Why do Superman games suck?
Posted on Friday, April 18 2008 @ 17:33:37 Eastern
It seems that Superman is destined to have terrible videogames based on him. Lots of games created for him, very few being worthy of mention, but often for the wrong reasons (Superman 64 anyone?).
So why do Superman games suck, I ask? I have the answer, and the answer is you're doing it wrong.
The problem with Superman in video games is that everybody dumbs him down to create a challenge or for other, likely similar, reasons. What we need is a Superman game that doesn't dumb him down at all.
An ideal Superman game will feature all of his powers at your disposal. Rather than making a linear game, going mission to mission, you're pretty much given free reign over a huge destructible sandbox Metropolis and you can do anything you want. But of course, you need to have more than that to make it stand out a little more.
Most of the time, you're practically invincible, and thug-stopping missions can be played out by unleashing Superman's potential on groups of thugs. However, you still gotta get the infamous supervillains in there, the only people that can actually kill you.
See, the supervillains will have their own plans that you will need to stop, stuff like the usual big death rays, and all that.
You can fail, you're not completely invincible. If you fly around causing too much destruction (but for the sake of fun, it'll take a LOT of destruction), other characters in the DC universe will come after you (most notably Batman, who has kicked Superman's ass on a few occasions), and you'll Game Over if they catch you. Failing a mission to foil a supervillain's schemes will Game Over you, as will overexposure to Kryptonite. But other than this, you pretty much have free reign to do what you want.
And of course you gotta make a nod to Superdickery by having some missions where you just have to be a total ******* for no good reason. Superman isn't Superman until Superman is a dick.
Now some of you will be asking where the challenge is. Well, really, when you're Superman, what challenge is there, beyond Kryptonite and magic? The reason Superman games have always sucked is because you're not really Superman, you're all dumbed down and it's just not fun. The reason a Superman game with the full powers would be better is because deep down, a lot of us want to be like Superman, with near-invincibility, and none of that bullshit packed in by most developers where getting punched or shot can actually hurt him. We want to be Superman, and in pretty much every Superman game ever made, you can't really be Superman, you're just sort of resembling him kinda.
So my point is, making a Superman game that plays like any other beat-em-up, but with Superman, is the reason Superman games suck. A Superman game that lets you really be Superman, with all his powers, open-ended and destructible Metropolis, and the supervillains thrown in just for good measure, is what I think would be the best Superman game to play.
And anybody who disagrees... well... you're perfectly entitled to your opinion.
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