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Thread: Superman on Sega Genesis -- Might Actually Be Good?!?!

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Default Superman on Sega Genesis -- Might Actually Be Good?!?!

    So,

    I was exploring that Genesis multicart and decided to look at a Superman game on it. For what its worth, I compared this to a rom and this seems to be the official release version (I mention this because there's a prototype rom floating around).

    Okay, question: how does this game exist?

    It's by Sunsoft. And from what I understand, Sunsoft actually lost the license to Superman on the NES--that's why they created Sunman instead. I guess they must've gotten the rights back in time to do this Sega Genesis game.

    The copyright screen is odd. It says "Superman is copyright A.I." and thanks people named Mr. A and Dr. Pig, and ends with "have a nice day." Like... can you do that? Can you have a copyright screen that doesn't mention the actual copyright holder?

    In any case.... this game has a bit of a learning curve. I have, so far, not been able to get past the second level. It's tough.

    And part of the toughness is a bit of nuance. Okay, here's how it works: C jumps, B does a regular punch, and A does a supermove (which changes by either picking up icons or sometimes automatically, depending on circumstances). Supermoves use an energy bar that auto-recharges.

    Here's the thing... when you jump, you're attacking. On the ascent, Supes is punching whatever is above him. On the descent, he's kicking whatever is below him. You can also double-tap a direction to run, and holding up when you jump makes you jump higher. So basically, the jump is also an attack.

    You might notice that there's no "fly" command. Yup... Superman walks everywhere (and hopefully doesn't give speeches about how the problem is "over there" while he's at it) except when a level is specifically a flying level, then he flies. You can't make him fly on command.

    Anyway, getting used to the "jumping is also attacking" thing seems to be key. First time I played I didn't know this and got my ass handed to me in the first level.

    See... this game is tough. Tougher than a speeding bullet, even.

    And part of the problem is this is one of those games where you don't have lives, only continues (which you start off with two, but reaching certain score thresholds gives you more). Yep... die once, use a continue. And before you figure out "jumping is an attack" you die easily. Supes has a health meter but health refills are rare and sometimes in odd places.

    So anyway...

    First level starts off with a newspaper claiming kids have been kidnapped. This leads to Superman traversing rooftops until he fights... I THINK its the Toyman. Then a paper says Supes saved the kids.

    Then in level two, "missing people" have been found in a building which Supes is investigating, and at intervals you see kids running out the exits you just made (this is also where the game introduces changeable superpowers which are sometimes necessary for progress--spinning to dig a hole thru the floor, a super-strong punch to break certain doors). So wait, didn't I save the kids in level one? Is this different kids?

    The boss is Metallo, tho the first time you beat him he runs away and you follow him to a subway train. This is as far as I got.

    BTW if you game over it shows a green guy (I think its Brainiac) looming over the earth. I think this is why the copyright screen is so weird.

    So.... Superman on Sega Genesis is hard, and at times I feel the hit detection is suspect, and some of the decisions they made for a Superman game are kinda odd.

    But here's the thing.

    I... kind of like this game so far. Like, it really does feel like a Sunsoft game. And how often does poor Superman get to be in a good game?

    On the Genesis, the only other Superman games I know of are "Death and Return of Superman" (and I'm not sure the Genesis version actually exists), and Justice League Task Force... which has an impressive intro of Darkseid speaking to you with a clear voice and I honestly love what he says, but.... too bad its attached to the most jank-ass fighting game I ever played.

    How many DC Comics games even existed in the 16-bit era? I know Batman had a ton, but those were movie tie-ins most of the time (I do like how Return of the Joker has him fighting yuki-onna kabuki people, which I'm sure are a known feature of Gotham City. Seriously, Sunsoft's canon is better than DC Comics as far as I'm concerned). By contrast, Marvel Comics video games are all over the place, some are even good, or at least decent (Spider-Man vs the Kingpin and X-Men 2: Clone Wars come to mind... even if it is weird that its the X-Men game that is called "Clone Wars" when Spidey was the one known to have issues with clones in the 90s).

    Anyway, that be thoughts.

    You have thoughts?

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    Ghostbuster
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    First off, the NES game (Sunman) was not supported by DC, who I guess wanted them to focus on 16-bit? It wasn't a license issue. Sunsoft's platforming development seemed to crater around this time, with many of their offerings being panned. This game had a few glaring errors, showing they lacked quality control, as well.
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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    What were those "glaring errors?" I still haven't gotten past level two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    What were those "glaring errors?" I still haven't gotten past level two.
    Oops, the errors were in the reviewers' copies but fixed for release. Nonetheless this resulted in terrible reviews.
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    I remember the Superman game for Genesis. Yellow label, had Supes flying at you so his face and fists were visible. Never played it, though. Honestly I didn't play many super hero games back then as to me they weren't all that great.

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    The problem is that Sunsoft stopped making their games themselves in Japan and started farming them out to crappy Western developers. Though it was still better having Superman in their hands than when it went to Titus in 1997.

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