Review by Braben

"The only game that does Superman justice."

Unlike Batman, Superman games have always been an utterly crap, but there is still a game that shines among all the garbage piled over poor Clark Kent, a game designed by the good guys from Sunsoft and Blizzard that not only is the best Superman game ever, it is one of the best beat em-ups (in my humble opinion), ever made.

The story is great, not great because during the game is interesting or well developed or anything, it is great because of the main idea. Based on the comic book, the thing here is that Doomsday finally kills Superman in their last fight, but a few years later new “Supermen” start to appear, and they are not all that different from the original one, so, which one is the true Superman?, that is what we are going to find out after finishing the game (or after reading the comic I assume, because I have never read it).

Excellent, way above the average in the genre, with a lot more variety in terms of characters, enemies, and backgrounds as well as in abilities, and with big and nicely animated characters and movements, so the graphics are more than good for such a game.

Very good, a dark soundtrack that gives the game a nice post-apocalyptic mood. Not nearly as varied as everything else in the game, but very good nonetheless, and specially for a beat em-up. The sound, something that I never care about is also quite good also, very convincing and “powerful”, the sound of our fists impacting the ugly faces of our enemies really makes you want to continue kicking butt.

The main objective is the same as in any other beat em-up, that is, beating the hell out of anything you have at sight, no matter if it is human or not, or if it is alive or not, or if there is a reason to destroy it (like the public property, which is going to suffer a lot) however, the developers managed to introduce, if nothing really outstanding or highly imaginative, nice features that add nice variety and that make this one a far from typical beat em-up. Now that I think, the movements and controls are very similar to Konami’s Batman Returns, we are going to be able to smash enemies through windows, walls, etc, then we have a small secondary projectile (which verities depending on the Superman we are controlling), bombs that destroy everything on the screen....well, all this sounds like any other beat em-up, and ok that is true, but if you have played Batman Returns you will se how similar their “gameplays” are, and how much varied and convincing these two are when compared with most games in the genre.

Something cool yet as you will see later not all that useful (excepting in the second scenario) is the possibility to fly, and yes fortunately we are able to fly whenever we want wherever we want. It is useful to fly over some dangerous pitfalls like x-rays or a few pits, or to find hidden items, but aside from that you will hardly ever fly, or well, at least I have never use that feature too much.

Death and Return of Superman is probably the longest beat em-up ever made, something that together with the high difficulty, it is one of the few flaws in the game, sure being such a long game is good, very good given that beat em-ups are usually short and not too complicated, but as there are no passwords nor battery, and the difficulty (again) so high, beating this game is a true behemoth task.

The second flaw is the lack of a multiplayer option, this may sound like a terrible flaw, and yeah it is shame, but it is not as bad as it sounds, I’ve played this game for a very long time with tons of different friends (for an unknown reason, I had a lot of friends who owned this game), and now that I think I never though about this as a flaw, and due to the story a two player option could have been odd.

Probably one the most interesting thing about the game is which Superman will end up being the real one, as the game is based on the comic I don’t know if those who have already read it know the answer, in my case I didn’t even knew the game was based on a comic at the beginning, but well, probably most people out have no idea about it, so it is a cool feature.

As a result:
This game is a splendid beat em-up, extremely challenging and so long that I don’t know if it is possible to beat, I have to admit that although I have been playing this game for years I have never been able to beat it, but I don’t care, it is a great game anyway, probably one of the best in the genre for the Snes, and if it is one of the best for the Snes that means it is one of the best ever in the genre.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/29/04

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