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North American Sega Genesis box art
|Programmer(s)||Sakura Hasegawa, Ann Bob Winza|
Superman (known in Europe as Superman: The Man of Steel) is the title of a video game released by Sunsoft for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1992. It is based on the popular DC comic book characters of the same name and is a traditional single-player side-scrolling arcade game where the player controls Superman through various levels in an effort to defeat the evil supervillain named Brainiac. Other super villains, as bosses, include The Prankster, Metallo and Mr. Mxyzptlk.
This game was planned to be released on the SNES, but was cancelled sometime before it was completed. Versions of the game for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear were developed by Craftgold and published by Virgin Interactive in Europe as Superman: The Man of Steel, which was also the title received by the European Mega Drive version published by Virgin.
Each level of the game begins with a front page of the Daily Planet announcing that some supervillain is wreaking havok on the city, and with Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman leaping into a phonebooth in order to start the level.
The game limited the powers of Superman to jumping, punching and kicking. He could only use his famous superpowers by collecting certain icons scattered throughout the level that were required to accomplish a certain task, i.e. a superpunch icon to break down a wall in order to further advance in the level. At the end of each level, Superman battled one of the a super villain from the comics and the intermission between each level was a congratulatory message from the Daily Planet newspaper.
The final level involved Superman flying up into Brainiac's space station for a repeat battle with the previous super villain bosses and then a final battle with Brainiac.
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The game received from generally mixed to negative. While the game was noted for its decent 16-bit graphics and sound, critics panned the game for its limited usage of Superman's powers and for having a limited storyline. As the player could only have one super power icon at a time, a glitch in the pre-production editions of the game (fixed before its release but still a problem in the edition that was reviewed by many video game critics) forced the player to reset the game if they collected the wrong icon.