Welcome to the 56th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favorite games and applications with you. The things we recommend may be "old school" titles, a Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!
Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition
Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition
With this 56th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival project, we have reached our first major milestone. This issue commemorates not only more than a years worth of great game recommendations, but also the success of a project which has lasted twice as long as its predecessor. With this issue my GBAtemp retirement comes full circle, as I will be passing on the reigns of this project to the very capable Hadrian. I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported this project, those who made it possible, and those who contributed to its longevity. Without further ado, let us get on with our next issue of what I hope will be the start of another great year of recommendations.
Another World (Out of this World – US) is a cinematic adventure platformer originally developed for the Amiga home computer. The game was realized after designer Eric Chahi experienced the Amiga port of Dragon’s Lair. Intrigued by the amount of cartoon-like visuals developer Readysoft was able to pack onto 6 floppy disks, Chahi set out to create a similar experience from a completely new developmental perspective. His idea was to incorporate vector based 2D graphics that would use “less memory space without any restraints on the animation size.” The use of vector based polygons was a revolutionary idea that would allow Chahi to pack his code-based visuals onto a single floppy disk. To accomplish this idea, a specialized set of developmental tools were created, a custom scripting language was utilized, and more than 2 years worth of coding was implemented.
To create the life-like movements captured during various cinematic cut-scenes, Chahi used an animation technique known as Rotoscoping. During Rotoscoping, an actors moments are recorded and then traced by hand onto various formats. Accomplishing this technique with a computer in the late 80's was nearly impossible and required much trial-and-error. Chahi eventually incorporated a GenLock, a device that allows computers to interpret realtime video, and a VHS ITT video player that had a digital frame memory. The VHS player would not stay paused long, as a precaution against component damage, which forced Chahi to duplicate each frame of video under extreme time constraints. While movements such as character animations were made possible from the Rotoscoping technique, it was the opening introduction sequence that most benefited from these efforts.
15th Anniversary Rotoscoping and Interview Video Footage
The plot of Another World begins with a young physicist named Lester Knight Chaykin, who is attempting to recreate the moment in which the universe was created. While conducting an experiment during a thunderstorm, his particle accelerator experiences an electronic anomaly which tares through the fabric of space and time. Without warning, Chaykin is transported through this gateway into an ominous, bleak, and barren alien planet. After a few minutes of deadly exploration, the ruling class of a humanoid alien race imprisons Chaykin. He must escape, and be navigated through various perils as he ultimately attempts to separate himself from his captors while striving for his freedom.
Eric Chahi is well known for a variety of games released between 1983 and 2011. Arguably he is best remembered for Another World, a work which has received a relatively large cult following. For the 15th anniversary of Another World, Chahi focused heavily on Windows XP as the rerelease platform. In 2006, the game was released with a higher resolution of 1280×800 pixels, improved background graphics and animations, DirectX controller support, and an option to play with the original resolution and background art. This release incorporated an extra level which was originally introduced for the PC DOS release, as well as extra enemies and hazards which were originally introduced for the console release (Genesis, Super Nintendo). In 2007, the 15th anniversary version was issued on CD-ROM and included a separate CD soundtrack, a development diary, and an exclusive autographed postcard.
Another World is a masterful combination of story, mechanics, atmosphere, and challenge, that has been celebrated as an underrated influential landmark video game. Chahi "wanted the player to be immersed in an alien, completely quirky but credible world" and settled on a science-fiction theme that would mix gameplay elements between the video games Karateka and Impossible Mission. From the very early aspects of the introduction, the game was an improvisational creation that allowed Chahi to blend his unique vision and visual arts background into a uniquely challenging cinematic platforming experience. Extremely detailed animations and a relatively short playtime provide great reasons to experience this adventure more than once. While it would be incredibly easy to recommend multiple versions of this game (Amiga, DOS, 3DO, GBA, Android), the improved graphics and higher resolution make the 15th anniversary edition one not to be missed. If you have never experienced Another World, now is the time, after all, I finally recommended it!
Genre: Cinematic platformer, action adventure game
Number of Players: Single
Release Year: 2006-2007
Developed by: Eric Chahi
Music by: Jean-François Freitas
Published by: Digital Lounge
Released for: PC (Targeted towards Windows XP)
Control Type: DirectX compatible controller, Keyboard
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