Look, up in the marketing department, it's
another game based on a movie for some fast cash... No Surprise, It's
Superman Returns: The Video Game. A step in the right direction. The
premise sounds like some like an awesome idea. Let's bring Superman into
a new game that really makes players feel what it is like even in a
small way what it would be like to be Superman.
Superman Returns is not a bad game mind
you. It's just not a super game either. All the fixings are there for a
game just raring to launch a player into one Super Adventure. While not
as bad as past Superman games, Superman Returns the Video Game leaves
one wondering what the heck happened?
The tie in to the movie is minimal at best. In fact, what is shown in
cut scenes is just not enough to explain away a few things. Like the
whole Lex Luthor and the Crystals thing. If you have not seen the film
some of this mixed up plot. or more like rag tag plot will just leave
you scratching your head.
Don't get me wrong, this game is very much a step in the right direction
for the Man Of Steel. Some things are just lacking, like the film theme
music which every fan knows and loves is very absent. Poor Brandon Routh
is reduced to delivering one liners that have gone out with the 80's.
Graphics are ok but for a next generation
system I was expecting so much more. The other thing that shoots a
Kryptonite bullet in the foot of the game is the missions. these are
just down right repetitive. Fly around (Which is the cool part) then
fight a bunch of rampaging robots. Now rinse, repeat dozens and dozens
of times until you get a glaze in your eyes and your brain is numb.
So ok, later there are Dragons, yes I said
Dragons but other than that. It's really just a new skin for the robot
foes almost. Some of the more cool situations which would have lent
itself well for a sense of accomplishment are taken away from the
player, climaxes like flying and stopping a rocket from blasting a
building are almost an anticlimax because rather than the player doing
it all. A cut scene instead is triggered showing the outcome. There was
some satisfaction in beating the giant Metallo though, even that is
short lived. I would love to have latched onto the rocket and force it
upwards and away from the city myself... Bummer man, real bummer.
Even the introduction of characters like Mxyzptlk seem to be some odd
ball attempt at fixing the problem after the designers realized it was
getting too repetitive. But racing a little gnome leprechaun dude around
the city just is not enough to save the game. Not to mention it can be
a bit frustrating, since controls are a bit touchy and going at super
speed and slamming into anything stops you dead until you can get around
the obstacle. Hence my wish for being able to smash through stuff.
Some variety would have been nice; every
darn time some one is yelling for help it's either a building on fire or
Robots, or monsters on a rampage. A little diversity in the saving
people department would have been nice. Even with the extra time the
game had before release did not seem to help it much.
Is the game entertaining? Yes, in small
doses. I would not say too many people will do a long game session with
the game. Maybe an hour, two at best before it gets old... very very
fast. This is another case where I have to Say Spiderman 2 did a way
better job mixing story and extra elements into the game. Too true some
things did get repetitive in Spiderman as well, and perhaps I am being
overly critical here.
Superman Returns: The Video Game still is light years ahead of any other
Superman game title that has come before it. Is the game fun? Yes. In
small doses. I am about two or three hours into the game and already at
60 to 70% done with it.
So called side missions in the game are not
much on missions or action. Other than a really kind of cool sequence in
the beginning when you have to learn how to use your powers of heat
vision and freezing breath. In this the player gets to save the city
from a bunch of falling meteors. Other Missions that are side missions
are the occasional building ablaze, use of the freeze breath or super
breath to extinguish the flames is the course of action to take here and
happy faces all around.
Other side missions are some missions that
you kind of have to scratch your head at, like trying to race Mr.
Mxyzptlk from one end of Metropolis to the other. As I stated earlier
on, not one of my favorite parts of the game. Other than honing your
flying skills I really don't see much fun in it. Be prepared to smash
into a lot of buildings but oh no, you don't crash through them like
those wicked cool sequences in Superman films, you just sort of make a
bit of a dent and come to a crashing halt... What a let down.
One thing on the whole flying thing. It
rocks. If nothing else I love flying around in the game. It would have
been nice to be able to fly into space and maybe even have some
interesting missions there on the fringes of the earth but it is not to
be. Flying up high, oh so high and you kind of come to a barrier you
just cannot get past. Fear not, while just a tad annoying, the game
makes up for it by having a very cool effect. Flying Superman very fast,
things soon become a blur and I do believe the sound barrier is broken
with a mighty crack and a bit of red glow as the man of Steel rockets
through the sky. Nice, very nice.
As you may have guessed the game takes place in Metropolis, and through
the game you are Superman, no switching back and forth from Clark to
Superman. Oh well, would have been nice. I can live with it though. Of
course you cannot go underwater, nor walk into any buildings, its all
outside adventure. Being Superman also means your darn near
invulnerable to damage, so Superman does not have a health meter, he
instead has a bar that measures his power or stamina.
When that goes low, Superman is in a bit of
trouble. On the other hand in a rather interesting twist in regards to
health meters. The city has a health meter. So this brings on a bit more
of an urgency to dealing with the rampaging baddies. Because when
Metropolis' health meter goes down, it is the end of the game. Well you
can restart the chapter of course, but you get the idea.
Playing the game is pretty cool for the
most part; flying around looking at the sites is pretty fun for a while.
Other than having to rush to save the city, Kids may like the game
because they get to play as one of their favorite super heroes. Though
the rating says the game is for teens or older. Parents can get the demo
on Xbox Live Marketplace when signing onto to Xbox with your Xbox 360.
As always parents may want to take a drive with the game first to see if
they feel it is right for their house hold. Too each his or her own.
Superman has some extensive combos that
become unlocked as you progress through the game. While it can be a bit
of a chore to string them together, they are fun once you get the hang
of it. Although I do find myself mashing only certain combos when things
get a little hectic. Upgrades happen automatically and as far as I can
tell, the player has no say so in what power is upgraded. This at least
would have lent itself to some small level of custom ability.
Other than flight, Superman has super
breath, heat vision and freeze breath, these are controlled and chosen
by use of the pad and activating the ability is done with use of the
right trigger. Targeting a certain enemy is done by use of the left
trigger. Used in conjunction with the right bumper which triggers super
speed. while targeting an enemy the player can bash into them and knock
them back a bit. Then let loose with one of the breath powers for some
truly super combos. The two analog sticks are used for direction control
with the left and pitch, and bank controls with the right.
Superman returns: The Video Game is not the
SUPER game everyone hoped for but neither is it a really bad game. It is
a step in the right direction for the game franchise and Electronic Arts
would do well to keep the path and spice it up a bit. Listen to some of
the fans and see what can be utilized. One of the things that would be
great for any game out there is the support and the ability to do add on
packs through Xbox live market place.
Unfortunately Superman Returns does not
utilize any add on capabilities. Other games are experimenting with this and
if successful could be a valid way for games like Superman Returns: The
Video Game to get ad ons to an already released game and expand on its
disk life in the gamer's household. True a game has to be designed to be
able to utilize add ons. But just think of the possibilities. Is it cost
effective for the company who knows.
Well now that I have went off on a tangent, let me close by saying, I
like Superman returns: The Video Game. I just don't love it.
Have fun, play games