Superman Returns

SupermanReturnsVGPractice makes perfect is definitely the mantra for this Playstation2 game. It takes a while to master the Man of Steel’s aerial maneuvers and some of the combination actions get a bit lengthy (running up to six buttons long).

No classic John Williams theme music, but benefits include open ended game play (once you get past that challenging Warworld battle) and the wide span of storyline material (more than 60 years to be exact) throughout the numerous missions.

The game features the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Parker Posey and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, who is unfortunately non-playable. Still, if you grow tired of being a goody-goody superhero, then enter the cheat code found on the Superman Returns DVD and fly to the top of the GNN building where you will have the ability to transform to playable Bizarro to reek some serious havoc (You can fly to the threat indicator located at the other end of Metropolis to change back to Superman).

The exploring aspect dampers with constant missions, but the environments are huge (80 square miles) and enjoyable. The graphics needed improvement, but thrilling flying experience can be impressive though it takes a considerable learning curve. It seems too much of a challenge hurts a game’s chances of popular success these days, which is too bad because our instant, “easy come/easy go” culture could use a few challenges, even if it is only a video game.

The responsibility to prevent too much damage to the city of Metropolis can be overwhelming at times, but that’s Superman’s job – let the other heroes handle the smaller stuff. (** out of four stars).

Also available on Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Xbox, rated T for violence – Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and PSP versions are rated E)

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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