Another World was first released back in 1991 and is about a man who gets teleported to a strange and distant world. The game’s style is that of a classic platformer wherein one has to spot traps that lurk in the background. I had no prior knowledge of Another World until I heard about the release of the 20th Anniversary Edition on Wii U and 3DS, although my older brother has played the original game and considers it a classic.
One of the things that shows Another World’s age is its difficulty, as half the time I was shouting crude words in frustration and the other half I was admiring the clever mechanisms . Some people tend to argue that if a game isn’t difficult, if it doesn’t provide a brutal enough challenge, then there’s no point in playing it. However, I am an avid player of video games and I believe that games are about fun, and if a particular game’s difficulty is so high as to prevent one’s enjoyment of it then why bother?
Following on from this idea, I must admit that at first I didn’t really give Another World a chance, as during the first few minutes I deemed it to be plain and difficult; but after a while I got more used to the controls and the game started to get increasingly better. Once you get into the game you begin to forget how hard it is until you actually have to do something more challenging, at which point the feeling of having fun promptly disintegrates. Nearly 50% of the notes that I made while playing this game were either ‘Rather Hard!’ or ‘Frustrating!’ Unfortunately Another World takes a lot of time due to its difficulty and it would obviously be a lot shorter if you actually knew what you were doing, but true to the tradition of older gaming the game gives you no hint whatsoever of what you have to do next, leading to a lot of trial-and-error based gameplay.
One of the great aspects of the game was its distinctive art style, which has aged really well considering it’s a platformer that was originally released twenty odd years ago. I also liked the range of options, for example you could switch back from the 2014 mode to 1991 mode to see the original graphics, allowing any retro-enthusiasts to get an untainted view of how the game really used to be. Although I didn’t use the feature much it was still cool to have the option to see what the old game was like in comparison to this new release. Another option I thought was cool was the option to change the soundtrack between the original or the remastered version, which further allowed one to get the feeling of being back in the olden days of 1991.
Another World is very effective at forcing the player to use their full brain capacity and includes clever puzzles that take a long while (or a short walkthrough!) to figure out. Things like these made me stop and ponder for up to an hour until I couldn’t handle it any longer and actually had to turn the game off – this can probably be put down to my belonging to the spoilt generation of current gamers. Another thing that made me want to quit is when your character dies without the game giving any indication as to why. I know I touched on this earlier, but there were more than a few occasions when I was on a roll of ‘mad skillz’ only to have been crushed by a little spike that just looked like a part of the background.
I’d recommend Another World to fans of platformers and to those who relish a challenge. The complex puzzle designs and the creative game mechanics would appeal to most puzzle lovers, but for the hardcore COD fans I’d recommend sticking to what you enjoy (and remember, there’s no shame in turning down a hard game, even if your older brother laughs at you for it!). I’m going to give Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition a 7 as it is definitely a good game but also one that makes for quite an intense (and at times too intense) experience.
I personally feel that playing this game on Wii U provides the definitive experience out of the Nintendo platforms, due to the HD graphics which really do justice to the game’s visual style. There’s also the benefit of having to option to play just on the gamepad’s screen, in case you need the toilet but aren’t prepared to stop playing. However, some may prefer to have a fully portable experience, in which case they should invest in the 3DS version.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.