Comix Zone Review
Posted by Damien McFerran
Sketch Turner is an artist in New York City. One day while Sketch is drawing, there is a huge thunderstorm and a bolt of lightning hits Sketch's image, bringing it to life.
Released fairly late in the life of the Megadrive/Genesis, Comix Zone didn't exactly set the world alight in terms of sales but is now rightly regarded as one of the better games for Sega's wonder machine. The game features a unique 'comic book' style screen progression, as your character fights his way from one frame of the comic to another. The game is bursting with little details such as ripping off loose chunks of the page of the comic you are in to make deadly paper airplanes. In addition to this there are some problem solving elements to the game which add to the depth of play.
The fighting element of the game is fairly simple, just punches and kicks all served up from one attack button, nothing new here. You can get knifes and explosives to help you along your way along with energy top-ups. You even have a pet rat who helps you out from time to time! The visuals feature that trademark 'grain' effect that seemed to plague the later Megadrive/Genesis releases although it still looks colourful and vibrant even today. The sound is a little below par being hampered by the Megadrive’s limited audio capabilities.
The crippling downside to an otherwise amazing game is the unforgiving difficulty level. Your characters energy meter drains continuously as you do damage to the scenery or a baddie. On top of that you just get one life. If you fall down a bottomless pit that’s it, game over! Some savepoints wouldn’t have hurt, but as the game is quite short perhaps it was thought at the time this would extend the lifespan of the game further.
Comix Zone is more than the sum of its parts. The scrolling 'beat em up' genre is pretty much dead on its feet these days which is a shame when it can offer up gaming experiences as original and interesting as this. This comes highly recommended.