An EARTHWORM JIM Reboot Is Just What Gaming Needs Right Now

2016 is a weird time in gaming. It seems like if every development team isn't concerned with building an otherworldly gamechanger, blockbuster franchise, or indie platformer with "feeling". they've already did it and are being heralded as "heroes of gaming". Believe it or not there used to be a time where video games weren't trying to make a statement, and in doing so, made a huge impact on pop culture.

You wouldn't know it today, but Earthworm Jim was the king of the mid 90's. He was goofy, gross, and more importantly...

The plot was simple, he was an earthworm that climbed into a super suit that fell from space. Because he has powers and human abilities, Jim must save princess What's Her Name. That's it...that's the game. No subtle looks into the human psyche, deep plot lines, and certainly no taking itself seriously.

The game was a massive success across all platforms. It got best Genesis game of 1994 from EGM (back when EGM meant something) and a perfect score from Gamepro! It even had a commercial pulled from television because it grossed out viewers so much...

Things didn't stop there either. Earthworm Jim was so popular he managed to get a toy line, comic book series, and even a Saturday morning cartoon...

Would Limbo or Inside get it's own TV show? Hell no, who would watch that?! 

Jim would continue his success with Earthworm Jim 2, and then the party would come to an unfortunate halt.

Shiny Entertainment would be taken off the task of future Earthworm Jim games and the series would officially plummit with a Gameboy Color game and the ill-conceived N64 game Earthworm Jim 3D... 

Fun fact this game was developed by Rockstar Games.

3D killed the 2D platforming star. While Mario, Sonic (kind of), Link, and Donkey Kong were able to make the jump to 3D...it just didn't work with Earthworm Jim. The gameplay was clunky, and the mechanics didn't translate as well in a 2D environment. Earthworm Jim fell to the wayside for several years seemingly forgotten by his fans.

In the late 2000's the game received a breath of life. HD remasters were released for several consoles and iOS and the world once again remembered their love for Earthworm Jim. Unfortunately, there was no follow up and the game once again faded into obscurity until I decided it was time to reopen the floor for discussion. 

If ever there was a time to get a new Earthworm Jim game, it's now.

Platformers are still hot, Kickstarters thrive on nostalgia, and challenging gameplay is more or less the standard for today's gaming. As it stands, the last known company to have the rights to it was either Atari or Foundation 9 Entertainment that owned the rights. That company disolved last year so who know's where the rights are now...

You don't have to do anything innovative or groundbreaking...just bring back the game we loved from 1 and 2 with some goofy levels to boot. Let's hope whoever has the rights gets a clue. I would love to turn my brain off playing a platformer for once.

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