As usual, Metropolis is in dire trouble. Superman is battling Doomsday to keep the city intact, but this time the Man of Steel ends up defeated -- and dead. Thus begins Sunsoft's The Death and Return of Superman, an average beat-em-up contest based on the popular DC Comics series.
Blue and Red... And Black and Blue
After Superman's demise, four Superman wannabes come out of the woodwork to fill the downed hero's shoes. As you fight through the game's ten levels, battling all forms of ground- and air-based opponents, you play as sassy Superboy, dark Eradicator, metallic Man of Steel, or robotic Cyborg.
Each character has their own special attack and super weapon in addition to the normal punches, throws, and flying moves. Only through a careful combination of these powers can the real Superman be brought back for his revenge and Metropolis's salvation.
Fortunately, control is consistent from character to character. The on-screen moves may be unique -- such as the Man of Steel's sledgehammer swing -- but the end result is nearly always effective. This setup simplifies the switch from one superhero to the next.
Sorry, Kent Hear You
The background music rocks, providing adrenaline-pumping motivation as you play. However, the Genesis can't always keep up the pace with the other audio, and often drops key sound effects when the action gets heavy, which momentarily pulls you out of the game.
Death and Return's graphics are really sharp and colorful, but the animation is often jerky and quite repetitive. For example, the flying enemy Warworlder is simply recolored Elite from earlier levels.
Death and Return has some thumb-busting segments and plot-building intermissions, but by the time you reach the later levels, you'll be worn out by the redundancy of the game play. Hover, wait, attack... hover, wait, attack... and so on.
The final battle, if you have the stamina to make it, is an exercise in tedium: Fall once and you submit to a life-depleting pounding. Too bad -the story is compelling, the variety of Supermen is interesting, and there's a wealth of moves you can execute. But where's the game play? Guess it S-caped.
- Watch for the shadows of falling debris so you know where they'll land and can avoid being hit.
- First deal with the enemies who can damage you from a distance, then take on the ones that punch from up close.
- Fly above the action on the ground to find power-ups, attack icons, and extra lives.
- Enemies can be taken out by each other and by hazards, so try to draw an adversary into a jam.
- When battling Elite, fly above him to keep him from shooting you out of the sky.
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Death and Return of Superman