The Sega Genesis Challenge – Cyborg Justice

What’s the hardest justice of them all? Cyborg Justice!

And I really mean that. This is one of the hardest control schemes that I’ve encountered in a side scrolling beat’em up and absolutely requires a read through of the instructions before playing. Before we dive into that, let’s set the scene.

You play as a “Human Male” who’s ship has an unfortunate encounter with some asteroids and crash lands on a bleak industrial planet. Those in charge on the planet attempt to place your mind into a robotic body and wipe your memory. Judging by the numerous other cyborgs you encounter, this seems to be a common practice here. As expected, something goes wrong and the memory wipe does not take affect. You break free and the authorities dispatch wave after wave of cyborgs to stop you.

The opening to the game does an amazing job of setting all of this up in a very well done cut scene. I was really impressed as I watched through the intro and I have to give the developers credit for packing a lot of story in there. I always enjoy getting some back story to my game play, particularly with a beat’em up.

After the cut scene we have the option to start a one player or two player game. Diving into single player, I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can customize your cyborg body. You can choose your special weapon, torso, and legs. There are some differences between the options, but I had a hard time really telling. Even after consulting an online FAQ and using the recommended combination (buzzsaw arm, big booster, and big feet) I still had trouble making any significant headway.

The real challenge for me came with the game’s control setup. Each button serves multiple functions based on context, and to me this made chaining combos or even just landing hits a real challenge. I was able to determine how to cross the chasms, which thoroughly stumped me in the first impressions video, but even after reading the FAQ repeatedly I was still only able to clear the first couple of levels.

Overall the game has a really cool story setup, but it doesn’t go anywhere as each level is just wave after wave of cyborgs to slay with no real variation. The controls are much more complex than needed and the different body and leg types don’t feel very distinct. This was really cool to try out, but I don’t see myself coming back to it any time soon.