Growing up a video game and comic book lover, you can imagine how I felt when my two passions merged, and at the age of 9, had a chance to play the Superman cart for my Atari. It was everything I could ever want; Superman flying around, Luthor trying to kill Supes with Kryptonite, Lois needing more saving, etc… Fantastic!
Now, here is how I feel at age 41…
The game starts with Clark leaving one of those old-time phone booths, and as he walks to the next screen, the bridge blows up. The object of the game is to capture Lex Luthor, 6 unnamed criminals, and find/reassemble the 3 pieces of the bridge. Superman has the power of flight, strength, and x-ray vision to help you accomplish this.
The first part that bothers me (and there’s a big list), is there’s actually no proof that Luthor had anything to do with The Great Metropolis Bridge Explosion of 1978. Whatever reason, I felt Superman was just picking on him a bit. All Luthor does is fly around the entire game with a propeller coming out of his head, and for some reason, wearing Aquaman’s Underoos. As embarrassing as that is, I’m guessing he committed no crime. Also, why these random 6 criminals? Only reason I see is they’re carrying these huge tommy-guns (what year is this anyway?), but they never actually use them.
The characters are very blocky, but they’re colorful enough to figure out who is whom, although Supes has no hair. Lois wears a pill-box hat (again, what year is this?) and seems to find herself in trouble, get in the way, etc….so, she’s easy to locate.
The sound effects couldn’t be more annoying, with the flying sound (90% of the game) bringing back horrible flashbacks of 2AM TV static. The flickering when multiple characters are on screen leaves me to believe this should have been the first game to come with the “epileptic seizure” warning. The “maze” of Metropolis is beyond frustrating. You could actually be on the jail screen, fly down 1, then fly back up 1, only to find you’re not at the jail, but somewhere else. Insane.
There are kryptonite satelittes flying around, and if one hits you, Lois magically appears for you to “kiss” to get your powers back. That makes 2 cases in Superman canon where a magic kiss was used, and that’s 2 times too many.
Finally, there’s a helicopter flying around that serves as the same purpose as the bat in Adventure….to piss you off. It just flies around picking up your bridge pieces and making them harder to find, and occasionally carrying Lois around by her hat.
Friday, I talked about one of my favorite co-op adventures in The Wizard of Wor, but this one of the worst. Yes, they made Superman a co-op game. One person can control him flying up and down, where player 2 can jump on the right joystick and control him flying left and right………….seriously.
In conclusion, some games just don’t age well, and this is one. I recommend keeping your fond memories intact, and don’t actually ruin them with reality.