Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Developer: Hearst Entertainment
Submitted by: Joe Douglas
Phantom 2040 is a game based upon the animated TV series of the same name that is in turn based upon the classic comic strip originally created by Lee Falk in 1936.
As the title suggests the game takes place in the year 2040. The world is on the brink of economical and ecological collapse having been ravaged 20 years earlier by the Resource Wars. Now the world is all but ruled over by Maximum Inc, an evil conglomerate run by the insane Rebecca Madison. As the Phantom it is your role to expose and bring down Maximum in order to save the world.
Phantom 2040 is something of an over-looked game by most gamers which is a shame as it is truly a great game. Similar in play to games such as Super Metroid yet highly original. Game play will see you running, shooting, jumping, punching and wall-scaling through many varied and highly detailed levels. Perhaps the most interesting element of Phantom 2040 is in the ability to affect the flow of the story. At several instances in the game the player is forced to make a choice – trust one character or another – and the game story will branch in different directions depending on the choice made.
The graphics in Phantom 2040 are beautiful to looks at with smooth animation and great character and level design. From the Phantom himself to the robot baddies to the bosses and environments, everything looks wonderful. The levels are large and you are free to explore with many goodies stashed away in secret areas. It's almost impossible to discover every corner of Phantom 2040 in one play though which, along with the seven possible ending, gives the game lots of replayability.
While enemies come thick and fast the game isn't so difficult that it cannot be completed in a few hours but also not so easy as to not present a challenge.
If you've not played Phantom 2040 and enjoy side-scrolling platform/blaster action with a great story and inelegant game design than you should track this game down ASPA!