How to Tell When You Gave Artists Too Much Control Over Design
A half hour into Earthworm Jim on SNES, and three things became painfully clear to Andy (Hull) and me: 1. wow, Earthworm Jim is a worse game than we remembered, 2. Earthworm Jim was designed by visual artists with little experience in game design, and 3. modern studios haven’t learned from Earthworm Jim, because some of their games share a lot of its negative traits.
Ultimately, what we enjoyed about EWJ were its quirky characters, humor, and animation, which were unmatched at the time. But it’s because those elements came at such a premium that it pales in comparison to other run n’ guns and platformers of the era, like Contra or Mega Man. Though Jim and his cohorts are remembered fondly (and with good reason), it’s not likely to be a game we’ll come back to very often.