NOTE: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON COMICBOOKMOVIE.COM 06/14/2013
Superman on the Sega Genesis hails from both developer and publisher Sunsoft. Comic fans might remember there name attached to the awesome NES Batman game based on the first Tim Burton film. Whereas that game was a well designed challenging game with tight controls, good level design and a reasonable difficulty curve, Superman is unfairly difficult from the start. The only way I’ve managed to see anything beyond the second level is through user-generated YouTube clips.
The best that can be said about Superman on the Sega Genesis is that it has really good music and crisp, colorful 16-bit graphics. Superman in particular stands out very well and looks as well as animates well. The game however, is an exercise in frustration. You’re constantly being bombarded by enemies with very little time to react or dodge, checkpoints are unforgiving and you only have three lives to finish the game, that’s it, three lives and zero continues. Good luck!
You’re limited to having one super power at a time, granted by collecting power ups that grant you either a super punch, a spin for opening up new areas in levels or heat vision. Flight is limited to select parts of the game, so most of the time Superman is just walking and jumping. This is forgiving from a design stand point, as the Sega Genesis controller at the time only had three buttons and making use of all the abilities with limited input would’ve been taxing and unintuitive. Superman is far from invulnerable as well, and you’ll find your power depleting incredibly quickly with limited health power ups in the environment.
I really wanted to like Superman for Sega Genesis, as the graphics and sound are quite good, but the game is far too frustrating to be fun. This is a short five level game where making it to level three is an achievement. I’ve been playing games since I was five years old, and have finished every numbered MegaMan, Castlevania and even Superman 64 (coming soon…) but I had to throw in the towel for this one.