Also available on Sega CD, Saturn, 3DO, Mac OS, and Windows
When most people think of 90s full motion video games, they usually think god awful bottom-of-the-barrel tier games, and for those who've played it, Corpse Killer is probably the specific game that first comes to mind. There are four different console version of this game as well as two computer versions, and I only have two of those versions, but from what I can tell, the Sega CD 32X version is decent as far as console releases go.
Corpse Killer is an FMV light gun game that has you play as an unnamed United States Marine who's air dropped (and promptly caught dangling in a tree) onto an also unnamed tropical island to stop the evil Dr. Hellman from using a blend of science and voodoo to create an undead zombie army. Helping you on your quest is a blonde reporter who is definitely one of the most obnoxious companions in gaming history and a Rastafarian driver whose fake Jamaican accent is so thick that he's only technically still speaking English (seriously, I work with like half a dozen Jamaican immigrants, and I can understand all of them just find, but this dude is incoherent).
In between video cut scenes with excruciatingly terrible acting and writing (despite the fact that two of the actors - Rastafarian chauffeur and mad scientist guy - are actually decent actors otherwise), there are gameplay sequences. Unfortunately, unlike most light gun shooters of the era, these sequences aren't on rails going through an area, per se; it's more akin to being in a jeep that's slowly meandering along on a sight-seeing trip as the screen just sort of slowly scrolls from left to right at a constant pace while zombies rush towards you. The backgrounds are all actual digitized images, and the zombies are all digitized real life people in costume which is actually fairly impressive. What's not so impressive is that there's no background embellishment whatsoever - no burning barrels or anything - and the zombies all look more like a drunk old man stumbling towards the bathroom than undead monsters trying to eat your flesh.
Being a Sega CD 32X release, this version is obviously inferior to the versions released on the Saturn and 3DO, but there are some noticeable improvements over the base Sega CD release. First and foremost, the picture quality is a bit better with slightly less fuzzy blurring and a noticeable increase in contrast and saturation. There's a bit of an awkward hiccup every couple frames that's a bit more pronounced on CD 32X than on the regular Sega CD release, but I didn't find that to be too troublesome. To this version's credit, it allows the use of an actual light gun. The Sega CD version also allows this, and I've read that the 3DO version does as well despite making no mention of it anywhere on the packaging although I can't confirm that for myself, but the Saturn version oddly omits this feature leaving you with AWFUL D-pad aiming. I tried the D-pad aiming on the CD 32X version just to try it out, and it's....bad. However bad you imagine it would be, it's worse.
Corpse Killer is not a good game. It's a visual improvement over the Sega CD version, and it has definitely superior controls over the Sega Saturn version, but it falls short of the 3DO version, and even a good version of a bad game is still bad. It's a good example of what, in the early 90s, the FMV and "interactive movie" craze was all about, but it also exemplifies that it's a fad that's worth staying buried in the past. It's a neat piece of gaming history, and it has some definite B-movie cheese charm if that's your cup of tea. Even that, though, wears thin quickly once you realize that the game really just isn't that good. I can't recommend Corpse Killer to anyone unless you just LOVE bad FMV games. It's definitely one of the better versions of the game, but there's just not a lot to love here.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.