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August 28 2005
Earthworm Jim - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
2007AtariAtariShiny Ent.1-2$TBA
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Jim's just taking a break.
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Either stretching, or about to jump.

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Try to avoid the flames.
Do you remember Earthworm Jim? If so then chances are that you were playing games in the 16-bit era when Shiny Entertainment created a character that almost reached the legendary status of a certain plumber and hedgehog. Well, perhaps he wasn't quite the mascot character the company hoped for, but the character and gamers were certainly entertaining and sold quite a few copies. That was until the rather abysmal Earthworm Jim 3D on PC and N64 (which wasn't developed by Shiny Entertainment but rather VIS Entertainment). Now, the creators of the original game, Shiny Entertainment, are back with an all new Earthworm Jim title for Sony's handheld system.

This new PSP game remains true to previous titles in terms of graphics, audio, gameplay and humour. The game is still essentially a side scrolling platformer however the graphics have been overhauled to make us of the PSP's additional power - not unlike the recent releases of Lemmings. The stoyline is woven through the numerous gameplay situations Jim finds himself in, and through the characters he meets and environments he explores.

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Blasting the enemy.
Jim continues his fight against the Queen and her allies, while his love for Princess-What’s-Her-Name grows, and his ever-lasting friendship with Peter Puppy is a key element in his life. Like its predecessors, the game features imaginative and outrageous characters, large levels that are ripe for exploration, and a slew of puzzles, power-ups and zany environments.

Fans of the previous games will be pleased to hear that the gameplay remains largely the same. Jim, for instance, can use his body as a whip or as a hook to hang onto ledges. In terms of weapons Jim's blaster is making a welcome return to make short work of numerous enemies.

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A worm - in space!?
Shiny Entertainment will also be including a 2-player competition mode to extend the life of the game however details of these modes remain under wraps for the moment. All characters, environments and effects will be crafted in 3D and Jim will sport a new look that is sleek and fresh.

As of mid-2006 the game was about half way through development with the game apparently up and running on a PS2 development kit before being moved to the PSP. Could we be seeing a PS2 version as well? Who knows, but at least the series is heading to the PSP. As yet Atari have not set a release date but a Christmas 2006 launch seems a bit unlikely with only a couple of months to go. Roll around 2007...