Comix Zone. Sega Technical Institute (1995) Sega Genesis

To say this game is remembered fondly would be an understatement. Ask most people to do a “best Megadrive” list and 9 times out of 10 Comix Zone will feature in the top 5. But here at Games Revisited we like to shit on your nostalgia goggles.

And with that, how does Comix Zone stand up to our neck-bearded modern eyes?

Difficulty

Right off the bat, this is one of the hardest games I have ever played and features in our Top 10 Hardest Games list. You get ONE life. ONE. Uno,  Um, eins, wahed, yksi, amd unsurprisingly 1 life is not a lot…

Fuck the dude drawing shit in.

I can’t beat the first level, so yeah 1 life really isn’t enough. The only way I can complete the game is using an infinite health cheat, but even that isn’t enough to beat the game.

Comix Zone is a beat ’em up/Platformer. So the bread and butter of the game is whomping enemies and jumping gaps.

Problem is… The enemies fight back! This ain’t like a Streets of Rage Beat ‘Em Up, where you watch the enemies and attack in patterns. Here your opponants will turtle up and block your shit, and then bitch slap you on a counter. It means you really need to learn patience and the limited moveset to be able to make a breakthrough. Fail at either and you won’t beat level 1. No steady learning curve for you, GIT GUD or die trying!

Once you navigate the titanium steel defense of the enemies you are then asked to do some platform leaping, and BOY do you need to be precise in your leaps. There is no broken jinkyass fuckary like in the Lion King, or cheap hits like Turtles, but you need to jump full distance to make a jump. It means if you misjudge the jump, you’re dead. Gameover.

I have probably died 20 times on the FIRST SCREEN . So again, GIT GUD NUB.

It isn’t even a hard jump, I am just shit.

Gameplay

I’ve covered the basic gameplay of Platformer and Beat ‘Em Up, but it would be remiss to not mention the key selling point in Comix Zone, and this.. You’re playing in a GOD DAMN COMIC! The art style, the character design, the speech text, it is all “comic book”.  It means that Comix Zone still looks sexy as fuck, and is easily one of the best looking games of the 16bit era. The movement is super smooth, the framerate never judders, and again. It looks freaking fit.

You can either have twitch reflexes to cheese this, or use the rat bastard to find you a grenade. Hint, use the Rat.

Story

Seen Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero? Well that is basically the story.

You’re a comic book artist (Sketch Turner) writing his new comic, putting himself in the story like the weeb he is. Magical lighting strikes him in the real world, and Last Action Hero happens and Sketch is put in his comic book and thankfully comic weebs are also trained ninjas.

General Alissa Cyan acts as your guide/weeb interest, she is the leader of the New World Army, and since you’re a magic dude who appears out of the air, you’re sent on your way as you are clearly the messiah.

Finally, Mortus, is the evil dude behind shenanigans. When the comic is struck by lightning he somehow escapes, and he serves as the douchebag who keeps drawing in the enemies you have to fight. He also serves as the final boss, so fuck this guy.

Conclusion

Comix Zone isn’t reallu a good game, and while it is well worth revisiting either in the original version or on one of the many Megadrive Compilations on the newer gen machines, the game never really matches the reputation it seems to have garnered.

The main problem is, it is brutally unfair and will take a lot of your time just to clear the first stages. There are only 6 levels, and somebody good will be beating this in under 20 minutes, but you noob, you’ll need 3 weeks and at LEAST 7 control pads after you brutalise them into dust the 7th time you fail on the first jump.

Ultimetly, it is fun for 10 minutes until you find that the combat is lame, and it brutally unfair and hard.

Pros: Music, graphics are still SEXY AS FUCK, alternate endings

Cons: As sexy as it is, it is still way too fucking hard.

65%

Back in the Day:

Scoring 30/40 with Game Pro, the game was praised for the novel and original settings. But the simplistic combat and puzzles were a let down. Comix Zone currently has a 71 on Metacritic.

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