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Reviews

Another World 15th Anniversary Edition

Will Porter dons rose-tinted spectacles and prepares for fond remembrance

Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. I remember Another World's beautifully animated alien vistas and a cinematic and narrative edge conjured up with nary a syllable of the written or spoken word.

What I don't remember, however, is the hours I must have spent as a 12-year-old screaming and shouting as the game forced me to replay the same bastard-hard cavern jumping sequences after a cruel one-shot kill from a lumbering monkey-man guard. Games just used to be harder, and we were used to repetition back then. Whoever patented the quicksave must be rich by now...

Zoom

For the uneducated, the ill-advised and the irrepressibly young, Another World was the remarkable platformer that begat Flashback that begat Oddworld that begat, well... Lots of things. The reason it's so fondly remembered though, is the fact that in its day it showed a touch of the Half-Lifes - thinking outside of the traditional gameplay box.

Bear witness, for example, to the scene where Lester is racing through a darkened chamber with red alien laser shots lighting up the room as they fire through a grille from the floor below. Or even the most memorable scene, in which you're punching at the buttons of an alien craft - accidentally letting missiles and laser blasts rain down on a crowd of thousands - until you're launched into a naked spa bath usually reserved for naked alien ladies.

Now placed in a higher resolution and packaged with PDFs of production notes and a gallic documentary interviewing the creator Eric Chahi, the Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition is certainly an interesting purchase. I had a crowd of five people simultaneously reminiscing behind me at one point, and the gentle warmth of recognition that gushes over you at regular intervals is every kind of wonderful.

However, by today's standards Another World remains tongue-bitingly frustrating and extremely short. At £15, it's also heftily priced - especially compared to the retro revival on other platforms (£7 or so for stuff on Xbox live, £5 for a SNES game on the Wii shop channel).

Truth is, I don't think this game is worth one pound for every year it's been in existence - unless perhaps I was richer or so nostalgic that I could do nothing but drink Soda Stream and watch Grange Hill. Only for the oldies this one, and even then only for the oldies with deeper pockets than I.

The verdict

Thanks for the memories

5.9
Format
PC
Developer
Unknown
Publisher
Lexicon Entertainment
Genre
Action, Adventure

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