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Another World - 20th Anniversary

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPadPS Vita
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Alien

Product: Another World - 20th Anniversary | Developer: DotEmu | Format: Android | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Another World - 20th Anniversary Android, thumbnail 1
You know how old fogies like to bang on about how games today are too easy and that it was actually more fun when you had to re-load 30 minutes of tape whenever you died?

They’re wrong: it was crap.

Taken as a piece of gaming history, this re-mastered 20th anniversary edition of the brilliantly evocative cinematic puzzle/action/adventure hybrid Another World is a retro gamer’s dream come true, with tasteful additions and controls that fit the original perfectly.

But, sadly, the game itself has not aged well.

Come with us on a journey

You play Professor Lester Knight Chaykin, a man flung into - yes - another world when an experiment goes wrong (by means of an electrical storm).

With no real explanation as to where you are or what you have to do, Another World throws screen after screen of one-touch deaths at you in various guises, and asks you to work it out your damn self.

Much like the cinematic games of the '80s like Dragon’s Lair, and the FMV invasion of the '90s, this effectively means following what the designer wants you to do to the letter.

Fancy running over there? Insta-death from an off-screen enemy! Trying to access this screen before you’ve backtracked five minutes to shoot a section of wall that’s slightly different from the rest?

Well, you get the picture

Touch to die

Unlike other examples of trial-and-error games, you have quite a bit of control over poor Lester, with running, jumping, and firing (or kicking in certain parts) all controlled either through a touch interface or via a customisable virtual pad.

Both methods work surprisingly well once you realise the original game’s controls were a bit sticky in the first place.

However, those more accustomed to agile protagonists that can leap buildings - or at least respond to commands within a second - will find Lester’s geriatric shambling a chore.

Other new additions are a little more welcome. The way you can switch between the original graphics and the remastered edition by sweeping two fingers down is elegantly employed, while the ability to select between Normal and Hardcore difficulty, which subtly changes sections’ timings or adds an additional obstacle, helps ease the pain at times.

Repent for your sins

But while the cinematic style and smooth polygon animations were absolutely mind-blowing back in 1991, seen through modern eyes they do little to hide what is essentially an exercise in frustration.

Almost every cardinal sin of game design is committed at some point during the game, whether it's death without warning, poor signposting, overly-long backtracking, rubbish checkpointing, or just ridiculous difficulty spikes designed to infuriate the player.

That may have been fine when the reward for this torture was another beautiful screen, but, as opposed to Dragon’s Lair’s fantastic Don Bluth cartoons, Another World’s graphics just don’t have the effect they once did, HD or otherwise.

So while it may have felt like it came from another world back at launch, now Another World feels only like it belongs to another time.

iOS version reviewed.

 
Another World - 20th Anniversary
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 22 September 2011
A lovingly remastered version of an iconic game, but sadly one that will only frustrate and annoy when not viewed through rose-tinted spectacles
 
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Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
1
dazsin | 08:55 - 23 September 2011
I totally disagree with this review. Another World is an absolute classic, and is a shining star amongst all the awful Angry Birds clones and cutesy goo games that are clogging up IOS.
The reviewer obviously has some reason for blasting this game so much, they should let somebody else review it.
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
2
homerojay | 02:32 - 23 September 2011
@DeanUK80 Yet, IGN gave El Shaddai a 5.0, and that game is great. Reviewer give the score they feel is just. The IGN reviewer of had his reasons and so does this reviewer.
Personally, I wish that there were no scores because enjoyment of games is subjective, and reviewers need to be subjective. Not all games are for everybody. Another World is not a game fit for everyone.
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
32
YaFlippinBamYa | 17:31 - 22 September 2011
@ DeanUK80
Joined:
Dec 2010
Post count:
187
PG BBilson | 17:30 - 22 September 2011
(I'd better make it clear my reply was to Klaus rather than Ted :-) )
Joined:
Dec 2010
Post count:
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PG BBilson | 14:22 - 22 September 2011
They're not, though - you either do them the right way, or the wrong way. There's no tactics other than "can I shoot them now or do I need a shield".

Case in point - can you do the firefight where two people come from one and then the other side of the screen without laying down a left shield, right shield, and then firing through? No - because the timing of their entrance is set in stone and anything other than that gets you killed.

You're right though, I am comparing this with modern titles. But that's because it's been released today and is up against modern titles for your attention. As I said in the review, if you're a retro fan there's little to complain about with this remake - it's very respectable to the source and doesn't do anything too controversial - the final score isn't going to tally with those people.

But I'm not just reviewing for the die-hard fans of Another World or gaming's past. To just merely pass over every one of the game's many faults and dismiss them because the atmosphere is relatively unique would be disingenuous to all the millions of iOS gamers that haven't played the game before.
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
2
Ted Cunn | 14:13 - 22 September 2011
How refreshing to find somebody else who doesn't like Another World! I couldn't stand it when it was first released and, despite my changing tastes an attitudes since, my opinion of it has never changed.

KlausIP seems to be yet another of those blinkered 'you weren't there, you wouldn't understand' gamers who can only focus on the faults of new games and bang on about how much better old games supposedly were. This is coming from somebody who has been playing video games for 27 years and has a Master System, a Mega Drive, a Mega-CD, A Saturn, A Dreamcast and a CD-i plugged into his television at the moment (along with the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3, of course). Oh, and there's still a copy of Another World for the Mega Drive on my shelves.

To say a game is being put down because it isn't either flashy to look at or for casual gamers is ridiculous. I'd put this game down because it's slow and tedious. Having to do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time isn't gameplay to me, it's just a memory test.

And all the 'atmosphere and story' excuses? They're great things to have, but no way are they anywhere near as important as the gameplay. If there's anything I do miss about old games, it's the fact they didn't feel the need to worry about plots and characters. You just played 'em through and maybe got some text here and there. Doom (which did have the atmosphere) had next to no story at all and most of that was tucked away in the instruction booklet. I finished the game three times before I even bothered to read it.

Anyway, I'm rambling now - and I have to get back to Deus Ex: Human Revolution anyway...
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
1
DeanUK | 14:11 - 22 September 2011
Pocket Gamer rates this game 5/10 whilst IGN gives this game a glorious 9/10.

I don't understand.
Joined:
Sep 2011
Post count:
2
KlausIP | 12:29 - 22 September 2011
Ok, you had the game when it launched.

But your judgment of the game looks like you're comparing this to AAA modern titles.
We're not all playing for 3D HD graphics like Infinity Blade and/or casual, self-masturbation experience like Fruit Ninja.
You miss the whole point about the game : the narrative experience, great storyline (without a single word) and unique atmosphere.
That's what makes Another World a "special" game IMHO.

I think it's very crude to compare the game to Dragon's Lair too. Sure, AW uses a lot of trial-and-error, but the gunfights are far more tactical that just" press left a time A, or right at time B".
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
32
YaFlippinBamYa | 11:02 - 22 September 2011
Flip, I really thought this was going to be good. Oh well, I already downloaded it this morning before reading the review so hopefully I'll at least get some nostalgia from playing it a while
Joined:
Dec 2010
Post count:
187
PG BBilson | 10:53 - 22 September 2011
Which part do you disagree with?

For the record - I had Another World on my A500 back in 1992.
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