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Out of This World (SNES) artwork

Out of This World (SNES) review


"If you havenít heard of Out of this World, then clearly you know very little about games. "



If you havenít heard of Out of this World, then clearly you know very little about games.

Back in the day, Out of this World was a creative triumph, merging action, strategy and adventure into one solid product. It mixed complex puzzles with solid action sequences, occasionally intertwining the two together. It blended ambience, atmosphere and tension into a lavish cocktail, something that was so far ahead of its time that it today still remains underappreciated. Never before (and dare I say, again) have I experienced a game that is not only lavish in the above qualities but can also retain them throughout the years and still remain as fresh as it did at its creation.

Smooth-sailing scientist, Lester Chaykin seemed to have a decent enough life. A well-paying job, a neat little Ferrari and top of the range sneakers were probably just the tip of the iceberg. However, Lester has obviously not all of this go to his head as he remains dedicated to his job. After returning to his workplace in the evening to continue some research, he is unfortunately caught in a lightning storm. This interferes with some of the machinery that Lester is working on and, inconveniently, transports from this world to the next.

No, fool! Heís not dead! Heís been ripped from his pleasant life and planted right into the middle of a new and unusual world. Where things arenít always what they seem to be.

After immediately awakening in a lake and discovering that the local marine life DOES NOT takes kindly to strangers, you find yourself in a rather bleak mountain range. An ominous hunched figure stares at you from a far away cliff. You amble onward through this desolate wasteland, kicking away poisonous slugs that crawl towards. Your mind wavers as you absorb this strange new world; you forget to take note of that figure in the background which seems to be following youÖ

As you continue to kick at the crawling slugs, wandering aimlessly towards nowhere in particularÖ

ROAR

Itís like being punched square on the jaw. That creature you saw wasnít just a nice decoration for the background. He was hunting you! The strange ape-cat hybrid pounces in front of you and charges! Richard Pryor said it best: RUN!!! ďDonít be a macho-man! Itíll take those fangs and shove them up your ass!Ē

RUN LIKE HELL!! The monster tears after you in hot pursuit. Youíre still dizzy from the shift in atmosphere. This is what Out of this World thrives on. One minute youíll be ambling though a quiet corridor and the next youíll be dodging laser beams or jumping over pits filled with spikes!! After running away from this creature, youíll come face to face with two members of this worldís dominant species. Like everything else youíve met in this strange world, they donít take too kindly too your presence. They respond to your welcoming salute by blasting you square in the chest with a stun gun.

You awaken in a steel cage, suspended from the ceiling. Youíre not alone however; a friendly yet strange face glares at you from the other end of the cage. Youíve been imprisoned by these monsters and have been cooped up with one as well. Luckily, you and he are both fugitives in this strange world. Now, youíll also come across another side of Out of This World, the creative and occasionally frustrating problem solving. Rocking this suspended cage seems to work well, after a few forceful shoves; the cage will not only plummet to the ground, but will land upon the unfortunate alien who was guarding the cage. His gun rolls across the floor, the cage shatters and you and your large friend taste the sweet tang of freedom. You pick up the gun that lies on the floor. Itís payback time! But Iím getting ahead of myself.

This situation is the first time you really have to use your noodle in the game. Itís a brilliant example of the gameís complexity, creativity and their fusion with the gameís action scenes. Puzzles like this pop up throughout the game. Later on, youíll shoot a chandelier down on top of an unsuspecting guard; youíll get punched in the face by a hiding guard and lose your gun. That scene has haunted me since my youth as the seven foot monster plucked up my withered body and proceeded to get a swift kick in the groin! (Alien or not, itís got to hurt.) The raging alien fires a constant stream of lasers from his gun and with the speed and grace of a gazelle; you have to dash through them, roll across the ground, pick up your gun and blast him!

Surviving in this game requires lateral thought, quick wits and patience. On occasion, youíll walk right into a trap and end up getting yourself killed. Sure, youíll be really pissed off with the fact that youíve just died but youíll be automatically conditioned not to do it again! The odds will always be stacked against you but youíll have to brush yourself off and try again. Your gun will be like a fifth limb to you. With one tap it will fire out a single laser, charging the beam will allow you to create a temporary shield which is useful for deflecting enemy bullets. You fully charge your laser to unleash a massive blast which can be used to blow away doors and destroy the energy shield of other enemies. Thankfully, your gun will never let you down when you need it the most. It needs to be charged occasionally in special chambers and since thereís only two in the whole game, you can gather that youíre not going be let down by it.

As you can see Out of this World is a perfect blend of fast paced action and delicate puzzles. Itís like the Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939, Sid Vicious singing My Way and Opeth doing a cover of Oops! I did it again by Britney Spears. It takes two factors that should remain parallel and mixes them together brilliantly. As I said earlier, Iíve never experienced a game that pulls it off so well and I doubt I ever will play anything that does.

Rating: 8/10

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Community review by goldenvortex (October 17, 2006)

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