Highlight text to annotate itX
Once upon a time, there was an Earthworm named Jim. While he hung out with Bad Mr. Frosty
and Dan Castellaneta, this story isn’t about him. It’s about a girl named Scarygirl,
who is, as the title of the game states, scary. Her face seems like something out of a Tim
Burton movie, her left arm consists of nothing but a bone jutting out of a sleeve, and her
right arm is actually a hook-tipped, prehensile tentacle. If that’s not scary, I don’t
know what is. But storybooks are the media of an older generation. Kids these days need
more interaction. So Scarygirl’s tale is told in the form of a video game.
Man. Narrating like that is exhausting. So here’s the schtick. Scarygirl’s a melange
of creepy things, designed to appeal to the “It’s so grotesque it’s cute” Hot
Topic crowd. After all, she means well, and it’s what’s inside that counts, right?
So she spends her time chillin’ with her remarkably intelligent octopus friend named
Blister. Hey, if you’re gonna Addams-Family it up, you might as well do a thorough job
of it. Anyway. Scarygirl’s haunted by a recurring dream about a weird-looking bearded
guy, and so she goes off in a very platforming way in an attempt to either find him, or figure
out what’s going on, or perhaps just justify her tentacle-arm by engaging in Earthworm
Jim-esque whipping and swinging. I’m not about to judge.
Here’s the thing: If you’re going to make an action platformer, using EWJ as your inspiration
is about as good as you can do. Imagine if Earthworm Jim allowed you to grab stunned
enemies, carry them around, and use them as projectiles in whatever direction you wish?
That’d be pretty cool. How about upgradable weapons, allowing for more customized experiences?
We’ll keep the huge levels, though, and offer lots of paths through any given stage.
Oh, forgot to mention: NO PETER PUPPY. Compares quite favorably, now that you think about
it. And this is before you add in the cultural value presented by the super-enunciating narrator
guy. He’s gotta be worth something. So it’s not just another downloadable game, it’s
a cultural experience. Even if that culture may rooted in spiked bracelets, corsets, and
ironic Yoshi t-shirts. Which is unfortunate for those of us who wear Yoshi t-shirts unironically.
But regardless of how you come down on the aesthetic, the truth is that it’s a quality
presentation all around. The narrator, while a little on the laborious side, just makes
you want to stop down and enjoy some milk and cookies between stages, while the environs
themselves are lush and run the gamut from bright, shining, snowy peaks to gloomy, owl-infested
forests. There are even shops where you can spend the gems you find on new techniques,
upgraded tentacle-hooks (please don’t think about that too hard), and plastic versions
of the various foes you face.
And so, in summary, and you will note I’ve returned to the storybook reader voice for
the close of this video, I give Scarygirl my full recommendation. If you boys and girls
are of a mind to enjoy a wonderful platforming video game, I suggest you look no further
than Scarygirl, available now on XBox Live Arcade, and coming soon to your PlayStation
3 and even your personal computer.
… that’s enough of that. I need a lozenge.