was a wee one, video games were, for the most part, pretty
straightforward. You ran, you jumped, you fought villainy with swords
or guns, depending on the developer's preference, and getting to the
end of every level was just a matter of putting one foot in front of
the other and killing the bad guys before they killed you. Or knocking
them out; we didn't really have a ratings system back then, so you had
to tone the violence down every once and a while to keep the parental
fuzz off your back. Anyway, I distinctly remember one particular game,
a fairly out-of-this-world game where you traveled to another
world to match wits with brutish aliens and brave deadly obstacles to
escape with your life, even though you would die many, many times in
the process. The exact title escapes, but I do remember that above all
else, it was Out of This World.
apt title, and not just because you control a scientist who drives a
Ferrari. The basic premise is that your character, Lester, was
working at some kind of secret experiment involving a particle
accelerator and a desk inexplicably stationed in front of said
particle accelerator. Long story short: lightning strikes the particle
accelerator, the... accelerated particles I guess, fly out and blast
Lester and his desk, and Lester winds up stuck in another world.
Where? I don't know. It's never given a name. If I had to name it,
though, I would call it the Horrible Death Star, because that's
exactly what's waiting around every corner.
that's just to name a few. Thankfully, the odds start to tip slightly
in your favor once you lay your hands on an alien laser gun:
very fancy laser, let me tell you. Normally, I'd be happy enough just
to lay my hands on a weapon that, in a single shot, can skeletonize
any living creature:
schnazzy, huh? Well obviously, you can't just hand these things out
and not include some kind of defense mechanism. That's why the laser
can also produce a force shield that can repel laser blasts for a
short while. Of course, it can also produce a super shot that can
destroy said shield, so at least you can enjoy a few extra seconds of
life before being flash-fried.
Anyway, a scrawny weakling like Lester isn't going to be able to do a
lot of pull-ups and quick maneuvers like the Prince of a certain Arab
nation, but lucky for him (and honestly, luck plays a HUGE role
in all this) Lester busts out of prison along with a stocky alien
Obviously, the two of you don't share a common language, but thanks to
the miracle of improv sign language, the two of you can come to some
kind of understanding by way of the periodic waving of your friend's
stubby arms. "I'm unlocking a door," "I'll pull you up this
ledge," "let me toss you across this gap," all of this can
be communicated through a single wave and maybe a grunt or two. It's
the kind of friendship that transcends words.
It's all very entertaining, putting aside the fact that each new scene
often requires nothing short of clairvoyance to escape unharmed. There
is a fair amount of laser-play, but more often than not, you'll wind
up fleeing in the face of overwhelming firepower, and wind up using
that "fire" button for a context-sensitive action, like flipping a
lever, stomping a leech, kicking an alien in the crotch, that sort of
thing. It's all very nifty and innovative. Hell, the game even
introduced one of the first drivable vehicles:
And don't even get me
started about the aliens and their "hot coffee":
things never change, and what sells on this world is bound to sell on
another world. Anyway, do yourself a favor and check this game out.
It's great on it's own, but recently, the game's creator, Eric Chahi,
has made an
updated version of the game that
runs on Windows XP with improved graphics, and you can get this new
version off his site for just nine bucks! And really, wouldn't you
rather spend nine bucks on a classic game than spend sixty on some
crappy new Xbox 360 game? Of course you would. You're a crafty
consumer who appreciates the finer things in life, and nine bucks is a
small price to pay for a trip out of this world.
Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Dr. Boogie
*** You too can play Out Of This World! ***
[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUT OF THIS WORLD!]
Note: to play this game you'll need a Sega Genesis emulator.
Want to see some more
video game related content?
Then check out Dr. Boogie's feature on:
The Best Football Video Game Ever!