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Cosmos Circuit

version: jp - year: 1985 - developer: toei video co., kiya overseas industries co - publisher: laserdisc corp. - format: msx1, LD-700 - condition: good - rarity: very

An interesting futuristic racing game with weapons, which is becoming increasingly hard to find.


There is a total of four tracks (Exa, Peta, Tera, Giga) to be won in succession in order to finish the game and see the bare-bone congratulations screen!


A nice example of flawless integration between MSX generated sprites and filmed backgrounds.

Review - Cosmos Circuit is the only racing game which was released for the Palcom MSX LD library and it is noticeable for a few things.

Of all the games released on the system, it is the one which has better integration between filmed backgrounds and MSX1 generated sprites, and this is quiet an achievement!

Background graphics are probably a bit plain in terms of variety, but they do look very nice and certainly contribute to enhance the futuristic atmosphere of the game. There is basically only one car model which comes in two colors, but it is really nicely done while sound effects consist on either the engine "roar" OR the sound of your mounted gun when fired. If this sounds very limiting or even prehistoric to you...well, it's because it is!

Putting this game into the context of 1985 racing games should actually help you appreciate it way more though.

Gameplay is also surprisingly different from your typical racing game: your goal is to reach the finishing line of each one of the four circuits within the time limit. To do that, you can either pass cars or shoot at them. Shooting down a car makes for easy passes but it won't be counted as an actual pass although it will allow momentarily to clear the road. To finish the game for good and see the congratulation screen you will have to achieve a certain number of passes in each track. The stringent time-limit will often force you to try to pass cars as quickly as possible.

Competing cars have the very nasty suicidal habit of ramming onto you as you approach them so how to pass them as painlessly as possible? A good strategy I found was to immediately gear down as I approached them, align myself to the best passing trajectory and then gear up to avoid them. This requires precise timing and doesn't always work. When that strategy fails, and you are risking to crash onto the incoming cars, it's time to shoot them down and avoid their wreckage!

Bottom line: All in all, as a shooter / racing game hybrid heavy on science fiction, Cosmos Circuit is maybe the unsuspected ancestor of heavy weights such as F-Zero or WipeOut...7/10










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