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Out Of This World (SNES)

Youíre going to die. Thatís the first thing youíll figure out when you play Out of this World. Unless you know what to expect before you start off the game, probably within the first five seconds youíll experience death for reasons that youíre not sure of until after it happens. Itís not just at the start of the game when that will happen either, itís a constant theme throughout.

At the start, you begin near the bottom of a pool of water. Not only are you sinking, but some fun-looking tentacle things are reaching up to grab you. So, unless as soon as you start off the game you begin swimming up, youíre going to die. After dying youíll have figured this out, of course. There are quite a number of instances like this though, where youíll be going happily along, and all of a sudden youíll die. You start over from a previous point, make your way past where you died before now that you know what to do, and probably die a few seconds later at a different point. The entire game progresses like this, basically a long trial-and-error learning process. After you work your way out of the pool at the beginning and onto land, youíll have to start making your way along, being able to only jump to avoid enemies, or get close to them to kick them. Later on in the game, youíll have a chance to pick up a gun, which will certainly make things much easier. Progressing to the right, youíll eventually be faced with a huge creature which will start to chase you, and youíd better start running (although youíll probably die again first).

The game is a mix between platforming elements and puzzles. You run, jump, kick and shoot to make your way along, and will come across areas where youíll need to make your way across platforms and past obstacles. There are a number of puzzles, and areas which arenít so much puzzles but just things you need to figure out what to do first before you can make your way past them. Dying really is going to become a repeating part of the game, itís just something to get used to. Itís not that big a problem though, as dying usually doesnít set you back all that far. The game is broken up into levels, and each time you die on a level youíll receive a password for the level. Using the password, you can continue back at the start of the level you were last on. While the levels do progress well enough on their own, each of the levels can stand by itself as a pretty fun challenge alone. So, the level passwords do come in handy, so that you can write them down, and then just go directly to one of the levels and play through that one by itself. While the style of play is the same throughout all of the levels, youíll have a number of different things youíll have to tackle in each level, so, while none of the levels by themselves take all that long, especially once youíve beat them, itís still very fun to just go back and play through a particular level that you enjoyed.

The main area the game shines in is graphics. Many things are presented in a sort of 3D-like style, with a number of things really looking quite nice. Backgrounds and landscapes especially stand out. Although, when it zooms up close on your character or someone else, those things up close do like rather blocky and strange, itís still pretty good. Sound, on the other hand, isnít much to speak of, thereís the occasional dramatic raise of music when something happens, and characters will grunt or try to talk and such, but in general sound isnít anything special.

The gameplay really isnít particularly deep, it just comes down to running, jumping, shooting, dying, and figuring out what caused you to die. Usually you can figure out what caused you to die right away though, so you wonít stay in any one area frustrated for extended periods of time. All of this does work fairly well together though, with having to figure out what to do covering over the slightly shallow gameplay, and gameplay still being interesting enough where you donít feel as if youíre just going along trying to figure out puzzles. The backbone of the game mainly does rest in having to figure out what to do though, so, once you have completed the game, and if you can basically remember what it is youíre supposed to do at every point, playing through the entire game without having to deal with that really doesnít have the same level of challenge to it. While there are a few areas which rely on skill, once youíve figured out what to do, you wonít have too much trouble with the game. Nonetheless, whether youíre just playing through one level or the entire game, while it might not be as interesting the second time through, it can still be enjoyable to sit down and play.

Between decent puzzles and passable gameplay, it does add up to produce a rather fun game on your initial time through. While there are still things to do after youíve beat the game, you wonít have quite the experience you did before. Graphics are pretty good, but that alone canít really help the game too much. Overall, though, you still have a pretty good game, which will provide you some challenge, and is still enjoyable to play.

Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics/Sound: 7/10
Length/Replay: 4/10
Overall: 5/10