The console versions include a number of unique additions, such as additional levels, and online multiplayer modes of play. This is the first and only instance of an Earthworm Jim game being a multiplayer game as well as single player. The console versions of Earthworm Jim HD received some critical acclaim, especially for the multiplayer modes.
- 1 Development
- 2 Releases
- 3 Levels
- 4 Achievements (Xbox 360) / Trophies (PlayStation 3)
- 5 New multiplayer modes of play
- 6 Reception
- 7 External Links
- 8 References
Earthworm Jim HD was designed by the studio Gameloft, a subsidiary of French developers Ubisoft. Gameloft developed the game under license from the American Interplay Entertainment, the current rights holders to the Earthworm Jim franchise. The Asian subsidiary of Gameloft acquired license from Interplay to make Earthworm Jim HD in August 2009.
Gameloft used the original Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of the original game as a visual reference, but developed the code and animations of Earthworm Jim HD from new, without using the code of the original game like most HD remakes have done.
The development did not involve the original creators of the franchise, Shiny Entertainment, and Jim himself was re-voiced by an uncredited voice actor instead of Douglas TenNapel or Dan Castellaneta, causing some concern among fans. However, the reworked soundtrack of Earthworm Jim HD was composed by game music veteran Tommy Tallarico, who also composed the music for the first game, its special edition, and its its sequel.
Earthworm Jim HD was announced for the Nintendo DSi's DSiWare, and a basic version without new content was released in the PAL region on April 23, 2010 and in North America on 10 May 2010. Gameloft has also ported the original game to the S60 platform for smartphones, on webOS for the Palm Pre, and Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.
The single player mode of Earthworm Jim HD includes all but one of the levels from the original game, with the addition of a level select screen in the main menu to go to previously-accessed levels.
Many of the levels are expanded or extended in the console versions of Earthworm Jim HD compared to the levels in the original game. These include additional sections; for example, "New Junk City Part 2", was were not present in the original game, but was first included in the Special Edition of the game, and is also retained in Earthworm Jim HD.
However, there are some omissions from the original game, the most notable of which is the secret level "Who Turned Out The Lights?". This secret level was accessed through Level 5 in the original game, but is not present in Earthworm Jim HD.
The single player mode in the consoles version of Earthworm Jim HD adds a whole new and unique section to unlock and explore, called The Cheap Chap Chopping Chips Program. This is set in digitized fantasy world within a computer, and includes secret levels with new and unique background artwork, game mechanics, enemies and bosses.
The Cheap Chap Chopping Chips Program includes the three new secret levels:
Achievements (Xbox 360) / Trophies (PlayStation 3)
Earthworm Jim HD contains 12 achievements / trophies in total. 10 are for the game in single player mode, and 2 are for the online multiplayer modes. There are also "awardables", unlockable Earthworm Jim gaming avatars.
These achievements / trophies include include:
Single player mode achievements / trophies
- "Snot an Achievement" - Launch the cow at the beginning of New Junk City in single player mode
- "Canadian Stunt" - Use the worm head whip to swing from the antlers of any Moose Head
- "Bin Collector" - Kill Billy the Bin in New Junk City
- "Space Collector" - Collect 100 Fuel Pods during the asteroid chase bonus levels with Psy-Crow. This must be done in a single play-through.
- "Super Space Collector" - Collect 300 Fuel Pods during the asteroid chase bonus levels with Psy-Crow. This must be done in a single play-through.
- "Banker Whipper" - Whip a banker (also called a lawyer) twice in What the Heck?
- "Atom Raider" - Collect 100 atom balls without exiting the game
- "Atom Jefferson" - Collect 500 atoms balls without exiting the game
- "Superhero" - Complete the game's single player mode at original difficulty level in under 50 minutes
- "Earthworm Never Dies" - Complete the game's single player mode at original difficulty level without losing a life
Online multiplayer achievements / trophies
- "Groovy Leader" - Be "No. 1" in each online multiplayer cooperative level
- "World Partnership" - Complete all the 15 new levels unique to the multiplayer mode
New multiplayer modes of play
The console versions of Earthworm Jim HD add several pieces of original content to the game, most notably entirely new multiplayer campaigns. These can be played locally, with other players on the same console, or online through Xbox Live Arcade or the PlayStation Network.
Two to four players can play simultaneously, playing as different-colored clones of Earthworm Jim (original, red, green and purple). These can be played in either cooperative or competitive campaign. However, only the cooperative mode is available in the online version (the online version does include some competitiveness however, for example in the "Space Wormity" racing levels).
The online cooperative mode involves unique teamwork-based puzzles, gameplay and game mechanics. This includes new game mechanics such as for example players having to operate machinery together, or freeing a captive fellow player, in order to progress.
Multiplayer exclusive levels
The new online multiplayer cooperative mode brings 15 new levels to the game, exclusively for the multiplayer mode to be played in. These new levels are not available in the single player mode.
When a multiplayer game is started, the multiplayer levels will adapt their game mechanics to accommodate play by two, three or four players.
These new multiplayer levels must be consecutively unlocked through completing objectives in the multiplayer mode, with only the first of these new levels initially available to play. Exiting through a magical door at the end of every multiplayer map gains access to the next.
The multiplayer exclusive levels include:
- The Junks Are Back in Town!
- Billy the Bin
- Four to the Lava
- Serial Lava
- In a Wormy Submarine
- Give Me Five!
- V for Veranda
- Space Wormity
- Saint Pete's Apostles
- Space Dividers
- Food Intoxication
- Gastric Issues
- Spikes Peak
- Chips Chop Back!
- Bump a Dumpa Diddle Doo
Upon release, Earthworm Jim HD sold well, and quickly became one of the higher rating games on the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace, and the multiplayer modes had over a quarter of a million players at its peak. While critics had mixed feelings with regard to how well the game had aged, and whether or not it brought enough new to the table, they generally praised the new content, mainly the cooperative multiplayer mode. The single player mode was praised by some for its inclusion of the ability to switch between weapons, a feature not present in the original game.
Although it received generally positive reviews, it was still not as well received as the earlier special edition version of the original game, or the original game itself. The Xbox 360 version of Earthworm Jim HD has a rating of 77% on aggregate review site GameRankings.
Some commentators such as GameZone, who found the original game a little too hard, commended the fact that the option is there for the difficulty of Earthworm Jim HD to be significantly toned down from the difficulty of the original game. There are several difficulty levels not found in the original included in Earthworm Jim HD to challenge veteran gamers of the series.
1UP felt that the single player mode had not aged well, was still too difficult, and had some inherent design flaws, giving the game a "C-". However, the site had praise for the online multiplayer mode, saying that: "The multiplayer stuff is wonderful, however, and I'd definitely be on board for a brand new Earthworm Jim that builds off this remake's additions."
- Article on Wikipedia
- Play magazine, Issue 196, Pg 97
- Mike Channell. "Xbox 360 Review: Earthworm Jim HD Review - Official Xbox Magazine". Oxm.co.uk.