Cyber Brawl

US/PAL: Cosmic Carnage
Developed in Japan by Givro
Published by Sega
Released in 1994 for the 32X

Three humans and an assortment of forgettable B-movie alien freaks duke it out on board a doomed spaceship in this paltry Street Fighter II clone. The character balance is completely off the chain, with some fighters possessing highly abuseable specials and others, not much of anything useful. The top-tier character is a ninja who can dash and air dash in all eight directions, when no one else can perform even a backdash. The sole innovation is an armor system that allows most of the cast to be customized before a fight with pieces of equipment that modify their specials and attack power, and can be destroyed. These slow you down far too much to be of use, though. At least there are some impressive psuedo-3D bits of animation where it looks like a character’s limb or alien appendage is coming out of the screen, and surprisingly gory (for a Japanese game) fatalities for matches finished with a special move. The one saving grace is a masterful, haunting FM synth soundtrack from Hikoshi Hashimoto, making full use of the 32X’s extra channels.

★★

Note: This is a review of the Japanese version.