So the other day, I get the inkling to try it out after reading some glowing reviews that made me think of my Killer7 experience. That game looked pretty crappy in stills, but ended up being both interesting and about the only really scary game I've played of besides the mildly traumatic Abadox. I gave Out of this World a try, but remember I expect results from a game that rates itself in its own title, be it TOTALLY RAD! or FOTON THE ULTIMATE GAME ON PLANET EARTH.
OotW stars one Lester, a real life Redheaded Stepchild who dicks around with a machine that sends him into a literal world of pain. The first time I turned on the game, I immediately noticed two things.
-The title screen had to get struck by lightning like three times before my pushing start actually did anything
-This was followed by a little clock thing counting down the load time. Yes, this was for a cartridge based game.
After that, I was treated to a little underwater scene. Part of the wall explodes and debris falls. OK. Suddenly, it fades to black and does it over. This ends up repeated about six times before I realize my barely-visible character is falling into an abyss and drowning because I expected the game to at least take control a moment for my introduction.
And that really sets the tone for the game; You pretty much have to do everything, no matter how mundane, as opposed to a more modern game where FMV's take over for minutes at a time as you ride away from fireballs and do other things that are basically impossible in the real game engine. Upon escaping the aliens' swimming pool, you ten have a chance for another ignoble, pathetic death at the tentacles of whatever's in the pool grasping at you. Note also the large, bull-like... something in the background that quickly runs offscreen. That becomes important later, if you don't clumsily get killed by the worm/snakes on the next screen. If you do get touched, the game rewards you with a short cutscene of the critter sprouting a fang, then lunging and scraping your leg so slightly it HAS to be fatal. Then your guy gets dizzy and falls down. OUR HERO!
Eventually you'll reach the creature that's been stalking you in the background, from which you heroically run like hell right past the starting point and swing like a Challenger version of Tarzan, away a little bit, then right back to run the other way. Just when you're about to be caught, some aliens kill the monster and save you, before pwning you themselves.
Ohhh, if only. Actually, you're thrown into a cage with a featureless white alien, who instantly takes a shine to the game's equally featureless avatar, at which point the game devolves into sort of a buddy cop/prison break flick. It basically goes on like that, you run from the Bad Aliens, dick around with switches, and a magical grill-lighter pistol with a built in force field device. Eventually there's even a really dull tank fight! I know that kind of seems like a contradiction in terms, but boy, do they make it happen. OUT OF THIS WORLD!
This is one of those games that people like to say was revolutionary or ahead of its time, but really, games of this sort are basically throwbacks to the old days of text based adventure games. Games that were basically more about abritrarily guessing which lever would NOT kill you than actual skill or deducing from clues. Even Dragon's Lair did this kind of gameplay, with hand drawn graphics that lent it a lot more character than the bland rotoscoping in this. The animation isn't even as butter-smooth as claimed, at least on the SNES version. Hell, Karateka moved smoother in eight bits. The most fun I ever got out of this sort of thing was seeing all the different ways you could die before getting bored and playing something else.
I guess I should give the game some props for a realistic main character. He has about the athletic ability of someone you'd expect to work in a research lab, that is to say his 'jumps' look more like little skips in his walk. I can honestly say as well that if I met black cloaked, armed aliens immediately after escaping from some kind of indeterminate thing, my reaction probably woulda been a pie-faced wave too. The evil aliens are probably big on aesthetics, for the record- they have the technology for tanks and blasters, but choose to keep prisoners in stylish, retro iron cages.
I wonder if this Lester is the same as Lester the Unlikely.