Backlog Burndown: Sprint #2 – Another World

Backlog Burndown: Sprint #2 – Another World

What’s the natural follow-up to starting a backlog challenge with a short Visual Novel? Obviously it’s to go oldschool with a remastered version of a twenty-five year old classic.

If Sprint One of the burndown was easy mode for playing one short VN, Sprint Two turned unexpectedly difficult thanks to my choice of a classic old school game and the sort of oldschool PEBKAC errors that make people throw controllers into walls.

Pretty much exactly like this

Pretty much exactly like this

My choice for games? The 1991 classic Another World, in its 20th Anniversary remastered edition. I missed out on this one the first time around, mainly because my game rig at the time was a Laser 128K (an Apple IIe clone with a whopping 128 kilobytes of RAM and a built in 5.25″ floppy drive), and also because I tended to be pre-occupied with space sims, and games from Sierra Online and LucasFilm Games.

My Steam library had been hosting the 20th Anniversary edition of this classic for over two years, when I finally decided to knock it off the backlog. How Long To Beat said it averaged a little more than two hours, and my reflexes are still good enough for space sims and riding motorcycles, how tough could this be?

Then I died within the first 30 seconds, as a monster at the bottom of the first interactive screen ate me. I died ten or fifteen more times figuring out the first five screens. In between deaths, the game decided it really didn’t appreciate being run on Windows 10, and started crashing every few minutes.

I switched to Windows 7, which solved my crashing problems. What it couldn’t fix were my brain problems, which saw me spending over an hour jumping through a specific sequence because I couldn’t figure out that I was doing something out of sequence, but the game (being a 25 year old game from the era of NO HAND HOLDING AND NO EASY MODE) didn’t provide me that information in any way other than killing me over, and over, and over again.

You see this on the second in-game screen. It killed me a lot

You see this on the second in-game screen. It killed me a lot

This would be the point where people tend to throw controllers, or, finally, resort to GameFaqs and Youtube walkthroughs to solve the problem. Because controllers are expensive, I chose the latter option.

Eventually, I got through it. Got 100% on the achievements too!

Final thoughts? I know why this game is a classic now. The art style would have been gorgeous in 1991, and the remastered version, which saw the original artist coming back to rebuild most of his scenes, looks great while still keeping true to the original aesthetic. If this is in your backlog, don’t miss out.

Remastered art style

Remastered art style

Original Art style

Original Art style

And now, video highlights!

Sprint Goal #1 completed.

Sprint Goal #2 was to finish loading my games into HLTB. Success there as well. I’m sure there’s a few more games lurking about that I missed, but I’m comfortable enough calling this complete.

Now it’s time for Sprint #3. The kids are back in school, which means that we backloggers with children hopefully have a little more free time. Time to be a little more aggressive then, and knock a slightly longer game off the list. After last sprint’s seriously oldschool run, I think I need something newer. Maybe… It’s the first game (alphabetically) in my Steam library! 1953 – KGB Unleashed  it is!

Previous backlog: 1,147 unfinished/unplayed games

Current backlog: 1,146 unfinished/unplayed games.

Aaron is proof that while you can take a developer out of the game industry, it’s much harder to take the game industry out of a developer. When not at his day job, Aaron enjoys teaching Axis & Allies to his kids, writing sci-fi stories, playing classic space sims on Twitch, and riding around the American Midwest on his Harley.

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