Comix Zone – A Beat ‘Em Up Retrospective

Everything about Comix Zone is memorable. It all starts with the opening Elvis sung ‘Sega’. The sequences where the enemies are hand drawn right in front of your eyes are great. And busting through the comic book panel frames to progress in the game is unforgettable. I even remember the commercial and how every kid I knew wanted to play this.comix2

By now you guessed it. The game takes place on the pages of a comic book or graphic novel as they like to be called now. There are multiple paths available as you go from frame to frame. And some routes are a bit easier to get through so there is some trial and error.

The game is designed for the player to die a lot. And it’s not like you just re spawn and go on. No, it’s a game over. The point is to learn from your mistakes and progress a little further every time you play. There is even a percentage meter when you lose to tell you how far you made it.comix3

The story is constantly being told in the form of speech bubbles during game play. So be sure to keep on eye on that while fighting the mutants. I don’t know what the hell Comix Zone is about, either I zoned out or its just too convoluted for me.comix5

The controls are simple enough, it’s a beat ’em up after all. Punch and kick is designated to one button. Pushing different directions on the d-pad will let you do different moves. And of course there is a jump kick. If the punch button is held down our hero will tear a piece of the paper backdrop and fold up an air plane. It doesn’t sound like much but after it’s tossed it will harm any enemy it it’s path. But beware because it will boomerang back and deal significant damage to that very same hero.

It’s a relatively short game that relies on it being re-playable. Which it is, depending on your job situation. If it’s your job to play video games all day long then you will be simply addicted to seeing that progression percentage meter go higher and higher.comix4

This is one of the most unique beat ’em ups ever made. It’s too bad that Sega’s strong suit has never been timing, otherwise this may have been a bigger game. Comix Zone was released in the twilight of the 16 bit era and at a time when most gamers were just tired of the side scrolling fighting trend.

I don’t like how some of the enemies have so much health. They just won’t stay down. It gets tedious after the 17th attempt to get through the game. And I really hate how you get 1 life. Especially when there are some cheap deaths in this game. So use caution, one little mistake and it’s back to start. But the fighting is spot on and handling of the main character is tight. And there is no arguing just how fun Comix Zone is.comix6

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