Earthworm Jim 3D
Earthworm Jim 3D is a video game released for the Nintendo 64 and Microsoft Windows in 1999 by VIS Entertainment, and the third game in the Earthworm Jim series and was not made by Shiny Entertainment, the original team who made the original 2 games. The game suffered a long development cycle, being repeatedly delayed. A PlayStation version was planned but ultimately cancelled, due to it's poor reception.
Why It Sucks
- The cover art makes Jim look a bit crazed and out of his mind in a way that looks kinda unsettling but still pretty bad-looking.
- The charm from the original two games that had the appeal of the over-the-top insanity of the level design, crazy characters, silly game mechanics & absurd humor (plus the cartoon's clever, witty, lighthearted & wacky sense of humor/etc) is gone.
- Speaking of the original games, this game tries to recreate some levels & make references to the original game, and 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 example)
- Sloppy camera movement & stiff, slippery controls playing as other characters like Earthworm Kim or controlling obstacles that are annoying to control like The Pig
- 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.
- 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!
- The game doesn't save how many marbles you picked up. Similar to the notes in Banjo-Kazooie.
- Speaking of Banjo Kazooie, this game is a shameless Banjo Kazooie clone by story & game design.
- Losing a life also resets the marble count, making the game even more tedious and frustrating.
- Incredibly linear and dull level design.
- Some of the music can sound oddly unpleasant & 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 or even the repetitive boss music being the same juvenile boss theme throughout every battle.
- 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, different colored suit, and a slightly higher-pitched voice.
- Unfunny, forced, and ugly humor. (e.g Jim whip-lashing an innocent hamster to open a gate)
- When Jim gets hurt, wees, makes sounds, makes puns/etc. He never SHUTS UP.
- Speaking of the titular earthworm, he was hit with some flanderization; where he went from being a lovable, hilarious, and heroic earthworm, and while he's still enthusiastic and heroic in this game, he has become more of a weak, loud yet forgettable, unfunny, somewhat sadistic and a hugely accident-prone loser 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 the first two games.
- The bosses are very lame & are the same because you have to do pork boarding for every boss fight and since the controls for it are very difficult & have poor direction, they are the most insufferable parts about the game.
- 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)
- The level textured designs (e.g The Barn level) are so bland that it's confusing where to go.
- This game was supposed to be a companion to the animated series by a continuation (e.g Dan Castellaneta being the voice of Jim in this game). But it didn't matter since it was canceled in 1996 & stopped airing in 1997, and series creator Doug TenNapel disliked the animated series. Plus this game never showed anything related to it other than the titular superhero, the dog sidekick Peter, Earthworm Kim from the opening (with a reskin), Professor Monkey For A Head, & the main antagonist Psycrow.
- The PC Version was a lot worse as it also had a bug where the music either didn't play or stopped looping.
- The graphics, CGI & textures are decent on the N64, & the PC version is nice looking + polished.
- It still feels ok to play as Earthworm Jim himself since it's mostly responsive & is translated well as a feel-good control, it's kinda stiff or hard to operate at times.
- Some weapons are creative and/or useful in a vaguely wacky way.
- Funky, catchy & 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 & catchy it is.
- The prototype showed way more tight controls and gameplay than in the final product.
- Peter Puppy's design looks decent and faithful to his design from the cartoon.
- It's possible to beat the maddening game with an N64 emulator that gives you enough slots & saves to beat the game.
- While the humor is very unfunny and witless most of the time; some puns, references & jokes can range from kinda to pretty funny (Especially from Jim himself with his one-liners).
- With that said, some of Jim's one-liners & voice clips are fun & entertaining to listen to since Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) from the Earthworm Jim animated series is voicing him in the game.
- 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)
- The animation of N64 Earthworm Jim 3D characters/etc are passable.
- The sound effects are pretty decent. (Except for the whiplash)