Hitting the North American PSN Network a little late from its Xbox Live (or European PSN) counterpart, Earthworm Jim HD presents itself as a downloadable title for $9.99 and comes with the free demo treatment as well. I haven’t played Earthworm Jim more than a few times in the past, but I found this title to show some promise in key areas for those who may be new to the series while finding it almost certain that returning fans will enjoy this romp in 2D side-scrolling action. The graphics and art style are fun to explore and interesting, with levels that become similar to puzzles at times challenging the player to solve tricks and turns in the game-play to progress while fighting off enemies with a combination of melee and projectile attacks.
The controls are a little clunky feeling when you first start out but once you get going the core mechanics of this title demo prove to be pretty decent. Goofiness via the sound effects may be a bit over the top at times, but in general seems to fit the quirky theme of the game. There are plenty of optional side-areas that you can challenge yourself to mastering for extra pick-ups but the level is timed so you’ll have to pace yourself while doing so. Jim’s main attacks involve whip-lashing his worm-ish head as well as blasting off his gun. The only major complaint might be that the boss featured in the demo is defeated very quickly and without much challenge, but this probably changes as you get deeper into the full title’s offerings.
At the end of the level the demo presents you with a fast-paced racing level which was fun and interesting but seemed to be very sensitive to twitch movements. Overall, if you liked Earthworm Jim before and have been looking for reasons to replay the game, this remake might be for you. If you haven’t ever played it before or are otherwise on the fence you will definitely want to have a feel for the demo yourself and see what you think about how this cult classic may have aged for better or worse. Check out the game-play video after the break showing the demo in full if you’d like to save yourself the trouble of downloading and installing it for now.