One of the most distinctive of Sega’s many Mega Drive beat ‘em ups, Comix Zone follows struggling comic artist Sketch Turner as he’s somehow sucked into his own comic book world. It’s all a bit Last Action Hero, but it’s a classic idea brilliantly realised.
Each level in Comix Zone is based on an issue of Sketch’s comic, divided into frames along the way. Not just a gimmick, it serves as the game’s strongest asset, as enemies are drawn, erased and smashed through paper boundaries along the way. It almost goes without saying that the game has a great art style, with long-limbed characters and nicely drawn backgrounds, but it’s worth noting that it perfectly suits the game’s style and all moves beautifully.
The fighting itself is better than your average scrolling fighter, with plenty of moves at Sketch’s disposal, from spin kicks to uppercuts, and there’s also a wide range of inventory items, including a page-shredding superhero and Sketch’s pet rat, Roadkill. The little rodent proves invaluable when it comes to revealing secrets hidden within frames and has a nice little electricity attack when called on.
I can’t think of much bad to say about Comix Zone. The music is a little on the rough side – the Mega Drive just wasn’t supposed to do rock – and a two-player mode would have gone down well, but ultimately it’s a great fusion of graphics and gameplay to create a truly unique fighter.