4cr Plays – Another World (Wii U/3DS)
Another World is a classic. It was originally developed for the Amiga way back in 1991, was ported to several home consoles during the following decade, and is now available on Wii U and 3DS. Developed entirely by Eric Chahi, the technological masterpiece celebrates its history with a “20th Anniversary” version.
Another World tells the story of Professor Lester, a hot-shot scientist who arrives in his Ferrari to run some tests at an experimental facility. As he chills with his can of soda, nature gets in the way and sends down a lightning bolt that hits the facility, jeopardizing the experiment and sending Professor Lester to a far away land where danger hides around every corner.
The game is a cinematic experience, a series of small vignettes that weave a larger tale. You’re thrown into danger right from the start as you materialize inside of a pool of water, seconds away from drowning if you’re not fast enough as you swim towards the surface. As soon as you’re out the water, you realize you’re in a bizarre world unlike anything you’ve seen before, and with no other choice, you slowly explore your new surroundings.
Controls are simple and to the point and don’t get in the way of the experience. You move around with the D-Pad or the Analog stick, jump with the B button, run when holding down the A button, and perform an action or attack with the A button when not moving, all depending on the context.
In order to complete the game, you’ll play while applying the tried and true “trial and error” principle as you go. This will provide you with valuable information such as:
a) Slugs are bad (and deadly)
b) Wildlife is bad (and deadly)
c) Laser-wielding aliens are bad (and deadly)
d) Everything in this game is bad (and deadly)
This version of Another World includes an option to switch instantly between the original graphics and an updated presentation, all at the press of a single button with no delay. On top of this, there are 3 audio options for the soundtrack, and you can play the game with the original soundtrack, a remastered version, or a mix of the CD audio and the console version of the soundtrack from when Another World was released for the SNES and the Genesis.
To make things easier for newcomers (or for those of you who are not as quick as you used to), the game now includes three difficulty settings, one of which will make combat a bit easier and more forgiving. And if you feel like it, you can even select the Hard difficulty to see if you’ve learned everything about the game.
I first played the game on Wii U were you can easily play either on the TV or on the Wii U GamePad via Off-TV play. I did half of the game on the TV and half of the game on the Wii U GamePad’s screen and the game always looked great, both in its original form and in the updated version that adds extra background graphics, lighting and details here and there.
After completing the Wii U version in little over 2 hours, I took the 3DS version for a spin with everything fresh in my mind. As was to be expected, I managed to complete the game on Nintendo’s portable in record time, in around 40 minutes or so. Everything in the Wii U version carries over to the 3DS release but with the added benefit of of portability. I was expecting the system’s autostereoscopic 3D to be put to use for this release, but, unfortunately, the game is displayed in good old-fashioned 2D, so do take this into consideration.
Another World is a classic that all gamers should play from start to finish at least once in their lives. The tight controls, logic puzzles and cinematic storytelling make it an excellent game, and the updated graphics, difficulty settings and audio options make this an even better option. The game has aged well after all these years, and I had a blast when taking it out for a spin for this review.
As an added bonus for those of you who love to see how a game was created, you can check this making-of video for Another World. It goes deep into how the game was built, and on how Eric Chahi used every trick available to push the hardware to the limit: