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Title: Cyborg Justice
Rom Player: Gens
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie

Synopsis: For those of you that haven’t already noticed this based off of my other reviews, I have a soft spot in my heart for games of the side-scrolling, beat-‘em-up nature. I will play almost anything in which you move along two axes and pummel large groups of people, monsters, robots, and whatever else there might be to beat. Unfortunately, and though I am loathe to admit it, the genre itself is fairly stale and unoriginal. There are hundreds of such games where you simply walk up to someone and mash a button furiously until one of you is dead. Whoopee!

However, to say that every game in the genre is nothing more than a derivative of the aforementioned formula is bull plop. There are games where you are privy to dozens of moves and combos. Games where you have to stop and ask yourself, “how am I going to deal with this hapless foe?” Games where the traditional image of a fighting-style game is thrown out the window, shot in the face, and buried in a shallow grave. Case in point: Cyborg Justice.

First, a little background: You are… well you don’t really have a name, but that’s irrelevant. The point is that you were some sort of spaceship pilot, and your ship was caught in a meteor shower. You subsequently crash on a nearby mining planet run by robots under the control of an AI, and succumb to your wounds. In a move right out of Robocop, the robots take your brain out of your shattered body and give it a new home inside a robot body, with the intent to add you to the collective of robot miners. However, there is an error during the memory erasure, and you are not complacent to simply dig, refine, or whatever it is that they do on the planet. Sensing that you’ve gone rogue, the AI dispatches the whole of the robot army to find you and bring you down.

I once again feel that I should point out that plot isn’t everything in an action-packed game like this. The important thing is that you’re going up against a legion of deadly cyborgs. Deadly mining cyborgs, no less. It’s a one a two player game, so I guess the second player was your co-pilot, or something like that.

Anyway, the real treat comes as soon as you begin the game. You get to construct your own cyborg by selecting from a list of different features for three parts of the body: the arms, legs and torso. While the torso itself is mainly a cosmetic choice, the arm and leg choices determine what kind of extra weapons/abilities you have aside from standard combat. For instance, among the arm choices, there is a blaster, a saw, and even a weighted arm that fires off of the shoulder when used. For legs, you can get a pair that let you do a powerful flip attack, ones that let you jump extremely high, legs that make you immunity from being picked up and thrown, and more. There are hundreds of different combinations.

The actual combat with these metallic bad-asses is absolutely brutal. For tradition’s sake, you can do moves like standing kicks, uppercuts, and jumpkicks. However, the move list expands to include moves you can use to rip off your opponent’s arm. Sound ruthless? That’s just the beginning. Once you’ve successfully amputated one of an enemy’s arms, you can perform the move a second time to rip said victim’s torso clean off of its legs, which results in immediate death, by the way. But wait, there’s more! Once you have removed said torso, you can drop it, hurl it at your remaining foes, or even absorb it to get a significant increase in your own energy.

Aside from dismemberment and torso absorption, you can tear into your enemies with a devastating slam maneuver in which you lift the enemy above your head, and then drive him headfirst into the pavement. It’s so powerful that it even shakes off an arm when done successfully. Still another move is one I cannot even begin to give a name to. I’ll just describe it: you leap into the air, then land on your opponent, wrap your legs around his waist, and then pound him with your fist three times, gaining life with each hit.

The last one I’d like to mention isn’t really a move, per se. When you defeat an opponent, they collapse into a pile of arms and legs and such. Should you feel the inclination, however, you can reassemble your fallen opponent so that you can carry out further atrocities on them. Weird, huh?

Unfortunately, with all these moves at your disposal, and only three buttons and a directional pad to use, pulling off the right move in time can be tricky. Of course, since you have a couple life stealing maneuvers, you can take back the health you lose fairly quickly.

At the end of each stage, you get a readout based on the kinds of attacks you do, separated into the categories, “technical,” “fair play,” and my favorite, “brutality.” I have no idea how the moves are divided up into these categories (though I suspect reviving your opponent so you can kill him again is probably under the heading, “brutality”), but I do know that I always seem to get more in brutality than the other two combined.

Each level has three stages. At the end of the third stage, you are presented with a boss character with a beefed-up version of the blaster hand, and an uncanny knack for removing limbs. Even after I had managed to lop off both of his arms, he still managed to pull one of mine off. It was a very peculiar sight.

Sounds great, right? Well, that’s not all that sounds great. The sounds themselves are fairly well done. They come in only a few categories: clangs, explosions, beeps, pops, and thuds. Still, none of the sounds will grate against your eardrums like you might expect them to, given that they’ll be all of what you hear for the duration of the game.

The music is also fairly limited. There are only a handful of tunes, one per level and a ditty for the boss. They, too, will not reinvent the standard of video game music, but you won’t be jamming sharpened toothpicks into your ears all the same.

Lately, there has been a shortage of straightforward, side-scrolling fighting games on the market. Folks, it’s time to pull out the old classics of the genre. Sure, Sega may not be busting down the door to make a sequel to Cyborg Justice, but maybe if they had, they wouldn’t have lost the console wars. It can be summed up in a simple formula: robots + fighting + brutal, ruthless combat = a reason for living. Download it now before I rip your torso off.

Best Cheats: Nothing Entered

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 7
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 9

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