Monday, 30 June 2014

Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition Review [PS Vita]

If you are old enough to remember those now 'ancient' computer systems like the the Amiga and the Atari ST, then you may well be old enough to remember a quirky game called Another World. The game first launched in Japan in 1991, where it quickly became noted for its cinematic cutscenes and in-game style, which eventually helped to make it a popular title in other countries too.

 The game was designed by French-born video game designer, √Čric Chahi, and  tells a story of Lester, a young scientist who, as a result of a failed experiment, finds himself transported to a mysterious and foreboding alien world. It is a dangerous and unknown environment full of deadly creatures, hard to cross chasms and unfriendly aliens, and the only way for Lester to make it through alive is if he fights for his survival.

Now, twenty-three years after the game was first released, Another World is set to make its debut on the PS Vita. So what can users really expect from this game? Well, the game has tried its best to stay as close to the original version as possible, both in its controls and in its visual style, so it is likely to be a game that will appeal to many traditional retro gaming enthusiasts. The game's original graphics have been rendered in High Definition, but pressing triangle will return them to their former graphic style.

Another World is a traditional Platformer and uses two buttons: X and Square, and the D-pad for movement. Holding down the X button allows Lester to sprint, shoot, charge a shield, unleash a power shot or kick, whereas a press of Square will allow you to jump.

However, this unusual and restrictive choice of controls felt quite difficult to master, which often made the game feel unresponsive and slow at times. The uneven use of the X button for many of the in-game actions felt very odd indeed, as the X button felt like the more natural choice for the 'jump' control instead.

The game also features some quite tricky puzzles that will need to be solved in order to progress to the next level. The game demands a high level of observation and accuracy, as failing to correctly shoot a dangerous item or locating a particular hidden switch in one area of the game could mean a very quick 'Game Over' scenario in subsequent levels.

Having trouble viewing this trailer? CLICK HERE

Depending on what kind of a gamer you are, you are likely to find the process of watching Lester die and having to reload your last saved checkpoint, either immensely challenging and engaging, or very tedious and difficult. We here at Mini Gamers HQ found it to be a bit of a mixture at different times in the game.

Nevertheless, for those of you who are not put off by seeing the 'Game Over' screen flash up several times in a row (and believe us, it will happen over and over again), or those of you who do enjoy a unique and challenging gameplay format, then this game is definitely worth a look, as the story is very interesting and entertaining despite its distinct lack of dialogue, which is quite hard to achieve.

 This is a game where the adage: "practice makes perfect" constantly springs to mind, because reloading checkpoints is a good way of learning where you went wrong, and eventually you will be able to complete all the levels with a relative amount of ease, assuming that you haven't given up playing the game entirely by that point, of course!

In conclusion, Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition is not a game that will appeal to everyone. Its retro button controls and difficult puzzles may prove a bit frustrating to some gamers. Nevertheless, the game does have a good plot and will definitely appeal to fans of the original game or to retro gamers in general. Overall Mini Gamers rating: 5/10.

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