Join me as we delve deep into the catacombs that are my video game library. This week we have a lesser known Capcom title, Under the Skin. With frantic and zany action, high production values, and even a hefty nod to the Resident Evil franchise, it’s a shame more people haven’t played this lost gem. Read on and see why aliens with tiny ray guns can be your friends….
Let’s start things off right, shall we? Below is the introduction video you see at the start of the game. Marvel in its hysteria:
So the premise, for those who didn’t watch the whole video (or watch the video at all… shame!), of the game is focused on the little alien Cosmi. In order to fit in with the alien society, and to impress his father, Cosmi has to land on planet Earth and pull pranks and gags on all Earth’s citizens. Not to make things too easy however, Cosmi must not be discovered by the humans, so he uses his ray gun to take the form of random civilians he encounters, hiding his true identity as he prances about town wrecking havoc. As Cosmi takes control of different humans like police officers, cowboys, girls in bunny uniforms, and even zombies, he can utilize their array of items to pull off pranks. Spring loaded boxing gloves, floor tacks, microphones, and cream pies to the face will be had.
It might be easier if you just check out the video to see that craziness for yourself:
Each stage has a different objective in order to clear it and move on to the next level. Mostly the goal revolves around collecting enough coins within the time limit, but other stage have more unique themes. The Raccoon City level, seen at the end of the video, for example requires that you steal all the coins from Nemesis before the time runs out. While the gameplay can get quite repetitive, it is still fairly enjoyable. The insanity of each stage makes the game fun, and that’s really what games should be about: having fun. Under the Skin does a good job of creating absurd scenarios and placing your right in the middle of it. What other game lets you smash civilians with giant cheeseburgers?
The game doesn’t come without faults. As stated above, things can get monotonous after playing the first few stages. A multiplayer option becomes available after playing through the game, and it offers up some competitive or cooperative action. Unfortunately the stages for multiplayer are just the single player levels, but with two players instead of one. Games that have unique multiplayer stages tend to be a bit better off in the two-player market, but it’ll do if you’re looking for something light to pick up and play together with a buddy. Lastly, the game is over rather quickly. Yeah, you unlock extra characters to play as, and there’s always incentive to get higher scores, but that can only go so far. You’ll really only be playing the game for a few hours before it’s all over. Perhaps that’s why the game flew under the radar…
Under the Skin is a great example of a video game that is just that: a game. It’s not trying to set the bar for anything, and it’s certainly not going to change the way people play video games, but it’s funny, enjoyable, and for the low price tag it pulls now-a-days, there’s really no reason to not give it a shot if you’ve got the time. Cooky gameplay, colorful and stylized graphics, and a fun-if-not-short experience await.