Format reviewed: Dreamcast
Submitted by: jonathan winter
Cosmic Smash was a Japan only release and is essentially an evolution of Breakout. You use a racquet to hit a ball back and forth against the back wall of a room that resembles a futuristic Squash court. Your solitary goal is to remove coloured tiles by hitting them with the ball before time runs out. As the levels progress, the tiles will move around or be protected by unbreakable barriers that you have to hit your shot around. You can use a Smash shot that will go straight through every tile but this uses up some of your vital time. Likewise, missing the ball will result in you having to serve again, wasting valuable seconds. Each level cleared will give you a more time and move you further round the branching map. A simple control interface gives you a surprisingly large repertoire of moves from diving shots to leaping off the side walls and hitting the ball while upside down.
Like Rez, Cosmic Smash is a beautiful looking game with a style that owes more than a little to the world of Tron. The courts are either bright white adorned with minimal grey lines, boxes and grids or jet black lit with neon green. The tiles and ball glow, lighting up the walls when they pass and the remaining time is displayed in large type on the floor. The attract mode takes advantage of not being tied to a gameplay friendly position and really shows off how good this game looks from a multitude of angles. The music and sounds blend beautifully with the game. On completion of the first level, a laid back voice intones “Next level Cosmic Bus 717. Have a blast” while showing your position on the map in glorious low tech graphics. It is utterly cool.
Sega has left the game untouched from its arcade parent so there are no additional levels, features or unlockables. This leaves a short, simple game that can be completed relatively easily but looks gorgeous and plays beautifully. It’ll leave you cold or you’ll love it. A fantastic videogame experience.