Earthworm Jim 3D

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Earthworm Jim 3D
Eearthworm jim.jpg
Groovy. Isn't it?
Protagonist(s): Earthworm Jim
Genre(s): Platform
Platform(s): Nintendo 64
Microsoft Windows
Release: Nintendo 64
NA: October 31, 1999
EU: December 17, 1999

Microsoft Windows
NA: June 29, 2000
EU: October 26, 2001
Developer(s): VIS Interactive
Publisher(s): WW: Interplay Entertainment
NA: Rockstar Games (N64)
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Earthworm Jim
Predecessor: Earthworm Jim 2
Successor: Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy


Earthworm Jim 3D is a platform game released for the Nintendo 64 and Microsoft Windows. It was developed by VIS Interactive and published by Interplay Entertainment. The game suffered a long development cycle, being repeatedly delayed. Initially it was originally supposed to be released for the PlayStation, but was scrapped early in 1997 in favor of the Nintendo 64.

Bad Qualities

  1. To write down the first problem about it, the cover art itself makes Jim look a tad bit crazed and seems out of his mind, in such a way that looks kinda unsettling but still pretty strange-looking.
  2. The charm from the original two games that had the appeal of the over-the-top insanity with the level design, having crazy characters, silly game mechanics, and amazingly absurd humor (plus the cartoon's cleverly witty and wacky sense of humor/etc) is gone.
  3. Speaking of the original games, this game tries to recreate some levels and make references to the first game, this game does it horrendously (e.g Jim whip-lashing Elvis to jump over edges; which exactly comes from Earthworm Jim 1's For Pete's Sake level as a prime example).
  4. Unfunny, forced, and ugly humor. (e.g Jim whip-lashing an innocent hamster to open a gate, which you are able to kill it by doing this twice)
  5. Sloppy camera movement and stiff, slippery controls playing as other characters like Earthworm Kim or controlling obstacles that are annoying to control like The Pig.
  6. Despite its long development cycle, the game still felt rushed, with the Nintendo 64 version being sloppier than the PC version, and the game falsely advertising the appearance of Evil the Cat, who never actually appears in the game.
  7. False Advertising: As it was mentioned above, they said that Evil the Cat was going to appear in this game but he didn't. It also hyped that you would be able to use Jim's abilities in the game as well!
  8. This game was supposed to be a companion to the animated series by a continuation while the cartoon was on the air (where Dan Castellaneta reprises his role as Jim himself). But it didn't matter since it was already canceled in 1996 and stopped airing in 1997, and the series creator Doug TenNapel disliked the animated series.
    • Plus this game never showed anything related to the show other than the titular superhero, the dog sidekick Peter, Earthworm Kim from the opening (with an unfaithful reskin of her), Professor Monkey For A Head, and the main antagonist Psycrow.
  9. The game doesn't save how many marbles you picked up. Similar to the notes in Banjo-Kazooie.
    • Losing a life also resets the marble count, making the game even more tedious and frustrating.
  10. Incredibly linear and dull level design.
  11. The level textured designs (e.g The Barn level) are so bland and repetitive that it's actually confusing where to go.
  12. Some of the music can sound oddly unpleasant and uninspired like the out-of-tune golden udder bagpipe Jim uses to go down the elevators of every section of his mind's emotions being a prime example in the most irritating ways possible.
    • A stronger example of this is the boss music being extremely repetitive and juvenile-sounding, which is reused throughout every single boss battle.
  13. The cutscenes and dialogue try way too hard to be funny and goofy but it comes off as forced and inspid. Especially when several characters make puns or phrases that sound hokey (i.e Jim talking to the Golden Cow as the latter makes cow puns and Psycrow tells Jim how he likes bacon in the morning before he fights Jim).
  14. The bosses are very lame and are exactly the same because you have to do pork boarding for every boss fight. Since the controls for it are very difficult and have poor direction, they are the most insufferable parts of the game.
  15. As mentioned again, It is difficult to play as Earthworm Kim and when you play as her, you'll lose two marbles at a time and they will never give you more health.
    • As for Earthworm Kim; she is nothing but a reskin of Earthworm Jim, but with a wig, purse, differently colored suit, and a slightly higher-pitched voice (aside from three lines from a voice actress to voice Kim). She has no distinctive personality aside from being a gender-swapped antagonist to Jim that has a stereotypically sexist motive of wanting to control Jim's mind with female hormones purely because of the extremely overused "Girls are better than boys" cliche which is solely done for the sheer purpose to make Jim favoring his masculinity over femininity. This can come off as misandristic from Kim's point of view and Jim's goal to foil her plan has a slightly misogynistic implication from Jim.
  16. Speaking of the titular earthworm, he was hit with some flanderization. While he's still enthusiastic and heroic like he was in the previous games, Earthworm Jim went from being a wacky & hilarious yet competent hero, to become more of a weak, loud yet forgettable, unfunny, somewhat sadistic and an overly accident-prone underdog with a low-range gun.
    • Not to mention his summersault addition is unnecessary and looks like a crumbled piece of paper.
    • His gun with low range makes defeating enemies harder than in the first two games, which is baffling.
  17. When Jim gets hurt, wees, makes sounds, makes puns/etc. He never SHUTS UP.
  18. Some of Earthworm Jim's abilities are missing like the whip swing from EJ1 (In the beta, it promoted all of Jim's abilities in there, as mentioned before)
  19. The PC version was a lot worse as it also had a bug where the music either didn't play or stopped looping.

Good Qualities

  1. The graphics are good, and the PC version is nice-looking and polished.
  2. It still feels ok to play as Earthworm Jim himself since it's mostly responsive and is translated well as a feel-good control, albeit being kinda stiff or hard to operate at times.
  3. Some weapons are creative and/or useful in a vaguely wacky way.
  4. Funky, catchy and humorous soundtrack that was composed quite well (for the most part), especially the Barn theme being one of the best soundtracks on the N64 due to how wild, kicky and catchy it is.
  5. The prototype showed way more tight controls and gameplay than in the final product.
  6. Peter Puppy's design looks decent and faithful to his design from the cartoon.
  7. It's possible to beat the maddening game with an N64 emulator that gives you enough slots and saves to beat the game.
  8. While the humor is very unfunny and witless most of the time; some puns, references and jokes can range from kinda to pretty funny (Especially from Jim himself with his one-liners).
  9. With that said, some of Jim's one-liners and voice clips are fun and entertaining to listen to since Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) reprises his role from the animated series with the same name.
  10. The storyline of this game is pretty interesting, unique, and it at least gives you the feel of a vibe with the original charm with Doug TenNapel's quirky style of Earthworm Jim's peculiar stories, (Even if the game itself just Banjo Kazooie with the paint job of Earthworm Jim and being a total, uninspired downgrade entirely)
  11. The animation of N64 Earthworm Jim 3D characters are passable.
  12. The sound effects are pretty decent (except for the whiplash).

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