Odyssey 2, Sega Nomad, just to name a few.

Got any questions, comments, concerns, or threats? Feel free to email me at zb@nerdbacon.com. I am happy to hear your feedback!

 
 

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2 Comments

  1. This game was sooooooo damn hard at times

     
    • It sure is. You know, I think I may have beaten it once for Sega Genesis. The actual cart, not on an emulator. I know I beat it using save states.

       

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