Week in Arcade: Earthworm Jim HD, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

A double does of $10 titles this week, and solid efforts all around.

Earthworm Jim HD

A reworked version of the classic Interplay platformer, this update is faithful to the original, the somewhat sloppy, loose mechanics fully intact. The reworked sprites do a fine job of keeping true to the source material, but the new voice work… well, that leaves a lot to be desired. Tommy Tallarico handled it for the original, and was obviously unavailable. New mutliplayer modes are quite enjoyable, and they expanded the single player campaign with new bonus levels. Groovy.

Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

Released in the US on the PlayStation 2, this port does little to change the formula of this SNK cross-over. Characters from a variety of SNK games, even King of the Monsters, join in this fighting game mash-up. 3-D backgrounds join unfortunately filtered sprites (with no other visual options) in this hectic, well produced 2-D fighter. Mechanics are solid, special moves are satisfying, and the roster should appeal to all. Online play is of course included, and the single player campaign offers some unlockables to shoot for. Worth it if you can deal with the miserable sprite filters.