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May 20, 2010

The Comics Console: Comix Zone

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Written by: andrewhurst
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Typically here on The Comics Console we play video games based on our favorite comic book heroes, but Comix Zone is a really unique video game about a hero you’ve never heard of before who is trapped in the pages of his own comic book. Kinda goofy, but the execution is better than the idea.

Comix Zone

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega Technical Institute
Platforms: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Xbox 360 (XBLA), Nintendo Wii (Virtual Console)
Release Date: January 1, 1995
ESRB: Kids to Adults

Sketch Turner is a hip, pony tail packin’ 90’s kinda guy who has a pet rat named Roadkill, and a job as a comic book artist. When a super villain he’s created pops out of the page and drags him into his own comic book world, Sketch has to fight through the panels of his own comic to get out, while trying to survive.

Silly concept right? I hate it when another medium tries to emulate the style of a comic book because it usually fails hard. But Comix Zone actually does the best job I’ve ever seen in trying to make you feel like you’re actually inside a comic book.

The levels are divided into 3 episodes consisting of 4 comic book pages. You start off in “Night of the Mutants” and meet General Alissa Cyan who is guiding you through your adventure and you find your first batch of items: a sword, explosives, and health.

Arrows will point you to one or multiple directions to other panels, each with a unique and animated setting. One of the first panels you enter is in a post apocalyptic New York City with a crumbled Statue of Liberty behind you. Not only does this background look cool, but the environment evolves around you. Soon rain begins to fall and lighting flashes in the sky. These are very lively comic book panels.

Enemies are literally drawn onto the panel and each one has its special look and animation. You’ll beat them down with your super heroic fists and super kicks while speech bubbles of trash talk and agony pop up above you.

Combat is lots of fun. The whole screen trembles as you pound your opponents and you get a great feeling of impact with your attacks. While you do pick up weapons, you will rarely need them, though they do help to change up gameplay, and your pet rat, Roadkill, can be deployed to electrocute enemies and flip switches. Even though Comix Zone is a beat ’em up, you don’t really get the repetitive feeling from most games in the genre. The beauty and uniqueness of your enemies and surroundings help keep each level fresh.

Something I thought was frustrating was how at some points in the game, the difficulty level can spike from challenging to insanely hard.

One of the cool little touches in combat is actually being able break through panels and and throw your enemy across the page. Other cool touches include Sketch farting when taping down on the D-pad enough times and him smelling his shoes and grossing himself out when you go idle. It’s amazing.

The graphics and animation are absolutely top notch for their respective platforms, and the sound and music is interesting and compelling. Even today Comix Zone holds up. The game is fun and really challenging. It’s amazing that this game is so low on the radar and remembered by so few.

Comix Zone gets a 4/5.

The comic book industry can actually learn from a game like this. We need more characters like Sketch Turner in our comics today. Characters who fart openly, are disgusted by the stench of their own shoes, keep pet rats,  have long blonde pony tails and whose name is a play on their profession.

Oh how I miss the 90’s.

Checkout The Comics Console next week when we play as a real comic book character in The Punisher!

Andrew Hurst



  1. Ok, this looks way cool. I have a Genesis and will hunt for this one on ebay!

    …ok, just found it on ebay and it sells for around $30. Damn!!

  2. DecapitatedDan

    Yeah you also have an xbox right? Get the Sonic Mega Collection. It is a hidden game on there.

  3. Dan

    I love this game, but I’m shocked youu didn’t mention it comes packed with it’s own soundtrack CD… Second thoughts, maybe you listened to the CD.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: This week on The Comics Console, we're playing COMIX ZONE for the #Sega Genesis! http://dld.bz/evkY #comics #videogames […]

  5. Billy

    I love looking at these older screen shots. It reminds me of yester-year. Also, how much better things are now as far as graphics are concerned.

  6. Graphics may be better now Billy but all around gameplay kind of sucks on some of the newer better looking games.

  7. Graphics may be better now Billy but all around gameplay kind of sucks on some of the newer better looking games.

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