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Cosmic Carnage

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Released: 1995

Genre: Beat-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega 32X

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Givro

Submitted by: Scott Reed

Cosmic Carnage is crap.
I’m not sure what else you want me to say. There’s a rumour that the game was so bad some shops refused to stock it. That’s probably apocryphal crap used to further prove how crap the 32X was. But the 32X wasn’t that crap, Cosmic Carnage was.
Why is it so crap? Well it’s certainly not the characters, in fact if Sega were to reintroduce half the cast they’d probably be well received. You can’t really go wrong with big metal monkeys and carnivorous neon anthropomorphs. Maybe they could crash into Earth for Virtua Fighter 6 hmm? And the idea of a prison ship slowly drifting to it’s death and the prisoners and guards fighting for survival is nicely gripping. But that’s where the non-crap stops.
The crap sets in when you start playing it. Everything about a fight in Cosmic Carnage is crap. The controls crap it up somewhere between sluggish and totally non-responsive. The sprites are crappy small and the scaling what worked well on -Dark Reign- doesn’t do anything to stop the steady stream of crap, just make it more pixelated. The additional armour concept is only for the Prison Guard characters unbalancing the game a crapload, if it wasn’t unbalanced enough by ridiculously unforgiving A.I. that can rattle of combos you couldn’t hope to achieve because the controls are so crappola.
And it becomes even more crap if put into context, Sega had a good selection of not crap arcade games to port, including two less crap, though not breathtaking, fighting games, the aforementioned Dark Edge and Burning Rival. Plus Arabian Fight, SegaSonic the Hedgehog, Power Drift, Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder and they still owed us a decent version of Outrunners. So they didn’t even need to make Cosmic Carnage. But then again context is pointless because this is the Sega of late 1994 here. Ristar, is seems, must have sprinkled some kind of space dust that turned all the employees into argumentative retarded common sense-less crapheads with fuses about the length of Peter Andre’s willy.