Review by miffo

"It's the same thing, which is the same fun...but nothing more."

First off, let me say that I have never played this game.

Well, that was my first impression anyway. It all goes back to the Saturn era before the Worms series become a cliché—three friends, in addition to myself, would crowd around the TV screen and enjoy the well-balanced combination of humor and innovation that made Worms so great. Years later, Team 17 brought out Worms Armageddon, the third installment of the series, which landed itself on four gaming platforms. Not bad, money-wise, but what happened to the creativity?

Now this is what I meant by thinking I've never played this: When Worms World Party finally came in the mail several days after I was expecting it, the case was snapped in two, along with too many other problems to list. I didn't especially mind, because it's the disk that counts. What really scared me was when I actually did put the disc in! You see, the title screen and interface of Worms World Party looks almost exactly like that of Worms Armageddon. My first reaction to seeing this was that they somehow got the wrong game, but after hearing the similar, but slightly altered music, it was clear that this was indeed Worms World Party.

The first thing I did was create a new team, which I already knew how to do from Worms Armageddon. You can customize a team of four worms each with their individual names, plus a special weapon and specific gravestone for the team. There are a few other options to toy around with, such as an option to change the voices of the worm, but you still can't do that for individual teams. The overall layout of the menus is okay, yet there are a lot of things that I wish they had fixed from Worms Armageddon. The interface is too image-oriented, so it is often hard to understand what to do. Other than that, it's simple but efficient.

Starting a game is almost as deep as the gameplay itself. Outside of choosing teams, etc. there are so many options to tweak before actually playing. There are some fixed levels, or you can have them randomly generated each time with the ability to change the pattern. For your weapon selection, you can choose from all sorts of things such as Intermediate, or even Classic which is a reminiscence of the original Worms. Despite having plenty of options, are they really worth shelling out the cash for a new game? In short: no. I'm not savvy enough to know every weapon from Worms Armageddon, but I can tell you that few, if any of the weapons, are new. But if you think the lack of new weapons is bad, you should look at the gameplay...

For those of you that have never played a Worms game (shame on you!) the premise is this: Up to four teams of four worms compete with a wide assortment of weapons. It's a 2D, turn-based strategy game, but what fun it is! The level itself is strictly 2D, but it can be broken apart from the blasts of the weapons. You'll have to be careful not to lose your health or become victim to the raging water below. The key thing in this is the humor that makes it so addictive, not to mention an awesome multiplayer game. It's actually funny when you make a mistake and kill yourself with an explosive sheep, or even the time-fused old lady! The graphics are simple—not bad, but nothing special. Same goes for the sound, although the voices are really funny!

My biggest complaint overall about Worms World Party is the lack of new concepts and features. The gameplay and even the controls are identical to Worms Armageddon, and there aren't enough new things to make me recommend this if you have Armageddon. Online play is the biggest addition, but more on that later.

Solo play is in a word, boring. Waiting 30 seconds for the bot to decide he wants to do nothing more than skip its turn is annoying. But this is the way you earn extra weapons, so you might as well get used to it. The 1-player mode has missions, time attacks, etc. that are in fact new to World Party. Unfortunately, the gameplay is still the same, and there isn't exactly a compelling story to keep you glued to the screen-in other words, the new missions play and feel the same. Again, it's the same thing. let me talk about the one new feature that is actually noteworthy. Online play. For those of you that don't have any friends, but hate the horrible AI, this is for you. I've heard stories of the servers constantly crashing, but it plays fine for me every time I go on. I played a four-person game without hiccup, and it runs 100% lag-free. It's not the same experience is it is with a bunch of friends offline, especially because you can type only before and after the game, but it's the next-best thing and certainly worth buying if you don't already have Worms Armageddon.

So what if you DO have Worms Armageddon, specifically the Dreamcast version. Is it worth buying World Party? Well, keep in mind that the only big addition is online play. I wouldn't recommend it because so much is similar, but for the $20 price tag, you really can't go wrong. My advise is to sell Armageddon and get this, because it is one of the Dreamcast's best party games, and it even has the online feature! If you don't have any other Worms games, then it's a must-own! I gave it the low score is because it's nothing more than a rehashed game with one added feature, but it's still a lot of fun and something you shouldn't miss.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/14/01, Updated 07/14/01

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