Header image saying Random Select will go here in update.
I don't know if you realize this, but I am a comic book fan. I read comic books. For awhile I worked on comic books. Comic book movies are my favorites. So of course, being a video game user, I play a lot of comic book related games. On Sega Genesis is one of my favorite beat em ups of all time Comix Zone!
Trying to pinpoint when I first played or heard of Comix Zone is tough. I know I saw the commercial (below) but I'm thinking that the place I heard about it was a gaming tv show. The show was more or less what gaming webcomics have became. Two guys sitting on a couch talking about video games. It was called "Twitch" (I think?) and appeared on an obscure channel once a week. If I recall, the show didn't last very long, perhaps a few months at most, but had a profound impact on me. First place I saw stuff like Rayman. And if my memory is correct, it was the first place I saw Comix Zone. Until my local rental place got a copy in that is.
Commercial for Comix Zone.
Now I know I spoke about Comix Zone before, but it was so brief that I feel like I need to elaborate on it some more. This game is one of the later genesis games. Released in 1995, it is about as good a looking SEGA game as you can find. It holds up really well. Normally story in games are boring, but Comix Zone has an awesome one. You're an underground "comix" creator and one of your comic book creations is brought to life and pulls you into your own comic book world. You actually fight panel to panel in a classic, but tough, beat em up. You can pick up these cool power ups, including your pet rat. You also have a move where if you hold the attack button down your hero grabs the comic book and rips part of it out, turns it into a paper airplane, and throws it out to attack enemies. That super move does do some health damage to you however. I love this game. It is so much fun to play and just to look at.
The sound design in this game is amazing. Soon as you start up you hear a microphone test and a voice sing the words "SEGA." All the music has this early 90s grunge feel to it that fits the mood of the comic book world perfectly. Sound effects and voice clips are wonderful. Some of, if not THE, best use of the SEGA's sound effects. The grunts and sounds of enemies as they die are among my favorites. Something about the sounds just make me smile.
This cool scene plays at the start of the game showing your dude pulled into the comix zone.
The game only has six levels, and I've only beaten four or five of them on my absolute BEST play through. The reason for this is the game has a severe difficulty curve. Most everything you do damages you and sometimes you have to hit barrels or bust open a grate. The only health items are scarce. You don't get extra lives, only an occasional continue after the first level. On just the first level alone there is one of the all time most difficult jumps in a game for seemingly no reason at all!
I'm going into my replay now and I'm just so worried. Worried that I'll get beaten so quickly and so completely that it won't be cool to talk about. Oh darn. I seem to have gotten myself killed in that death trap at the bottom of the first level. My guy said when I unpaused my guy says from the pit "Game over man. The end." Then it played this cool cutscene of the villain coming to life in the real world. Even with that level of difficulty, this game is still great. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you like beat em ups, comic books, or sega genesis do yourself a favor and get comix zone.
You want to know what injustice is? There was never any sequel to Comix Zone. As far as my research into the game indicates, there was no intentions of a follow up or anything. Some interesting trivia about Comix Zone is that it was one of the Sega Institute developed games. What this means is, it was created here in the United States and not over in Japan. Probably explains the American cultural (maybe counter cultural?) feel that the game puts off. Shouldn't be too expensive. One of the Sonic game collections has Comix Zone as an unlockable. Sega Genesis Collection on playstation 2 and PSP has comix zone. Also available to Europe on the gameboy advance. Comix Zone needs a real sequel. SEGA are you listening? I want a sequel. Just let me fight a bunch of dudes and jump panel to panel. Let it be as brutal as it can be. Please SEGA, make a GOOD sequel. I know you want to. You did Altered Beast (in Europe) and Golden Axe. Why not Comix Zone? A man can dream can't he! A man can dream.
Even the cover artwork was cool.
Also just a heads up Old School Games is now called Random Select. That way I feel better writing about any game, rather than just old school ones. I'm sure I'll stick to old school games for the most part. A few of my picks might surprise you.