The lights are on
Out of This World is one of my most memorable video game
experiences for a variety of reasons. Being thrust into its alien world,
figuring out its puzzles, and having a wild adventure with friends both in and
outside of the game made it a title I fondly recall. There is a blemish on my
memory of it, but it's not necessarily the game's fault.
Warning: Spoilers to
My friends and I rented Out of this World from the local
Blockbuster without knowing anything about it other than what we saw on the
back of the box. This dive into the unknown was appropriate given how the game
starts: The protagonist is transported into a strange, unknown world after his
science experiment goes awry. Life on this planet is hostile, with death a
possibility within moments of your arrival, and your imprisonment on this slave
Our journey through Out of This World created a gaming
memory I'll never forget. Solving its puzzles, surviving the deadly combat, and
taking in its cinematic look had us absorbed and on the edge of our seats as we
passed the controller amongst ourselves. The game's overall atmosphere – with
ominous music, lack of a HUD, simple inventory, and degree of difficulty greatly
contributed to the experience, and our bond with a mute alien companion (whom
we named "Uglug") also helped capture our imagination.
We played the game through most of the day, and were drawn
deeper and deeper into the world. Our involvement came to a head in a
particularly tense sequence where Uglug wrestled with a foe; buying us enough time
as we slowly crawled, wounded, to a panel of levers across the screen. For
whatever reason we kept having trouble with finishing this sequence, and we
decided to quit the game and rent it again the next weekend.
The day came, and we assembled the same group of friends to
continue our adventure. After putting in our save code and getting back to
where we left off, we – of course – got through the sequence in seconds. We
were initially happy that we could keep going, and looked forward to where the
game would take us next, but this feeling quickly ended. The sequence we
originally stopped at was, in fact, right before the end of the game itself. We
watched in disbelief as the credits rolled, but for the wrong reasons.
Through no fault of its own, our particular experience with
Out of This World pulled a lot of the possible emotion and satisfaction from
the ending. We laughed about our letdown, but I knew that I missed out on a
moment that was a whole game in the making.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.