GAME REVIEW: The Death and Return of Superman

Tony Wilkins reviews a Superman game on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)


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When making a game based on a well established and loved character you have to get it right. You can’t just put them in any random setting and hope it will work because the fans of that franchise (who will be the target audience) will revolt against it. Now I am not the biggest Superman fan as I have always leaned towards the Dark Knight but playing this game I can’t help but feel that the whole concept doesn’t work. On the whole it took me only five minutes to realize I was not going to like this title but I carried on.

The gameplay is not what you would expect from a Superman game. It plays like a bad Streets of Rage rip off and this is my biggest problem. Superman is not an overly violent character. Sure he has his moments where has to take action against the bad guys but ultimately he tries to find ways to resolve situations before resorting to the Man of Steel neck break. This is a beat’em up plain and simple and Superman resolves issues with his fists and feet. Later in the game you get to control other characters and when on these levels I think the format is more acceptable but on the whole the game suffers from it.

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Controlling the characters is a clunky and dull affair and this being a 1994 game there’s no excuse for it. The Mega Drive (Genesis) had matured by then and there were many far superior handling games on the market that pushed the system much further like the universally loved Aladdin. It’s dull and uninspiring with not even the change in characters keeping it interesting. You cannot start the game off as another character which is a shame so you have to play the characters at set times during the unraveling of the story. The format is mostly a complete Streets of Rage rip off. You move forward a short distance and encounter a few baddies. You beat the living crap out of them then move on to the next bit. And so on. And so on. I lost interest very quickly. It works for games like Alien Storm but not here. Here it’s just tedious.

This was a poor game and I think a Superman title could be made far more interesting and exciting. Shame.

Thanks for reading…

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One thought on “GAME REVIEW: The Death and Return of Superman”

  1. I love superman! This game might be shit.. But superman is awesome! 🙂 Maybe it’s because I remember well the very first time I watched Christopher Reeve don the suit and take to the skies.. That it is one of my fondest childhood memories.. But there is a tender spot in my little heart for the man of steel, that no other superhero has ever managed to fill… Which is why I hated the man of steel movie insolently. I mention the atrocity that was that film, only because you said how this game was overly violent and not inkeeping with the ethics and standards Superman represents. But I digress… I vaguely remember this game, but think I got bored because as you say, it was just a ‘beat em up’ and we have batman for that lol. Later games Surrounding DC heroes and the justice leauge characters were much better.
    I often hear the ‘but you’re a girl, what do you know about comics and shift’ when I say superman is the one who occupies the biggest part of my heart… But I don’t care. But where I think batman, green arrow, flash ect have more ‘entertainment’ value on screen… You can’t beat superman, when it comes to heart warming. And if you’re me, you can’t help but cry when ever you see that opening sequence with the music blaring through the surround sound. Haha.

    I hate when they use superman in things like this, it’s all for the money,and totally misrepresents what he stands for.

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