Saturday 23 February 2019

Corpse Killer (Mega CD / Sega CD review)

Developer: Digital Pictures
Publisher: Digital Pictures
Released: 1994

Corpse Killer is a Full Motion Video (FMV) game that was also released on the Sega 32X in 1995.

Airdropped onto the tropical island of Cay Noir, your mission is to rescue four comrades and stop the evil Dr. Hellman from releasing hordes of zombies onto the world. Your normal gun can be upgraded with powerful armor-piercing or datura-coated bullets (necessary when facing certain zombies), and antidotes can also be obtained to restore your ever-depleting health. The action is repetitive and when you're not watching the endless cut-scenes and looking around the map screen the only thing to do is occasionally take part in a shooting gallery where you blast ridiculous looking zombies as they scale towards you. The on-screen target cursor is unbelievably laggy and inaccurate to the point where luck often replaces skill; in fact, it's so bad that you could be fooled into thinking you have a defective CD! The Sega Menacer light-gun is advertised as being compatible, but seriously, don't bother as it's wildly unreliable. The video quality is on-par with other Sega CD FMV titles with a low frame-rate, washed out colours and lack of detail due to the heavy compression; the latter is a bigger issue here than in the upgraded Sega 32X-CD version, as the graininess makes it hard to judge when projectiles are being thrown towards you. The gameplay is not without some merits though, and I do like the non-linear approach that allows you to choose where to battle next from a map screen. Also, you can save your progress at any point, as well as retreating when health / ammo is low, meaning some strategy is involved; it's just a shame that the rest of what's presented here is so unpolished and monotonous.

Corpse Killer has few redeeming qualities and its shallow gameplay highlights some of the FMV genre's limitations throughout the early-mid 1990s. There's barely anything to do throughout the entire 2-3 hour campaign, and unless you're a glutton for punishment I'd advise you to steer well clear of this abomination.

Random trivia: The game was also ported to the Panasonic 3DO (1994) and the Sega Saturn (1995).

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