Superman leaps over a couple pro wrestlers who work at the left-handed desk factory outlet. Exciting!
Weapons: As Clark Kent, you have no weapons except your own puny fists. When you punch an enemy, you are unable to move for the duration of the punch which means that even as you attack you are prone to taking damage of epic proportions. During this time, you also look as though you are convulsing or having some sort of grand epileptic seizure. Quickly! Get a stick for him to bite down on! If you punch in the air while jumping, Clark can levitate for an indefinite period of time as he convulses. This is an interesting way to avoid enemies as you can basically hang in the air, gyrating like a fat divorcee at their niece's wedding reception, until the enemies have left the screen. The punches also mysteriously inflict damage on enemies from a considerable distance away, so it is possible to kill things from 20 feet away. This comes in handy because you don't actually have to directly involve yourself in the gameplay.
As Superman, you have access to many super powers which include X-Ray Vision, Super Flight, Super Spin, Heat Vision, and Super Breath I and II, as explained here:
X-ray Vision turns the sky white and causes things that were not previously visible to become visible, such as lumpy ghosts and flying vampire cats that shoot fire out of their mouths. It does not, however, allow you to see through walls or through anything else for that matter, which is what I assumed was X-ray vision's sole purpose. This game revolutionized my idea of X-ray vision, and for that, I thank it eternally.
Super Flight allows Superman to launch suddenly into the sky and fly to a destination marked on the map, but these destinations seem to be picked at random and you can't really choose where to fly. There is also the added bonus of sometimes needing to go to a certain location on the map and never being able to get there. I don't understand why Superman can't fly anyplace he wants to fly. Isn't that what flying is all about? If I could fly, I'd sure fly everywhere. I'd even fly to Haiti, although I wouldn't touch anything because everyone knows that Haiti is dirty and full of disease.Those are supposed to be ghosts heading towards Superman, not simply grey gallstones as you might think.
Super Spin causes Superman to rotate very quickly and emit a nauseating high-pitched noise. I am not really sure why this is a super power as you have no control over Superman while he is spinning and it usually results in your character getting hurt by enemies because he can't move out of the way of things like bullets or tiny, leaping Chinamen. I would also think that Superman would be quite dizzy after spinning like a retard and he wouldn't really be able to fight anyone for several minutes afterward, but that's just me. In any case, don't use Super Spin ever because it's worthless except as a source of ridicule.
Heat Vision causes a red line to shoot out of Superman's face with a sound like the lasers from Space Invaders. The line doesn't go very far so if you are not very close to an enemy you'll just look like a crazy fool with red lines shooting out of your eyes and then you will get hurt because the enemy will have touched you by then. Heat Vision doesn't do much damage either, so I have a feeling it's actually Lukewarm Vision masquerading as a super power. They also manage to make lasers shooting out of superman's eyes look like the dorkiest thing ever. Kemco must have had to go completely out of their way to accomplish something like that because in the real world, lasers shooting out of people's eyes is inherently cool. Yet another fallacy brought to light courtesy of this game.
Super Breath I looks like a puff of poorly-animated smoke. It has no effect on enemies whatsoever. If you use it on someone, they will kill you or injure you and you will do no damage at all. The only benefit of this power is that when you use it you feel as though you are actually doing something. In reality, however, your life is a lie and so is Super Breath I. Its counterpart, Super Breath II, looks almost the same but is able to harm a certain kind of monster that is otherwise invincible. Interestingly, it doesn't directly harm the creature; it freezes it in place and then you have to kill it yourself. I think that Super Breath I was supposed to be the freeze-breath and Super Breath II was supposed to be the wind-breath (even though Super Breath II freezes). I know this because there are some very poorly-drawn action lines to indicate that Super Breath II is moving air as opposed to a cloud of ice.
The super powers are accessible on a screen that you get to by pushing the start button during gameplay. This becomes difficult when faced with many enemies at once, and as with a lot of the maneuvers in this game, it usually results in getting you critically injured. You have a super power status bar that shows how much energy you have left in any given super power. Usually you can only use a given super power two or three times before you run out of energy. And that is just SUPER. Throughout the game, enemies drop power-ups that boost your super powers back up while making annoying noises. Unfortunately, they tend to drop useless Super Breath I power-ups a lot more often than those for Super Flight which may actually be useful one out of 300 times.
This is just like watching the movie or reading the comic!
Enemies: The enemies in this game make no sense. There, I said it. But it isn't even that they make no sense in a cute "Super Mario Bros." sort of way where you stomp on turtles with duck bills and little blue mushroomy things that look angry all of the time. It is as though a man who has recently woken up from a coma after a freak accident involving some rock candy was asked to design what he thought would be the best enemies for the game. What he came up with boggles the mind. Additionally, the enemies are basically stage-by-stage clones of themselves, so in the first section of the game all of the creatures you have to fight are pretty much the same with one or two small variations. This naturally makes for EXTRA SUPER WAY NEATO EXCITING GAMEPLAY!
One of the first enemies Clark / Superman encounters is a man in a black trenchcoat who looks as though he may fling it open at any moment and expose his shriveled excuse for a penis. These men (and there are many) have really interesting guns that shoot bullets the size of small apartment buildings. The bullets travel at a speed comparable to that of a cement wall being pushed by a small child up a very steep hill. The programming behind these charmers is also superb as they tend to randomly change directions in the middle of the screen and head in the opposite direction, sometimes when you are just about to kill them. This little tactic is also very good at convincing you that your Super Breath I is actually effective, as when I first used it one of these guys ran away from me and I thought, "Hey! Super Breath I makes guys run away!" But then I realized that I was giving the programmers too much credit. These guys also drop power-ups for your super powers as well as things that look like scuba equipment but that are actually supposed to be Kryptonite of various sorts. Blue (or clear) Kryptonite for some inexplicable reason restores your health whereas green lime-flavored scuba Kryptonite and red cherry-flavored scuba Kryptonite take it away. When Superman's health meter gets down to a certain level he automatically turns back into Clark Kent, thereby decreasing his attack strength at a critical time. Thanks, guys, that's a neat feature! This change also doesn't seem very logical to me as the Clark / Superman disguise is supposed to be a secret, so if there are any passersby who happen to observe Superman suddenly change back to Clark, the secret's out. Oh no.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
The Rom Pit is dedicated to reviewing the most bizarre and screwed up classic console games from the 1980's, the ones that made you wonder what kind of illegal substances the programmers were smoking when they worked on them. Strangely enough, the same illegal substances are often necessary to enjoy or make sense of most of these titles. No horrible Nintendo game is safe from the justice of the ROM Pit.