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Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) artwork

Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) review

"I've always wanted to FIGHT in deep space?!"

"A shipload of criminals have hijacked their prison barge and used it to ram a military cruiser. The prison barge is now useless. Power and life support on the military cruiser are fading fast....and their is only one escape pod left which only has room for ONE."

I'm not sure if SEGA meant to do this or what, but Cosmic Carnage's movement feels like you're in Outer Space. If you've ever seen the video's showing astronauts in Space, you'll notice that their movement is rather... slow and awkward. After playing Cosmic Carnage for the first time you'll notice a similarity between the two.

Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) image

It shares its story foundations with 91% of the fighters ever made. You have to beat all the enemies on board the cruiser to gain access to last pod. Somewhat uniquely, though, you have to beat all the enemies within a certain amount of time, much like in Samurai Shodown 4. Do so and you'll see your character survive, drifting aimlessly through Space going home.

In Samurai Shodown 3&4 you had the option of picking between Bust or Slash, which would give you 2 different versions of any character in the game. Well Cosmic Carnage had something innovative like that in the form of Armor, except Cosmic Carnage came out in 1994 and Shodown-3 in 1995, so I guess you could say the Bust/Slash is like Cosmic Carnage's Armor feature. The Armor system lets you select between either Light or Heavy Armor for your arms, legs & body. If you take too many hits to a specific area, that part of the armor will get knocked off and you'll lose whichever Special Attack pertained to that part. Something that could've made Cosmic Carnage more fun is if they would've let the Renegades be able to have Armor, as only the Soldiers can use this feature. Aside from the Armor feature, the play mechanics in Cosmic Carnage are almost identical to KoF-94'95. The game play is pretty solid but.... the slow movement kills playability. Cosmic Carnage doesn't play that bad....once you get used to its mechanics. Did I mention the RED stuff flows like a river when taking a hit and after doing a fatality.

Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) image

Something that plagues Cosmic Carnage, however, is its control. The basic control is fine, its when you TRY (pauses for a second to laugh) and perform certain Special Attacks the control isn't as responsive as one would want it to be. Inputs often feel very finicky... too technically precise on recognising motion.

The animation looks average for a 32X and could have easily been produced on the weaker Genesis. The colors are vibrant, the backgrounds range anywhere from good to mediocre and have 1-3 layers of scrolling The zooming is smooth and when your character does a fierce punch or kick (for those who have them) scale outward towards the screen. Most of the multi-jointed characters are unique in appearance, but are absent of any personality. A couple of the designs are borrowed....Talmac has a close resemblance to Marvel's Ghost Rider and Deamon looks like Giger's Alien. When the characters zoom in close for a win pose they look pixilated/chunky.

Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) image

The music varies from good to awesome and is a cross between techno & new-age. The majority of the sound fx are good and go with their respective moves. Strange is the absence of SPEECH. There are no voice samples in Cosmic Carnage (maybe it's because you're in Outer Space....I don't know).

Cosmic Carnage is Sega's 3rd 2D fighter. It's not a bad game but falls short when compared to Eternal Champions (especially when compared to EC-CD Challenge from the Dark Side). It almost feels as if they did originally design Cosmic Carnage using the Genesis hardware. I know the 32X is an upgrade and after seeing Chaotix, Doom and Virtua Racer you can see a glimpse of what it can do in the hands of creative designers. Cosmic Carnage is a decent best.


Community review by DEATHSCHILD (July 19, 2015)

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