One hardcore classic and one sequel to a hardcore classic coming right up! I've finally managed to get a hold of the 15th Anniversary edition of Another World, which is by no means a new title, and I got a copy of the new addition to the Simon the Sorcerer series, Simon the Sorcerer 4: Chaos Happens.
It's been a few months since I obtained these items, but I just didn't bother to post anything about them. I guess now the time is as good as ever. First one up, Simon.
Since I'm currently in the process of playing through some other games, including Dragon Quest VIII, I didn't spend much time with this title, except for trying it out. It looks and sounds pretty nice. Pre-rendered 3D backdrops and fully 3D characters compose together quite nicely. It's nothing new and it works.
There's one minor detail that bugs me though. The game is protected using the infamous StarForce. If you're not familiar with it, it's a security measure that's been applied to both the game files and the disc structure to make it impossible to make a working copy, and it works. The only problem is, the protection scheme of StarForce is so invasive, many have labeled it as malware.
StarForce is a protection of great complexity and it employs many debugging, disassembling and unpacking countermeasures. It also checks the disc structure before each game run to make sure the disc you are using is authentic.
To be able to operate, StarForce installs its own device driver. The problem is, it does so without ever informing the user about it, and that's not cool. And the trouble doesn't end there. The mentioned driver can be connected to reducing the stability of your system and degradation in performance of your CD drive. In other words, the protection screws with other software and hardware.
But hey, don't let StarForce get in your way of taking Simon the Sorcerer 4 for a spin. Luckily, the drivers can be removed after you're done with the protected game and you can rest assured that you'll be enjoying the title and your pirate ass friends will not.
Now, onto Another World 15th Anniversary Edition. This one has been out for quite some time, and I don't mean the title, I mean this particular edition. It's avalable from most of the major resellers, so if you want it, search your local Amazon store or just search for it. You should find it in no time.
So, what's so special about this edition? First of all, it comes in a nice box. You get some fine artwork and two discs. One contains the soundtrack, which is thirteen tracks and 22:56 minutes long [this won't be new to those, who own Heart of the Alien for the Mega CD] and the second contains the game itself.
The box also contains a nice postcard with great artwork by Eric Chahi depicting Lester sitting in front of his computer. More bonus features are contained on the game disc. These include a "The making of" feature, which, if you purchase the game in a country other than France, is hard subbed [and that sucks], and two *.pdf files. These two files are Developer Diaries [which features some nice concept artwork, early sketches and illustrations, aswell as the storyboards] and a scan of Chahi's notebook containing his own information on code and scripting.
The game itself features both high and low resolution graphics with either old or updated backgrounds. There is, of course, no censorship so all of the scenes are there, you will see blood, guts and gore, of which there are very little, but still, in some console ports few scenes went under the axe.
The game comes on a regular CD and is protected by SecuROM. This means you won't be able to play it if the CD is not present in the drive. I've actually created a small No-CD patch and if someone wants it, I could release it. All it does is allowing you to run the game you legally bought without the need of having it in the drive.
This little gem is certainly worth getting, especially if you're new to the title. There are many people out there who know it but haven't actually played it thruogh. Get it, play it, love it. This is one milestone of a game you don't want to miss. You get a nice edition, a great game and you gain a great experience. Surely you want to be able to say you've played Another World and mean it?
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