Superman

Moby ID: 18148
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Description official description

In this Jump'n Run, you take on the role of the Man of Steel and must free Metropolis from criminals in several missions.

You start the game as Clark Kent, but as long as you have enough energy, you can change into Superman. Apart from jumping and punching, Superman can also use different super powers such as Heat Vision, X-Ray Vision (makes certain enemies visible), two kinds of Super Breaths (one that freezes certain enemies) and Super Flight which takes him to different locations.

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Credits (NES version)

11 People

Produce
Scenario
Character
Music
Composer/Arranger/Sound Programmer (uncredited)
Superman Theme Song (Japanese Version - uncredited)
Programmer

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 26% (based on 5 ratings)

Players

Average score: 1.9 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 3 reviews)

Superman be kicking it 8bit style

The Good
Superman (1988) does attempt to bring some originality into the comic book-to-game sales model. Here the "Man Of Steel" is forced to use some adventure game inspired super sleuthing, alongside his super powers.

The player has to explore the city, a fairly large and accessible one by 8bit standards, in order to solve a few mysteries, while also kicking some major, 8bit you-know-what.

The combination of 2D action with some basic adventure game style elements is original. It is also, generally, fun to play.

The Bad
Character design in the game is bizarre, owing to the limited hardware capabilities of the NES system and, I suspect, owning to some cheap or unimaginative game developers.

Each character looks like they have been squashed into short, pudgy garden trolls.

Many of the conversations that you have with non-playable (NC) characters results in information that is useless or even just a bit surreal.

The game actually has you speaking with the Statue of Freedom (When did Superman relocate to New York city and when did the Statue of Liberty change her name?) , because apparently Superman cannot get his storyline information elsewhere, say from a newspaper journalist.

Having to collect icons on the game to be able to use you trademark superpowers is lame, although that is an all too common fault with games based on super heroes.

Having to take the Subway is also lame and, much like the chats with Lady Liberty, a bit surreal.

Most of the minor bad guys are pretty standard fair in a video game, I.E. thugs, zombies and ghosts.

I am not entirely sure why the game had to make up some of the boss characters (ghosts?), instead of using more super villains.

Beyond Lex Luther and the Krypton exiles (as seen in the original Superman films), the game developers decided not to toss in any more super villains.

Beyond the shortage of familiar faces, some of the quests are just odd.

One quest has Superman being asked to "fix" (!?) the New York city stock exchange. Another quest involves him searching for some ghosts to bust.

Maybe the game designers were not really familiar with Superman, but the comic book hero has had some much better storylines then what the hero is given in this game.

The Bottom Line
Superman (1988) combines beat 'em action with some basic, 8bit adventure gaming and open world elements. It is an above average NES game, although it is strictly average as a Superman game.

NES · by Edward TJ Brown (118) · 2014

Superman Riding The Subway

The Good
Superman (1988) is loosely based on the DC Comics character and, the second Superman film. All of Superman's powers are, at some point, used in the game and you get to battle the likes of zombies, ghosts, Lex Luther and the Zod gang.

The Bad
Superman (1988) combines traditional side-scrolling action with some role playing elements. While this is a bit atypical for a super hero video game, it could have worked had the programmers gotten anything right. The sound effects and music are easily forgettable. The graphics are equally bad with everyone appearing as squatted, pudgy characters who all seem to share a fetish for green attire. The game's text fails to inspire and is often spelled wrong. Last, but not least, several aspects of this game seem entirely inappropriate for Superman. Superman does not need to take the subway. He does not need to collect special crystals to use his many super powers. He does not talk to the Statue of Liberty, much less live in New York City and he is probably not going to try to fix the New York Stock Exchange or pretend to be a Ghost Buster.

The Bottom Line
Superman (1988) has the potential to be a great game; combining side-scrolling, arcade action with role playing elements is actually a great way to bring the Man Of Steel into the gaming world. Yet, this effort fails on every objective test. Superman may not be an easy character to adapt for a video game, but comic book fans deserve better than this unimaginative effort. About the only good thing I can say about it, is that its not as bad as Superman for the Nintendo 64.

NES · by ETJB (428) · 2010

Superman is from Krypton!

The Good
I’m no fan of Superman. I don’t hate him, but I think he’s a pansy. His games certainly haven’t done much to sway my opinion. Many developers have placed Supes into a video game, and outside a few exceptions, they all suck hard. Seika’s Superman on the NES is no exception.

This Superman game certainly has an interesting structure. You start off in the Daily Planet as Clark Kent, where you’ll be told what’s happening and what you should be doing. You move around a full 2D metropolis. It’s large and you can enter most buildings. Sure, all the areas of Metropolis look more-or-less the same and the interiors are usually just one room, but you could only do so much on the NES, and it is an interesting achievement nonetheless.

You can change back and forth between Clark Kent and Superman simply by entering a phone booth or bathroom. While you’re Superman, you’re faster, stronger, and can use superpowers, but while you’re Clark Kent, enemies drop blue life crystals more frequently.

It’s a very forgiving game, too. If you die, the only penalty for death is starting back at the Daily Planet. The hit detection for your punches is about three feet in front of you, so if you’re quick on the button, enemies don’t even have the chance to hit you. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, but it was refreshing to have an NES game that doesn’t try to kick your ass.

The Bad
Superman, gameplay-wise, is an all right game. It is playable start-to-finish, and every so often I found it bordering on enjoyable. The problem is; it’s incredibly stupid. I don’t have any other way to put it. Superman on the NES is a stupid game. The Statue of Freedom (Liberty) has a conversation with you at the beginning and end of the game: that’s stupid (also weird and unsettling). Superman takes the subway to change streets: that’s stupid. Every enemy in the game can jump about thirty feet in the air: that’s stupid. Superman has to fix the stock exchange: that’s stupid!

The graphics don’t fit Superman at all. Everyone is really short and squat, even superman. Some of the characters are incredibly freakish. This one dude looks like a maniacally grinning duck. Lex Luthor is a complete porker with this weird tuft of hair on his forehead. I highly doubt these sprites were originally intended to be in a Superman game, they have to be recycled.

All the animations in this game are far too quick. I couldn’t even tell Superman was punching, it looked more like convulsing. When he travels up and down ladders, it looks like he’s dancing. Oh, about ladders, you can only get off them at the bottom. But don’t worry, the enemies wait patiently for you to step off.

The dialogue in the game is completely ridiculous. NPC’s can’t tell if you’re Clark Kent or Superman. So they’ll still tell you you’re famous. One NPC said to me, “Superman is from Krypton”. How the hell do you know that? Don’t you think I know where I’m from? Another told me, “Superman can change in places other than phone booths.” Pervert! Watching me change!?

There’s also this one poorly thought out chapter of the game that requires you to track down three ghosts. Nobody tells you where they might be, so you’re left to scour the enormous city looking for them, and one of them is tucked away in a place that can be easily overlooked. My advice; cheat and look at an FAQ.

The Bottom Line
I came to this grand realization about halfway through the game. If you took an original character, even a parody of Superman, and put it in the lead role, this game would just be quirky and weird, instead of stupid. Everyone has this image of how Superman looks and acts, and this game throws it away. This game isn’t terrible, it’s just wrong. It’s so poorly done that I must reach back into my 2nd grade dictionary for the best word to describe it: stupid. This game is stupid! Unfortunately, that word isn’t on my little scale, so I’m going to have to go with TERRIBLE. This is a terrible game. Play it if you want a laugh, and then put it away.

NES · by Adzuken (836) · 2009

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Game added by Mobygamesisreanimated.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold.

Game added June 26, 2005. Last modified September 17, 2023.