With the positive reception the first Earthworm Jim had on its original release, a sequel was inevitable. But how do you follow something as chaotic and irreverent as Earthworm Jim?
The obvious answer, of course, is to make it even more chaotic and irreverent, so that’s exactly what Jim’s original creators Doug TenNapel, Dave Perry and Shiny Entertainment did with the follow-up. The result is very much a game that feels like it’s throwing absolutely everything at the wall in order to see what sticks… for better or worse.
It’s always nice when your expectations, preconceptions and prejudices are proven wrong — particularly when the result is something you find surprisingly enjoyable.
Such was the case when I first booted up Prehistorik Manfrom Titus, originally released for Super NES and more recently found on the Interplay Collection 2cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform. Developer Titus has a somewhat… variable reputation, shall we say, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Prehistorik Man is actually a solid, interesting platformer with some fun, varied level design.
Titus, it’s fair to say, is not one of the most fondly regarded names in classic gaming — though a fair amount of their work was at least memorable for one reason or another.
That doesn’t mean it was a company completely incapable of putting out a good game, however. And in fact, when Titus was on top form, they actually made some really good titles that still hold up very well today.
As we’ve seen a number of times already at this point, Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming platform is home to a wide variety of obscure titles that many people probably haven’t played — and which certainly haven’t been rereleased many times over the years.
Some great examples can be found on the two Interplay Collection cartridges, which include not only games that are associated with Interplay themselves, but also titles hailing from developers that subsequently ended up under the Interplay umbrella.
Interplay Collection 2, for example, plays host to a rather entertaining puzzle game featuring small, round, furry creatures. Let’s take a closer look at The Brainies, also known in some territories as Tiny Skweeks or The Tinies.
We talk quite a lot about “video game auteurs” these days, and how modern technology allows game designers to realise their visions like never before.
This sort of thing has been going on for quite some time, however — and in some respects, it’s even more impressive when a developer clearly expresses their creativity through a work from the earlier days of gaming.
Such is the case with The Adventures of Rad Gravity, a 1990 release for NES developed by Interplay, designed by Brian Fargo (of Bard’s Tale and Wasteland fame) and published by Activision. Oh, and no need to brave the second-hand market to find a copy any more, either — it’s part of the Interplay Collection 2cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system.