Review: Worms World Party (Game Boy Advance)

In this review, we have a blast in the Game Boy Advance game Worms World Party. We find out how well this strategy game plays.

This game was released in 2002. It is a handheld port of a console version.

We previously played the Playstation version of this game. We found that to be a great game. Before that, we tried the handheld version of Worms Armageddon. That game wound up being pretty solid. We also played the N64 version of that game. That game wound up being the best game ever for us even to this day. So, we thought we’d try another version of this franchise to see how well it plays.

There really is no real story for this game. You are simply pitted against the enemy. Destroy them or be destroyed.

If you’ve played the Playstation version of this game, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the fact that there are only seven main missions. All of them are unlocked right away. You can play them, but you won’t get anything if you beat all the main missions of the game.

A second mode in this game is death match. This is probably the best mode in the whole game, really. You can take one of the many teams available in the game and take on the enemy in increasingly difficult odds. At first, you’ll outnumber the enemy with your team of four. As you progress through the ranks, you’ll eventually be left with only one worm (which is the first time we’ve seen this in any game of the series). The highest rank is General and you’ll have two teams of four worms and a third team of three worms all working to go after you.

When you have only one worm left, the strategy quickly goes from one of taking out enemy worms as quickly as possible to taking defensive positions so enemies do not have a clear shot. The reason this is important is because, when using default settings, two well placed grenades is enough to end your match. So, the real challenge ends up being simply not taking any damage for as long as possible all the while take repeated successful shots on the enemy at the same time. Blow torch and girders can become vital for your survival after a while. It’s doable, but it is very tough to pull off. Again, you get nothing for a successful run, but you can get that distinguished title at the end.

A final mode is quick match. This is a general match that doesn’t really count towards anything. Instead, it is basically a practice round for players wanting to take on death match after.

Another very notable issue is the fact that you can’t change team or worm names. You are pretty much stuck with whatever the developers give you, unfortunately.

For me, this game is hugely disappointing. This is because there are so many problems that hinder play.

Besides what is already mentioned and implied, there is the gameplay itself. A big problem is the physics is, at best, buggy. Sometimes, grenades just “stick” to the terrain. Normally, they can roll around or bounce around for a bit. In this case, sometimes, you hear the clinking sound effect stutter until the grenade goes off.

The physics problem isn’t just tied to grenades, though. One of your big assets in other versions is being able to move enemy worms around with blasts. In this game, sliding is greatly reduced. In fact, the direction you can send worms is actually limited to a few select directions. As a result, sometimes you have to will the directions into working to your advantage. Otherwise, a seemingly obvious kill by sending a worm to the drink ends up being a case of a worm taking damage, but landing otherwise unscathed a short distance closer to the edge. A baseball bat weapon can highlight this especially well. You can also see how seemingly worthless the prod has become as well.

Another issue with the physics revolve around the ninja rope. Before, you could swing yourself across large gaps or bounce your way up a jagged cliff. In this game, the ninja rope is only good for dropping you down somewhere. In that case, you might as well use the bungee rope for that half the time. This is because there is almost no swing in any of the rope. you just almost instantly hang tight at the bottom of where you would be swinging.

Enemy AI can be hit and miss. In other games, the enemy AI puts effort into not causing damage to their own team mates. In this game, if the enemy worm is found from another team, they’ll damage you and not care about causing damage to a fellow worm. This makes strategy much more difficult when dealing with lopsided odds against you.

Some AI bugs work in your favour. For the most part, enemy worms don’t seem to “see” crate drops. If they collect it, it just happens to be in their walking path more than anything else. Additionally, sometimes, enemies won’t even see mines. Because of this, they’ll obliviously walk right over top of it, set it off, and damage themselves all the while wasting a turn. Again, this works in your favour. In a rare case, enemies might even just randomly walk off into the drink.

Sometimes, the enemy AI just ends up being a time waster. On occasion, when an enemy worm doesn’t have a shot, they’ll just sit around “thinking” until time expires. This means you can sit there for 30 seconds for no reason.

Another bug that is potentially problematic involves weapon drops. If you launch a napalm strike on the enemy, the fires won’t always go out by the end of your turn. If a crate or health pack happens to drop on the flames, it will explode and soft lock the game. This is because the game continues to seemingly think the item is still being dropped after it explodes, going into what I believe is an infinite loop.

Additionally, there is one case in our play where the level perpetually loads. Since this only happened once, we consider this a rare occurrence.

There is still plenty of fun to be had in death match mode, though. After multiple rounds of accurate aiming and highly tense fighting, watching the enemy bounce a grenade off a drum and blowing themselves up can be quite hilarious.

Generally speaking, this game borders on being a tech demo more than a polished game. The missions are heavily reduced and the features are highly abbreviated. Additionally, bugs and physics issues take a while to work around before the fun begins. An inability to rename worms, the ninja rope issues, sliding, grenades, limited projectile angles, and multiple issues with the AI really hold this game back. Still, playing death match can become enjoyable once you’ve compensated for the games weaknesses. Still, I recommend playing other versions of this franchise. They are far better then what this game has to offer.

Graphics are decent enough. This game manages to retain a lot of the artwork found in the Playstation and N64 versions. The precipitating objects in the background really give this game a lot of life. Menus also work quite well. Some of the effects could have been better, but it’s still a great effort here.

Audio, unfortunately, is a let down. The music largely sticks to the more chiptune style akin to the previous generation of handheld consoles. I did like that the main World Party theme is used. Since that theme is so good, it saves the music from being a total failure. Meanwhile, the sound effects are decent enough. The game also utilizes only one voice pack, though. This takes away from some the personality this game typically has. so, a barely passable effort here.

Overall, I was excited to play this game and wound up being disappointed. Some of the original ways this franchise is so good is retained in this version. Unfortunately, many issues plague this game and makes is a disappointing play. Physics issues, enemy AI, abbreviated features, and an inability to rename worms and teams makes this game less than impressive. While the graphics are great, the audio is disappointing as well. This game is worth playing in a pinch, but if you have a different version of this game, I’d recommend sticking with that.

Beat all 7 missions and achieved the General rank.

General gameplay: 13/25
Replay value: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 62%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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