Comix Zone

Vanilla and chocolate syrup. Popcorn and movies. Ketchup and fries. Some combos are hits from the start. In a nerd’s world there are a handful of things that you could combine to make an ordinary item much better. In Comix Zone, mixing a video game with a comic book does just that, making an ordinary game unique. You are Sketch Turner, comic book artist and soon to be the “chosen one” in a super cliche and cheesy story involving lightning, drawings coming to life, and you fighting for survival. It’s goofy, but how else is a human supposed to be turned in to a comic book hero? I mean gamma rays would have just combined his DNA with that of the book’s molecules turning him into some sort of paper man thing, and not to mention that it’s been way over done… anyhow, according to all the ways to become a superhero, lighting was probably the best and quickest way to tell the story. Getting back on track, you have some basic self defense moves: punching, kicking and jumping as well as having the world of a comic book at your disposal. What I mean is Sketch can tear the paper of the pages to reveal hidden items, or to create weapons out of the paper to use against enemies. However, doing so takes away some of your health since tearing the pages also destroys the comic world that you are stuck in. The other interesing concept that the game features is that the stages are broken up into panels, just like a comic book. Jumping in and out of frames allows you to progress throught the levels, or pages of the comic. The look of the game is obviously comic book inspired, featuring a post-apocalyptic, statue of liberty fallen, toxic waste lined future. Despite having a bleak description, everything is brightly colored and all the characters and villans are well animated and look appropriately hand drawn and overly muscular. Having come out towards the end of the Genesis’ life the game features some of the best graphics you will find on the system, including some cool water effects. The music is decent and actually features bands like Danzig and Lords of Acid, which are appropriate for this game. Also, included with the Genesis copy of the game was a music CD featuring the game’s soundtrack.

The final judgement is that Comix Zone is a cool game. Some people might disagree and say that it’s a ho-hum game glued together with a gimmick. I’ll admit that there’s not a whole lot to the fighitng mechanics, or the story, but the unique way that the game is presented shows that somebody was actually thinking about doing something different. In my book that makes up for a lot. You can play it on the Genesis, like I did, or you can download it on the Wii via the Virtual Console. Either way you’re bound to have a good time, especially if your a fan of either videogames or comic books.

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