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I recently watched the new “Death of Superman” animated film. I had a bunch of mixed feelings about the movie. But it did make me think of this game from my childhood. This BEAT EM’ UP game didn’t quite get that much recognition in the past. There were a lot of complaints on how difficult it was and how clunky the controls were. I personally liked this game, but despite the problems it had, there were some really cool things from this game that I think deserve a little bit of sunshine.

First, you cannot beat Doomsday. I think this was a really cool feature. Once the player drops Doomsday’s health to 0 he will fall in defeat, only to stand up immediately; stand face to face with Superman; and then they hit each other at the same time! Then both game sprites fall to the ground at the same! That was really impressive for the time. Usually in games where the situation dictates that the hero will lose, there will be a dialogue scene explaining what happened after the player defeats the boss. This was a gutsy call by the creators to make the player feel like Superman is actually dead.

For the first time ever, we actually got to play with the replacement Supermen! After Superman dies the player will continue the story using; Cyborg Superman, Eradicator, Steel and Superboy. Each of which, have unique skills and abilities. This was a complete change of pace for gaming at the time. Especially for a story based linear game. Not to mention we finally got to play with some of our favorite alternates of the man of steel.

Last but not least, I like the comic book feel to the cut scenes. Perhaps I am speaking as a comic writer or just as a comic fan. I love seeing the comic paneling and animation in my games and other media. It makes me feel like the creators actually tried to stick to the story and be true to the characters being portrayed. So often today, we don’t get media that tried to be loyal to the source material, and it makes things feel in-genuine. I can really appreciate the effort being put forth here.

So, do you remember “The Death and Return of Superman?” Let me know in the comment section below.

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