One of the most underrated platform conversions of all time and one of the least known SEGA games, Comix Zone is an innovative platformer that turns the typical side-scrolling format into a cool interactive comic book, where each scene is a panel. In contrast to mundane hero-saves-the-world plot of countless other platform games, the story in Comix Zone is unique, and fits in perfectly with the game's presentation. You are comic book artist Sketch Turner, who is sucked into his own comic book world and must fight numerous baddies to escape back to the real world. |
While Comix Zone is in many ways a typical punch-everyone-in-sight-and-move-to-next-screen platform game, the innovative comic-book style presentation sets it above and beyond other games of this ilk. Word balloons appear when Sketch talks to someone, and once he knocks down an end-level "boss", he'll leap out of the page and back down into the next panel, or even shortcut to the panels below. This inside/outside dichotomy of a comic book is used to excellent effect. For example, Sketch can rip loose chunks of the page itself (i.e. where he is in) to make deadly paper airplanes. He can also punch baddies *through* the ink boundaries of a panel. These effects greatly enhance the atmosphere, and each new level comes with surprising new effects.
Fans of the Commodore 64 classic Dan Dare (based on the British comic hero) will immediately recognize Comix Zone as being a true spiritual descendant, and a great one at that. The only downsides I can think of are: a) the game is a tad too short, and b) it lacks any save feature of any kind -- a curious absence inherited from the console version that should have been fixed. Still, Comix Zone is well worth the time for fans of superhero comics, and platform fans in general. Despite its shorter-than-average length, the game offers multiple paths (via different panels you can go to) so that the replay value is somewhat high. With innovative concepts, smooth controls, and vibrant graphics, Comix Zone is a must-have. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs