Superman is one of the worst ideas for a video game. This guy is an invincible alien who could kill you by looking at you or breathing on you. Literally. Luckily, he doesn't, but upon seeing this perversion of himself, I doubt Supes could maintain his saint-like patience and love of life; and begin an apocalyptic war against us. In any case, any game based on his life and death and life and reader apathy would either make him look like a weakling who can get nailed by street punks, or such a hardass there would be no challenge at all.

     Enter the NES Superman. Slightly more entertaining than Total Recall or Bible Adventures, but still no competition for a dull razor and using rubber cement as a substitute for bikini wax, this offering would seem to be the Japanese interpretation of the traditional American superhero. Rather than a sailor suit, Clark Kent wanders around Metropolis in a tweed jacket and matching slacks, with a yellow turtleneck he rummaged from the Goodwill store while Lois distracted the hobos. The part of the lovably gruff editor Mr. Perry is played by a retarded potato-head man, and Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter is replaced by a doppleganger with an upsetting phallic nose and Hey Arnold! hair. The sad thing of it all, is when you stop by the Daily "Planets" (as this game calls the paper) the Mongoloid version of Perry is the only one you have any use for. He regurgitates a password of unpronouncable characters then demands you give him a copy of something. Hey, the fat pig said he was the copy Of course, assuming you have the stomach to beat the first level, you get to beat up Jimmy and take his bus pass, and Lois forgot to button the top three buttons. But there's no time for your Japanese pastimes, Clark! The STATUE OF LIBERTY wants to talk to you!

     Defending the disturbingly accident-prone people of Metropolis takes a lot out of Superman, and he can't even take a vacation to New York without the statue coming to life and telling him to pull orphans from a burning supervillain's Kryptonite storage house. Speaking of which, Kryptonite is incredibly abundant considering it really has a 1 in craptillion chance of crashing into earth, and a bullcraptillionth of that of surviving atmospheric entry. Every other thug you defeat with your spastic dancing moves tosses a handful of the stuff into the air. Blue Krytonite heals you for some reason, but green Kryptonite hurts you and red Kryptonite hurts you and makes you flash for a couple seconds. All the other enemies are carrying heat vision and super breath power ups, but are too stupid to actually use them. Actually, if you had Superman lungs in your pathetic human meat bag, the lungs would probably kick the rest of your body's ass open. Especially the spleen. What the hell does the spleen even do besides rupture and require surgery? If humans are meant to have like eighty extra parts, why not make them wings, wheels, or a gland that secretes natural deodorant?

     I've seen a lot of screwed up things. Miracle Girls, Unarians, Knight Rider slash fiction and that music video with Gillian Anderson. I'd like to personally thank the people at Kemco for making me spit half a warm beer all over my keyboard and befunny my dreams for weeks to come. I know Metropolis is populated with half accident prone rodeo clowns and the other half mutant nihilist supervillains, but I never realized there was such a large number of the learning disabled and critically dense. Every time you see the chubby guy with the pet rock head, you know you're in for a nugget of wisdom. He almost proudly declares, "I KNOW NOTHING AT ALL." You'll see a lot of Fat Retarded Guy. As well as Horrendously Ugly 8 Bit Bimbo, Implicitly Japanese Guy, Unshaven Guy, and Undead Guy with Mouth Wide Open. This is due to the fact that Metropolis actually only has 5 citizens. And they're all losers.

     The enemies come from a variety of character types, none of which have anything to do with Superman. Men in multicolored zoot suits with enormous frikkin' guns smirk up and down the street. Shirtless strongmen amble around waiting for a Kryptonian fist to run themselves into. Final Fight extras round out the cast of enemies, and the Chinese are evidentally after you, too. And what Superman game would be complete without ghosts and zombies? Be sure to stop by the disco (seriously, there's two) to get Scooby and the gang to help you out! We're all counting on you! Fight, Superman! For everlasting peace!

     They are the F.B.I. And according to themselves, the best way to freeze Zombie is with Super Breath II. This seems to imply that the F.B.I. 1) runs into a lot of Zombie while mumbling in dark rooms about aliens and 2) employs a lot of people with Super Breath, and evidentally, with more than one kind. Unfortunately, when I asked them to help, they politely refused by saying, "WE ARE THE F.B.I" I knew they were far too busy to help a girl in distress like me or Clark Kent, but more likely it was because they weren't animated. So, I popped into the nearest phone booth and turned into Superman (presumably in an off-screen magical-nude-panty sequence) to persuade them. To no avail. And Superman continues to look really pissed off.

     Come to think of it, he looks pretty damned spiteful throughout this game. It really adds to the experience, as the player is undoubtly hating his life about as much as he seems to. Maybe it's the fact his fisticuffs look more like a nervous tic than punches, and the only super power he can use on an enemy is heat vision. X-Ray Vision makes the screen flash for a second, and takes a huge chunk off its use meter. Heat Vision lets you shoot bad guys twice before it runs out. Super Spin turns you into not only a sitting duck, but a sitting duck that spins wildly. Super Flight is like a stage select option, except it's not useful in any way. You have two kinds of freeze breath, one used to freeze zombies and the other to freeze Jack Squat.

     In conclusion, I don't know what was the worst of it here. The fact that Superman was fighting zombies and ghosts was bad enough, and Lex Luthor was curiously absent from the first two stages I played. In fact, the objective given at the beginning of the game was to keep some bondage chick named General Zod (evidentally) from using Metropolis as her secret yet obvious base. You defeat Zod in the first stage, which basically means the rest of the game would be Clark Kent frittering away the rest of his Japanese parody of American life. The second level has you restore the stock market by exorcising ghosts from the fish market and beating up the entire nation of China. Enormous Russian pro wrestler types are waiting in the sewers. The zombies from South Park want to trounce on you. I think Walleye Potato Faced Guy had the best take on the situation.

     Sky Hazzard. I'm not a Duke, and I'm glad.

Graphics: 0
No they weren't.
Sound: 0 The game does inspire you to hum or sing like an idiot while leaping around like a moron and fighting like a pansy. Hence the simulation bonus at the end.
Gameplay: -1 Hit detection is a cruel and mysterious mistress. The same force that allows you to punch a disco dancer from twenty paces is also responsible for firing off your last heat vision shot right through an enemy's head with no damage.
Overall: 0 I can't remember right off the bat what other games I've played from Kemco, but I seem to recognize the lopsided play control.
Simulation Bonus: -1 Superman is invincible, all-powerful, and handsome in an appliance assembly chart kind of way. You are all too mortal, weak, and look like a South Park character. I'd also like to know why it is that people call me Superman when I'm in my Clark Kent disguise, and why I hang in the air if I throw a punch while jumping.

"Daily Planets" Extra!

I submitted these screenshots to the ZVGQ page, along with an obligatory link to this article, and got a nice little response from Lago himself.

As another man humbly trying to eke out his own niche with Seanbaby-inspired video game criticism, I must say that I did enjoy your article greatly. This Superman game - You found a real gem, a Superman game possibly even WORSE than the fucking awful N64 game. Great stuff. Also, to me, Clark Kent looks like he's walking around showing off his enormous pectorals/breasts (You can't really tell on the NES) - Is that just me?


"Great! I don't need Lois at all anymore!"

Can we start over? Our hero is missing his FACE.

Well, I learned a long time ago never to say no to a hallucination.

At least the guy is honest.

Actually, Mr. Travolta, I come from Fuck You.