This Has Got To be the best looking arcade shoot em-up game I have ever seen, ever! Forget about 7th Guest and co. as the perfect games to show off your sexy pc and brand spanking new double speed cd-rom drive. Microcosm wipes the floor with the lot of them, at least as far as graphics are concerned. It even has a decent plot and storyline, albeit one directly lifted from somewhere else!
Fantastic Voyage Part 2
If youve ever seen the cult sci-fi movie Fantastic Voyage youll know what Microcosm is all about. In the distant future two rival corporations, Axiom and Cybertech, are battling with each other for premier status in the business world: Corporation 1. - Axiom -has discovered a clever and brilliant way to enter the body of Corporation 2 -Cybertechs - president and control him. For Axioms doctors have been working on micro - Military Internal Cruise and Recon Operatives - the secret of miniaturisation.
Using micro, Axiom discover they can insert vo capsules (a sort of miniaturised droid) into the Cybertech presidents bloodstream and use one vo capsule in particular, Grey M, to target his brain. Taking advantage of the presidents upcoming operation, they sneak the vo capsules into his body but, unbeknownst to them, one of Cybertechs nurses witnesses the dirty deed. Off the nurse scarpers to the Cybertech bigwigs to inform them of the scandalous goings-on. Bloody right, they say, weve got a little bit of micro know-how ourselves. Jump into the presidents bod immediately and sort out whatevers in there.
And now its all up to you to get in there and shoot lots of capsules and things and save the president and Cybertech Microcosm is all about shooting things. You shoot things, you stop and walk about, and then you shoot some more. This in itself is no reason to write the game off. Xenon 2, for instance, is still one of the best arcade games around on the pc and whats that all about? Shooting things, thats what. The difference between Xenon 2 and Microcosm is that Xenon 2 is tense, challenging and extremely exciting, despite having no soundcard support and no slick and groovy cd platform to use for stacks of amazing graphic files qnd animations; whilst Microcosm, on the other hand, is a game produced using the leading edge of cd technology and still cant produce the goods.
and probably the whole world into the bargain, and all this in an-absolutely amazing graphic environment. Exciting stuff, eh? Well, not quite. Whats it all about?
Times they arent a changin
There are several problems with Microcosm. For a start, all the levels look the same. As you fly through the presidents bloodstream, blasting away at everything in sight, you begin to wonder if the gameplay is ever going to change. Nasties come at you from the side, nasties come at you from the top, and you shoot them. You start to ask yourself serious questions like: Is this all there is to it? and: Why have I been playing this game for an hour?
Stand and be blasted
Another problem is the nasties themselves. I dont expect them to just stand there and get bopped, but they come at you from all directions, flying about in a completely illogical fashion, so most of the time its more a matter of luck than judgement as to whether you hit any of the sodding things. The final nigglesome prob is rather more simple. Its boring! Okay, so you come up against the odd strange looking ship and things that look like tennis balls rolling up and down metal bars - but basically the gameplays the same. You shoot them all the same way and they all blow up the same way, you continue to get bored the same way. The whole thing is a bit of an absolute shame, really. The graphics and sound are stunning. Microcosm is made of the sort of stuff that has lots of people crowding around your pc going Coo, whats that? But what else exactly has the game got going for it, apart from being an excellent showpiece for your pc hardware? Well, its weird!
Your kneebones connected to your...
If youre looking for a shoot em-up with a difference, youve come to the right place. Theres no blasting away at a seemingly endless stream of aliens in Microcosm. Theres no trying to put an end to a screen full of cutesy little loveable wotsits. Your journey takes you into the very heart of the human body, right through all the squidgy bits and out the other side again. How many games do you know with levels called the Cephalic Vein? How many games take you right to the femur bone, let you play about in the superior vena cava, positively encourage you to split the carotid artery, and dare you to venture into the human brain and chuck lots of things at it? None. Bit of a shame, then, that this ones so basic.
Where it all began
The entire concept of Microcosm has been pinched hook, line and sinker from a rather cracking science fiction movie called Fantastic Voyage, whose creators nicked the idea from a book. Its all about a medical team who jump into a miniature submarine and are injected into a top scientists bloodstream to deal with a clot on his brain. As far as sci-fi movies go, it was one of the biggest hits of the 60s, sporting special effects way ahead of its time and everyone generally agreed it was fab and groovy. It even had Racquel Welch in it. So how does the computer game of the movie of the book compare with its predecessors? Lets just say Id rather spend five minutes in the company of Racquel Welch than two horrendously infuriating hours farting around with Microcosm.
While this is a definite improvement over the Sega CD version in terms of color and animation, Microcosm is still not all that fun to play. The game play leaves much to be desired, and the number of instant hits is almost nerve-wracking. The computer-rendered animation cinemas are really neat, but they don't make a game. Pm sorry, but Microcosm didn't seem like fun to me. It needs more to it, I guess.
Microcosm can be considered an improvement over the Sega CD version, if you rely on your eyes only. The video has cleaned up immensely, but a pretty video doesn't make a game good. This is simply standard*fare stuff with a boring objective and dull scenery (hey, is that an aorta or a capillary?). There are better 3DO games to be found. But if you want to experience it all, Microcosm just doesn't thrill me.
Even though the 3DO games have been getting better, I can't believe that this game is among them. Microcosm is nothing more than full-motion video and predirected paths for the player to pilot through. There's no interaction at all. All you do is move a ship up, down, left, and right firing at enemies while avoiding obstacles. It's just not fun. The graphics and sound are very good, but they don't make the game.
I don't get the idea of this game. The concept may be good for a movie, but the repetitive backgrounds and lack of challenging game play made the fun of this one wear out fast. It looks better than the Sega CD version, but the scenes are repetitive. The action is limited to simple fourway movements. The graphics and sounds are impressive, but it doesn't play very well. It doesn't have enough action for me.
The year is 2051 and life is hard on the planet Bodor. 82 percent of the population are packed onto two percent of the landmass and poverty, disease, and crime run rampant. Two corporations are in a constant battle for position, each trying to achieve Corp 1 status. Cybertech now has Corp 1 status and has gotten there by killing the president of the number two company, Axiom. They now have a new president that is willing to use any means to regain the number one spot. They devise a plan using the very latest technology to shrink down assassins so they can enter the human body. Now you must go in and try to stop the destruction of the president.