You're Sketch Turner, a comic book writer with a degree in kicking ass. One day a lightning storm strikes your apartment and the villain of the comic pops out of the comic book you were working on, and throws you into the comic in an attempt to kill you at your own job. It's silly, yes, but this is actually a bigger story than most games at the time had. I mean comparing this to what? A fat guy with a huge moustache flying machines around taking emeralds and trapping small woodland creatures?
No only is it a pretty good plot for the time, but it's one of the better plots of the entire beat em up genre. It's told through comic book style text bubbles as you move along and gets your point and objective across.
This is one of the best looking games on the genesis. It's pure detail everywhere really defines the comic book style, and none of it ever gets in the way. The animations are smooth and the environments are varied from sewers to mountain tops to all sorts of places.
This is a game very dedicated to it's style and it shows. Often, a giant hand will come down and draw a creature in for you to fight. Occasionally you're rip the pages in the heat of the action or break the divider between panels. This is a fantastic example of great graphics playing into gameplay.
Let me get this out of the way now. This is a 1 button fighter. You only get 1 button for attacks, no kick and punch button. With that said, you'd be a fool to believe you can get away with mashing. Each direction in addition to the attack button changes how you attack, and you should learn the combos well, because the difference between a well executed combo and mashing the attack button will become essential later. The game in addition to beating up baddies has quite a few puzzles to it. This and the 3 item system in which you can pick up items ranging from a throwing knife to your pet rat helps it feel a lot deeper than your average beat em up.
But it carries a major problem. Your health bar is your health bar for the entire level, which each level consist of 2 pages of a comic book. You'll often only find 1 or 2 items to gain some health back, and this is troubled by one of the most weird additions to a beat em up ever. You loose health as you attack inanimate objects. True, my hand would hurt too after punching a solid rock or wooden box, but this addition turns the entire thing into a giant puzzle. You could die just from trying to break a door so rather than thinking how you're going to beat up the next wave of badguys, you focus on "do I have the items I need?" or "will I have enough health to get past this next part?" because the game will constantly present you with situations where you will loose health no matter what because this door needs to be broken down and you don't have an explosive item to do it for you as you used it on that last boss.
I also think given the fact that it IS a beat em up, it could have used a multiplayer. The 2 just go hand in hand.
I dunno what to think of this. There's several music tracks, but they all sound the same thanks to that hard rock "neeeeeoooow!" style genesis sound that really gives me a headache after an hour of it. It's in every track for it and it makes any tunes for it unmemorable, just not the kind of stuff you can whistle to. Sound effects however, are really well done. Punches, voice clips, smashes and wacks are all well presented and perfectly in place.
Who wants this game?
If you're a fan of beat em ups, this is one of the better of them in existence. That being said, beat em ups is a kind of mindless genre many don't like, but thanks to it's additions, it added a nice element for the other kinds of gamers. Perhaps however a bit too much of it. This really is a great game, it's just... flawed. Worth the wii points at least.