Review by FF TLSOK

"A truly super Super Hero game?"

Ah, memory lane. I was hooking up my old SNES, and look what I found... a little gem of a game, if you ask me. The Death and Return of Superman.

Graphics:
Fine, fine, fine. Actually, above fine. The graphics are very good. The characters look like who they're supposed to look like. They got Superman exact right down to the spit curl on his forehead, Doomsday done to the bone's popping out over his face. The backgrounds are beautiful as well. Metropolis has never looked better.

Story:
Well, the story is directly cut and pasted from the Death and Return story that was in the Superman comics ten years ago. A few little things are missing, such as Green Lantern, Supergirl, Mongul, and the Daily Planet staff, but the basics are there... through you never really learn anything about the four replacement Supermen save for one is evil. But for anyone who read the story in its original format, its not hard to follow... but for those who haven't read it, plot holes aboud.

Gameplay:
Nice and simple. Go from point A to point B and punch out any criminals and scum of the universe that tries to stop the Man of Steel. Simple enough, but it's funny how many publishers can mess up the formula. Blizzard did not. Superman plays just like a good ol' beat 'em up from gamins past. Besides the simple punches thrown, Superman can also use his heat vision, a few throwing attacks and a super move that wipes out all enemies on the screen (through the items that power that particular move are hard to come by). And with a quick double jump, the player can take to the air, bringing a new dimension to fighting games. As per any other game of the genre, the player will have to fight their way through a mod of foes and defeat a boss at the end. But there are also a few flying stages where the player will have to blast their way through a leigon of riff raff with their heat vision (and energy attacks for the others).

Features:
Just a one player mode to the end, as one would imagine. There is a sound test and button configuration, but no password or save system.

Sound:
Very good. The punches, impacts, and heat vision sound effects are dead on. And the music is fitting for every level and cinema scene... sometimes promoting a feeling of impending doom (as with the Doomsday levels) to a sense of fun when the player assumes control of Superboy, to finally a sense of approaching victory in the final level. The boss music is also fitting, through I had hoped for different music for the last boss (who I won't spoil here for anyone who hasn't read the comics).

Replayability:
The game can get a little boring after a few times beaten, but as I have learned over time, a few months break can make an old game seem fresh as ever and as good as gold. The Death and Return of Superman is no exception to that rule.

Overall:
I'd have to count this as the best Superman translation in games thus far. Shadow of Apokolips may be better... but I don't own a PS2, so I can't judge it. A simple game, this is, but the Man of Steel translates well to the format. A must buy for all you old school SNES gamers.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/30/02, Updated 10/30/02


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