Review by Super Mario
"Not very super"
A while back, while rummaging through my friend's old Nintendo games which had long-since been stored away in the dark isolation of his closet, I came across Kemco's 1988 version of ''Superman'', a game which a close friend of mine had previously stated was the single worst he had ever played on the NES. Unfamiliar with the 8-bit exploits of the Man of Steel, I became intrigued, and so I asked my friend if I could borrow his copy so that I might discover the horrible (or not-so-horrible) truth for myself...
The graphics in this game look primitive, even by 1988's standards. The backgrounds consist of simplistic-looking buildings, and the good citizens of Metropolis all have oversized, melon-like heads. Character animation is poor, as enemies land punches without even connecting, and fly off the screen in a rather amusing manner when defeated. Superman looks more like Superboy, and his movements up and down ladders is funny. When you finally reach Lex Luther at the end of level 4, he looks hilarious! The most impresssive visuals are those in the title screen, as the Man of Steel flies in from afar, makes his descent, and strikes a heroic pose while his cape flaps against the wind.
The tunes are, for the most part, hummable, but also very short and repetitive. The sound effects are merely adequate.
The controls take a little getting used to. A friend of mine had difficulty leaving the first building you start in, and turned off the game in disgust. This is because you must press ''down'' on the control pad in order to go through doors. You must also press ''up'' to jump in this game, which feels quite awkward since Superman is capable of clearing up to five times his own height in a single bound and spends up to two whole seconds in the air.
''Superman'' took me a while to beat, but that was mostly due to its considerable length. Basically, there is little to do in this game other than punch bad guys and dodge bullets. Knocking out villians is simple, as it takes only a few quick punches which don't even come close to connecting. The bosses aren't much harder. There are several underground mazes but these are also rather easy to master.
''Superman'' isn't very much fun to play, at least for anyone over 10. The game play seems to have been geared towards a younger audience, with it's cartoonish-looking characters and unchallenging difficulty level. Replay value is low, since the first time you beat this game will probably also be your last. Very long and boring.
Not super at all, but definitely not the worst NES game ever made. Fans of DC Comics would be much better off getting Sunsoft's vastly superior ''Batman'', released in 1990, instead.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/21/00, Updated 06/14/01
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