This is how you fire a banana shot in Worms: A Space Oddity. First, you awkwardly position your worm into place using the D-pad. Then, you press the minus button (yes, the minus button) to access your weapons menu. But - oh no! - Team 17, wacky as they are, have dressed everything up in a rather confusing space-related theme, so you spend the next 45 seconds gingerly wobbling from one crudely drawn menu ‘picture’ to another. Hold up - did we say 45 seconds? Because the default 30-second time limit is now up. Please sit back, relax and mutter under your breath as the CPU shoots you in the face.
Right. It’s your turn again. Select your weapon, and aim using the D-pad. Now, tilt the remote vertically to determine shot strength. Press B to fix your level (are you still with us? It’s no easier to understand when actually playing it), release your shot and watch as your shot flies… straight into the ocean. Picture the above sequence, or similar, ten times in a row and you’ve just imagined up a typical Space Oddity game.
While you do get better at it (and Worms is a traditional lunchtime fave, so heaven knows we tried), it never becomes second nature, thus taking away what is until now undoubtedly Worms’ biggest asset - its accessibility.
We have sympathy for Team 17 because, on paper, the concept of replicating the weapons’ motions is a good ‘un. And individually, they all make sense. You turn the remote horizontally and plunge it down to activate the dynamite. You guide homing missiles around using a cursor on screen. You thrust up to activate the Astro Punch. But put it all together and the whole thing devolves into a disjointed mess.
It’s not even like you get a decent game of Worms as a reward for persevering with it - the decision to substantially increase the range of the explosions is a disaster. Games rarely last more than a few minutes, and while Worms is already reliant on luck, here rounds are practically decided by a roll of the dice. This is one Worm best left in the compost heap.
Mar 18, 2008