Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Sit up straight, Superman fans. The blue and red flash has been immortalised in 8-bits, thanks to Virgin. He may prefer to keep on pushing up daisies when he hears of the task ahead of him.
Metropolis City’s had a bit of raw deal of late. To start with, all the children disappeared. Then the folk who operate the underground rail network fled into a tunnel and vanished. To add insult to injury, Lois Lane has been nabbed and a gang of Superman’s greatest adversaries are running wild in the city.
It’s your job, as old Supey-babe, to sort out this God-damn mess, find the likkle kiddy-winks, locate the tube train operators and knock the living daylights out of each and every one of those bad guys.
Stage 1’s set in the city. Race along rooftops, leap up the side of buildings or take to the skies and show ‘em what-for! A-ha! Things ain’t that easy.
First there are metallic pods to contend with. They shoot laser beams and generally buzz about. Either lie in wait, duck and use your Sonic Punch, or find a Heat Vision icon, fire and leave the beggars with severe sunburn!
Take care of energy barriers. They block your route but explode after a couple of knocks.
The end of level’s no joke. The Prankster’s dishing out poisonous blooms. Come into contact with their petals and your energy bar takes a hammering. A few good punches and he’s a gonner!
There are four more levels, including duels with Maximus, Terraman’s and Brainiac. Then there’s Mr Mxyzptlk, the magician from another dimension with more than doves up his sleeves!
Can you set world to rights? Oh, you think so? Well — get playing!
As GG games go, Superman’s not a disaster. The graphics are small but many are well defined. The dude himself doesn’t exactly ooze animation, though, neither does he look hunky, chunky and funky.
He’s a tad unresponsive at times. I found it difficult to fly on the odd occasion and when I did get airborne, landing at the correct spot on a rooftop was a wee bit tricky.
There are three difficulty settings, and I suppose this is where the plus point comes in: even on Easy mode the whole caboodle’s fairly tough in places. Oh heck, I feel a minus point coming on... it’s tough, but unfairly tough. In places, I was killed time after time, leading to mega-frustration. Ho-hum, you need patience to be a games tester! This is not Virgin’s strongest product. They’ve proved with Mick and Mack and Cool Spot they can produce classy stuff. Superman’s okay but a touch rough around the edges. Fans of the man himself may be disappointed.
Don’t expect any surprises from this game, it’s exactly the same as the MS version in every area except one — the difficulty level. Superman was tough on MS but compare it to this and it’s a piece of cake.
Superman doesn’t suit the handheld screen at all. The game area’s very small, which means baddies seem to jump out from nowhere, giving you little chance to take evasive action. You’re forever stopping and starting as you try to scroll the screen pixel by pixel, so you’ve got some idea where the baddies are.
It’s this design problem which mars the game. Graphics and sound are well above average and the idea works — in theory. This Is Virgin’s worse release. It’s unplayable in parts and very frustrating over all.
If you want to play Superman, get yourself an MS convertor and play that version — it’s much more enjoyable.
Not the best Virgin handheld game we’ve seen. Fun for a while