Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
It’s up, up and away and every other superhero cliché you can think of! Your friend and ours. Superman, returns from the dead, lifting the lid on his coffin all in the name of peace, justice and the American way.
Latest news from the comic world is there are four, yes, FOUR hunky dudes claiming to be the real thing. Latest news from the console world is there’s just one software house hailing it’s got the best Superman game ever. Virgin Games put Mr Clark Kent’s alter ego to the test and boy, does he have his work cut out for him!
Metropolis City is minus a few inhabitants. Teenagers, railway staff and top female journalist Lois Lane have all gone walkies. It’s obvious they haven’t popped to the local hamburger joint so old Supey-babes is called upon to fathom out the dastardly deed.
As the lycra-clad lushcake himself, your job’s to race through five perilous levels, knocking the stuffing out of bad guys and arguing with arch-villains.
For example, you run and fly through Metropolis City, an underground complex and a space station, of all things, using your super powers to intercept Terraman’s air attack, the Prankster’s poisonous weeds and thwart the plans of Metallia (the man with the heart of Kryptonite), Maximus, Brainiac and the mysterious Mr Mxyzptlk.
Grab a blue shield and blast your enemies with Super Heat Vision! If that’s not to your liking, bash the bad guys with your Sonic Punch or annihilate everyone in your path with the dramatic Hyper Spin!
We’re not sure we can handle this without laddering tights and staining pants (if you get our drift). It’s all yours, folks. Just make sure Supe’s resurrection is worth Virgin’s hype!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an all-in-one steam iron from Boots? No, It’s the latest superhero offering ™ J for the trusty Master System. Clark Kent’s caped alter ego’s back and this time he’s not taking any sh... Kryptonlte!
Superman’s a hit and miss affair. The graphics are damn good, especially for the MS. The characters are colourful and clear and backdrops aren’t at all bad — the moving train’s particularly cool.
The sound’s on the dodgy side. The backing tracks very dated, even for the MS, and the zapping noises are very feeble.
Playability doesn’t live up to expectations — Superman’s difficult to control, leading to many an unscheduled landing, usually resulting in loss of energy. Your tasks are tiresome, the baddies are unimaginative, to say the least, and the levels are far too short to give anything near a lasting challenge.
One for those who are gagging for a new MS game and remember old blue pants in his DC heyday, I think.
I’m not into all this comic book stuff, but Virgin have done a pretty good job with MS Superman. Question is, what else could they have done? A platform game was a fairly good choice.
I found this version better than the GG game. The smaller graphics of the handheld affair made the whole caboodle a bit of a pain. Here the visuals are above average. Animation’s not stunning, colour’s a touch bland and the backdrops aren’t particularly detailed, but at least you can see what’s going on!
The sounds okay, with middle-of-the-road theme tunes and the odd spot FX. Gameplay’s a wee bit annoying at times. Getting killed is frustrating at the best of times, but when faced with some adversaries, I couldn’t position myself accurately to achieve the best attack method.
Superman doesn’t have a classy feel to It but platform/beat-’em-up fans could do worse. Superman freaks will enjoy confronting those infamous arch-villains, but don’t expect stunning graphics and gameplay.
It’s not a bird, plane or Smash but a fair effort and fun for Supe’s fans