Cyborgs beating the living daylights out of each other. Buzz saws, laser guns, and flamethrowers going off from both sides. And the ability to have two players cut apart and/or set others on fire. It can only be Cyborg Justice for the Sega Genesis.
In classic beat ‘em up fashion, you, and another player, pummel your way through waves of endless cyborgs bent on destroying you after you fail to submit and obey, due to you still retaining your human side after being brainwashed and forced to be a subservient cyborg. At the start of the game, you are allowed to set-up your character with your preferred body, legs, and one of six weapons- flamethrower, laser gun, buzz saw, normal arm, a launch arm, and the crusher. Each of these parts have their own strengths and weaknesses that will help or hinder the player throughout the game.
The enemies are also manufactured of similar parts, giving a varied design to each. They are difficult, especially the bosses, who possess their own special moves, but can only be two enemies on the screen at a time. The player(s) are not without special moves of their own. At any time, one may stun enemies, trap them in gravity pits and damaging areas, and rip off an enemy weapon, or amputate, and replace their own with it. Torsoes can also be yanked off to replenish energy and, if the player is feeling kind, foes can be rebuilt to give them a fighting chance and allow for “fair fight” points at the end of the level in addition to “brutality” and “technical” scores. Or the enemies can be rebuilt to acquire a part if it was missed the first time.
All the cyborg and different models lend themselves to making the graphics quite colorful and detailed. The backgrounds, while sometimes only changing their color rather than actually changing, are detailed well enough to show the planets, ships, and other sci-fi places the player will fight.
Sound is a bit of a hit and miss. The explosions, devastating attacks, and even the hover car that the player uses to drive to each area before and after a fight all sound great and exciting. However, the music playing for each area is pretty dull. It feels more like it’s just there so that it can be said the game has music rather than it really adding to the carnage.
Basic punches and kicks are executed normally and feel like any other beat ‘em up. The advanced and special moves requiring combos can be uncooperative at times, requiring another input or two for them to work correctly. In all honesty, it feels like Mortal Kombat at times – just not as stiff -, with some attacks needing to be started at a certain distance from the enemy or timed in a precise manner. And the allure to pull some of these moves off, coupled with their refusal to do the attack you wanted at times in favor of another one, can result in a lost life. But used sparingly and relying on basic attacks will allow players to sidestep this obstacle and see the game through.
There is also a duel mode that allows two players to fight it out amongst each other.
So if you’re in the mood for mechanical genocide on a mass scale with your choice of deadly weapons, then this game is right up your alley. The music and controls, while off-putting, can be overlooked because how could one stay mad at a game that would let you set your attackers on fire before ripping off their arms and body or blast them to pieces only to salvage their parts? The premise and style for the game makes up for it nicely. And with such a low price, going for under a dollar in a few instances, this is one beat ‘em up you’re sure to feel is more than worth what you paid for.
Release: NA- 1993; EU- April 1993
Platform: Sega Genesis