Cosmic Carnage


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 4

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2


An idea is not enough to carry a game. For as much as gamers cry for innovation, that's not always what we want. Take Cosmic Carnage, one of those 32X games that's supposed to tell you, as a die-hard gamer, why you need to upgrade your Genesis. It has some unique ideas to separate it from a standard fighting game, yet it's an absolute travesty and an unplayable disaster.

Any uniqueness comes either from the graphics engine or outside of the arena. The actual fighting doesn't offer anything new. This is a 4-button fighter with some gore (at times extreme for the better), bland special moves, and zero combos worth learning. The entire fighting system is broken from the start, and then continually marred by slowdown.

The animation is done mostly with multi-jointed characters. That falsely leads you into believing it's well done, but it's actually a hindrance when fighting. It takes a while to learn the timing of even a basic kick, as the cycle takes too long to reach the point where a hit is registered. It's an adjustment you can make with time, but that's only going to weaken your skills in real fighters.

One of the few things actually useful in the game is the option to pick armor before the fight. The more you pick, the more powerful you are. You're also going to slow down drastically. It's a choice that can affect the outcome of brawl, and if you're the type that is hit a lot, you'll lose that armor as the fight keeps going. Other then that, there's not much left to say that's actually positive.

While it does sport a more varied palette of colors than any Genesis game, they're all neon and fluorescent. It's overly bright, gaudy, and hard to look at. To add to the barely discernable sprites (which has a lot to do with the character design too), the fighters will swing their arm out "towards" the screen. They'll scale appropriately as they block the player's view (even if it is only for a split second) and make it impossible to see the action. It also seems like all the power of the console went into the sprites since the backgrounds are as barren as you'll find in a one-on-one fighter.

Audio is likewise bland and generic. It does keep pace with the fights, it just sounds cheap. Impact from the hits is weak. Though it's tough to imagine, if someone is being chopped in half, you would expect a sickening gooey sound effect. You'll get no such satisfaction here.

This is one of those games that fails to do everything it wanted to. It doesn't showcase the hardware. It doesn't revolutionize fighting games. It's not fun with two players. Fatalities are hardly controversial. The only thing is does is make you realize you just wasted money on it.


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Last updated: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:51 PM