Review by MFields1978
The Sequel That Literally Killed The Franchise
I first played Out Of This World for Super Nintendo and it literally blew me away. So much so that I published a novel just some years later and it is currently on Amazon.com as Hostile World. I know, shameless plug, but this game did inspire me to write it. Then I bought it again for Sega CD and this time the game got even better as not only did it pack an amazing soundtrack, but you can play the long-awaited sequel as well.
Out Of This World (or Another World as called in the foreign market) follows Lester Knight Chaykin as a scientist who gets zapped into another world full of beast dogs and large, bulky humanoids who immediately imprison him with his humanoid buddy. Together, the two of them escape the prison, and those humanoid forces will stop at nothing to chase them throughout this alien world. Lester is only armed with a laser pistol that needs to be recharged every now and then, and gets involved in cinematic elements along the way. Example of these cinematic elements is one moment you are running and then some fist punches you, then the humanoid lifts you up and you have to keep pressing the button to kick this being in the nards. Then you have to roll back and shoot the thing before it shoots you. It's stuff like this that pushes the envelope of how far games can go, and this game was an indescribable gem among games that were played in the day.
It took me years to release this but the important factor of this game is atmosphere. It is brimming with it. There is always this dark, Utopian feel to the game, and even for a world that is different than others, I can see where the creator Eric Chahi was going for it. The graphics, no matter on what system, are very lifelike with smooth animations that look like real people rather than the few frame animations we usually get. There are different types of humanoids to contend with so you aren't always be stalked by the same type of enemy. My favorite are the ones with the antlers on their heads.
The game ends on a cliffhanger, and this is where Heart Of The Alien comes in. Apparently, the creator of the first game, Eric Chahi, was not involved. He didn't want any part of the sequel despite the company wanting to proceed with one. He was asked what sequel he would have made as he apparently never planned a continuation of the series. His response was to have it in your alien buddy's perspective. Well, that's what they did. Rumors that are probably true stated that Eric wasn't impressed with this game, and disowned it just by the ending alone.
If there's one thing I can credit the sequel for, it's that it has some great cinemas. I remember recording them on my VCR as a kid and I used to watch them over and over again because they had some really cool action in it. I loved how your alien friend who they named Buddy was whipping all those guards in the beginning of the game, and even the middle cinema where Lester fights with the humanoid to save his friend's life.
The game itself, well, it's all trial and error. Sometimes you die in some really cheap deaths. There wasn't much imagination put into the game either and it is rather slow moving. From the start, if you were playing it blindly for the first time, you will die a lot and you will be very lost on where to go next. I remember dying several times. It was basically recreating the beginning of the first game where you are chased by a wild beast. There is some little animal in the background but I didn't know how to react from it. If you keep running, you will be faced with a cliff and you will die. You have to jump up somewhere and let the beast chase that little animal. It took me a few tries to figure this out.
The rest of the game is like an endurance round most of the time you are faced with some challenge you have to get past. Unlike the first game, there isn't much that happens other than progressing. The only creative part is you swinging and knocking a humanoid down only to later swing across his legs with your whip in order to get past a pit. Other than the cinemas and the ending, that is really all you will remember from this game.
Sadly, Heart Of The Alien is a rather forgettable experience but worth playing if you really like the first game. The original was re-released recently as Another World on digital platforms and it's an incredible experience that everyone should try out. The sequel was omitted from this release. However, it's not entirely bad but it is safe to say that it doesn't hold a candle to the original.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Heart of the Alien: Out of this World Parts I and II (US, 12/31/94)
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