Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Superman the arcade game

At some point during the mid 80s to early 90s there was an explosion of video games based on popular comic-book and cartoon series'. All of which having kind of a Ninja Turtlesish game play. Superman was not immune to this. Today I am reviewing his.

Yes, Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, the amazing stranger from the planet Krypton, the Man of Steel, Superman! Whew, I can't believe I remembered all of that. I think my geekyness is showing. This game has always remained an old childhood favorite from the days when I hung out at the Boys and Girls club. That's where I played the game. Never got very far because of my lack of skill and pocket change but that never stopped me from loving this game. I believe this game was trying to cash in on the movie but other than the theme playing in the background, it doesn't really have much to do with our beloved films. In fact, I think because of those movies and this game, I became of the impression that THIS was the Superman theme and became very confused when I saw other Superman things not use it. What do you want? I was six. Anyway,

Anyway, as I said, despite the theme, it doesn't really have much to do with the movies. In fact, it doesn't really have much to do with anything as far as I can tell. It seems to be basically Superman kicking the can out of some monsters and aliens but it's the simple things in life you treasure as such is this game. Once you slip in our coin, you'll will be offered the choice of one or two players. Yes, two players. I'll bet you're wondering just who would be player 2. Well, I'll get to that in a moment. For now, let's just focus on Superman.

This looks like a job... FOR SUPERMAN!
Whatever that job may be. As I said, this game seems to lack in plot.

But what it lacks in plot it makes up for in fun game play and in the end, isn't that what you truly play games for? Sure, all those well written stories in these new games are nice, but without fun game play, it's really not a game. Anyway, the game play is simple. If it moves, punch it. If it's just plain in your way, punch it.
You also have this strange "Power Punch" thingy. You hold down the punch button and he releases an energy ball that takes your opponent. Not sure why. Don't recall Supes ever able to do THAT, but hey, it's cool. Supes never pulled his S out of his chest and THREW IT at the bad guy either.

Each level is divided into three parts. First on land,

Up in the air where you fly straight up;

And flying across the sky whee you fight asteroids, other various obstacles, and meet up with your boss. Every boss in each level is pretty much the same bald green guy in a different contraption. Beat him, and you get to the next level
Lather, rinse, repeat. The only real difference is settings. First you're in Metropolis,

Then San fransico, Where I question the authenticity of Tai food from a guy named "Joey."

The sewers of San Fransisco, where I kid you not...

You fight a Helicopter. A Helicopter underground! They sent a Helicopter down the sewers of San Fransisco. Gotta admit, that's pretty hardcore.

Las Vegas. I wonder how Superman tells the difference between the aliens and the normal Vegas tourists.

Hey Hey, at ease Superman. We still got a mission!

Even Washington DC. Let me tell you, now we know this is a fantasy because there is no way they would let a super-human alien THIS close to the White House. Even if it was to save the universe. Another thing;

I'm pretty sure Mount Rushmore isn't in Washington D.C.

Then the adventures continue as you enter a space ship and battle...


And... this thing. I don't know what it is but DAAAMMN it's big!

The final battle involves the big green bald guy again sending a giant monster at you. The monster looks a lot like the monster you fought earlier which is pretty cheap but it could've been worse. At least the final boss wasn't a Tornado! I'm looking at YOU Superman Returns!

Superman flies over the Statue of Liberty for the world is safe again. For now. With the world's most understated sentence.

Well, it's not the worst final words in a video game.

If you don't know. That's the ending of the Ghostbusters game on the NES. *shudders*

I'll bet you're all wondering about that second player I was talking about. Well, here you go. Unless you're like me. Then you probably forgot. But, if you didn't here you go

Well, there he is. No clue as to who the hell he's supposed to be. I guess they figured all these games have extra players and Superman shouldn't be any different. Even if they had to make one up. And they did. He kinda looks like Captain Marvel to me though.
All in all, it's actually a pretty fun game. Especially for Superman who has trouble getting a break in the video game world. This game isn't perfect but I'll take it over Superman 64.
If you want to play it, look for an Emulator called Mame.