|One of the most stylish console games ever, perhaps; certainly one of the most stylish console sports games. It probably helps that it's a fantasy sport: solo raquetball, kinda, except that you're trying to break transparent blocks to clear the court before time expires. You can do low-gravity flip jumps and smash the ball in midair, and if you do a power smash you can crash the ball through multiple tiles, at the cost of losing some extra time off the clock.|
The control is from the arcade, and I think it's just two buttons or something really, but the DC version defaults to putting in a third that was originally just a combo of the first two--fortunately you can still play it the arcade way.
The transparent character dances around and above the enclosed white court with super-smooth animation and simple, smooth control in the vein of Tennis 2K2 (see entry 378), which is by the way a good thing.
The presentation is out of sight. The game came out in a translucent white DVD-style case, at a time when no games came out in DVD cases. How hip was that? And everything is this really bold, shiny transparent/translucent look. And between stages your weird dude jogs along some kind of minimally-lit tunnel while a smooth Japanese-accented bus talks about getting on "the cosmic bus" and announces the next "stop" in the forking layout.
The game will give you a code resulting from your score, and at least at one time you could input the score on the game's Japanese web site to get your name on the web high score list. I got on their once in the middle somewhere and was pretty proud of it. I stink at the game now.
Each stage has a different set of tiles that you have to clear: they move in different ways, different sizes, and different formations. Some take more hits to break than others, and some are simply shields that can't break at all. Good basic tricky stuff.
|Cosmic Smash has a particular power smash maneuver (from the manual's illustration, it looks like it might occur when you do a power smash while jumping vertically directly above the ball) called "Cosmic Crotch." It is worth a lot of points.|
"Crotch Smash" would have been good too. Ah well, maybe in the sequel.