Monday, 8 February 2021

Interplay Collection 2 (Evercade Review)

The first interplay collection featured only six games but there was more than enough to keep us interested thanks to the inclusion of a couple of iconic titles in Earthworm Jim and Boogerman. This second collection also contains six games with five coming from the Super Nintendo and one lone NES game in Rad Gravity.

Despite the limited number of games we are happy to report that this is definitely a case of quality over quantity. Clay Fighter 2: Judgement Clay, is the only SNES game out of the five that is really disappointing as is seems to have lost much of the charm and fun present in the first game. The style of it is far too dark and the action average at best and it’s likely you’ll be moving on from it very quickly.

The Adventures of Rad Gravity is an often underappreciated NES game and one that is well worth putting some time into. It’s certainly not perfect as the controls are frustrating at times but the game has always had charm in spades and the use of the save states will certainly help progression. It’s also quite inventive at times with gravity inverting on certain planets and an absolute ton of objects and gadgets to find and use.

The lone puzzle game on the system is The Brainies. It involves moving little creatures around a maze before time runs out and placing them on specific spots. It’s kind of a mix of the labyrinth board game and a tile slider. It suffers from cumbersome input due to the SNES pad being used when clearly a mouse would work better, but it is quite engaging once you get into it.

The remaining three games are all platformers. The inclusion of Earthworm Jim 2 will already be enough for many people to pick up the cart and it’s nice to see that it retains the wacky humour and twisted nature of the first game. It’s excellent and carries on the franchise well. A few new elements have been added (such as using Snot as a grappling hook), and there are a host of new weapons to play with that keeps things fresh throughout. The changing theme of each level seen in the first game also returns here.

Claymates, continues Interplays mini obsession with the clay-style look of some of their games. Here you play a blob who can take on the form of various animals as you progress through the levels. These animals all have different abilities (of course), such as a cat being able to climb up trees or the mouse being able to get into small spaces. It’s a fun game that was cruelly overlooked on first release and will hopefully find a much deserved second life on the Evercade.

Rounding out the cartridge is Prehistorik Man which was flavour of the month back during the 16-bit age. It soon disappeared in a massively crowded market but is another game that really does deserve to find a new audience. It’s colourful and detailed and has a strong personality to it. The environments look great and it handles pretty well also. It should come as a nice surprise to players experiencing it for the first time.

Overall, the second Interplay collection is just as strong as the first. There’s a great selection of overlooked titles and more Earthworm Jim is always welcome. There is perhaps an argument that the games from both could have been curated into one collection but it certainly feels like there is good value for money here. The titles may be a little more obscure but the collection itself is one of the strongest released so far for the Evercade.

Game Ratings

Earthworm Jim 2                                4/5

Rad Gravity                                        4/5

Claymates                                           4/5

Prehistorik Man                                  4/5

The Brainies                                       3/5

Clay Fighter 2: Judgment Clay     2/5

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