Out of This World

All we know is, he's call "The Stig"...

After writing random incoherent musings for this blog for the past several months, I’ve found myself in the obvious realization that the Super Nintendo is, to put it scientifically, chock full of bullshit titles meant primarily to cash in on some random intellectual property that, I could only hope, no child could give two shits about.

Or, for perhaps those developers on a smaller budget, some new, arguably original idea that, in a similar manner as before, no child could give two shits about.

Then I find myself playing Out of This World.

For this article, I call upon Mr. Peabody to take the WABAC Machine all the way to the far-flung year of 1991, in northern New Jersey, where one could find a bright-eyed young ten-year-old child, dragged along with his mother to a Sam’s Wholesale Club for god-knows-what. This is where, somewhat disappointingly, the video game shopping usually took place, seconded by a random Babbage’s off somewhere from which some obscure, budget shareware title on a 5¼” floppy disk may have been purchased every now and then. Either way, the usual protocol for this lad in such situations typically involved hanging out by the computers, playing some random demo game (usually Lemmings or some sequel thereof) for 5 or 10 minutes, changing the BIOS password on all the demo PC’s to “boobs”, and digging through the bargain bin for something that resembled a remotely entertaining DOS game.

This day, though, in an odd stroke of luck, this child struck solid gold.

Out of This World, a title put out just earlier that year, was found in this child’s hands. On the box was an image of a beautiful, painted scene of a red-haired man standing, with arms outstretched, in front of a desolate alien landscape. Behind him stood a square-headed, humanoid creature reaching for a rock, possibly for use as a weapon.

From this scene, the child’s imagination ran wild. What was going on here? How did this man get here? Was this alien creature an enemy, or a friend? What structure loomed in the distance? What happened earlier to get us here, and what would happen next?

(Seriously, most people didn’t have unobstructed internet access to random game reviews back then, so someone could have easily shit in a box and pasted some pretty sci-fi pictures on it, and it could have sold thousands upon thousands at retail outlets.)

He showed the box to his mother, skeptical of whether this was worth the investment or whether someone had, yet again, just taken a poo in a pretty box. It had been a year or so since purchasing SimCity (which, surprisingly, was mostly free of human feces), so she decided, “Hell with it, at least he’s not addicted to meth!”

But this game may be far worse…

Imagine for a second, a beautiful young woman (or man, whatever your bag may be). You go out for a while, and they seem cool, but then, almost out of the blue, they start beating the living crap out of you on a daily basis. You might think, “Bullshit, this cat’s a waste of my time!” But ho! You keep on going back, you dumb, masochistic bitch! The endless abuse, the horrible fights, but why?

Why!? Because you’re in love, that’s why! You put up with the constant disrespect, sleeping around, and incessant physical abuse, because you know that deep in there, within the crunchy, hateful peanut coating, you’ll come across the soft, lovable, chewy nougat center.

And by “nougat”, I mean “inventive puzzles and shit”.

Wait, I’m sorry…I failed to come across as sober here.

What I mean is that Out of This World is a beautiful, brilliant game. Rarely can one find such cinematic mastery in one package, but it’s not a game for everyone, by any means. It can be tough as nails to figure out at times. Rusty, tetanus-infected nails, I mean. Seriously, you will probably die a lot in this game, so clean up that infection, take those shots, and take a seat for a while and get used to this game if you’re willing. It takes a while, but in the end, when your broken body finally makes its way to the finish, you’ll be proud of your accomplishments.

I’d recommend against the Super Nintendo version, though. Pretty much everything is there, but the SNES just can’t seem to handle the beets and radishes that this game demands. I mean, the system’s built for bitmap sprites, but this game is trying to squeeze vector graphics at every turn. The poor system can’t keep up half the time! As a result, controls on the SNES can be about as sluggish as a sleep-deprived turtle on promethazine (or myself sleep-deprived and on prometh…weekend plans anyone?). Seriously, play the game on an old 386 (or perhaps any halfway decent Windows box with the recent re-release) if you can.

Damn good game anyway.

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