A few days ago, a member of the Toonzone Forums created a thread asking the question “Should Rocksteady make a Superman video game?”
Without a doubt, the most common statement that I’ve heard from people saying why a Superman video game wouldn’t work is this one:
“The problem with Superman is that he’s almost invincible and all of the foes he would have to fight would need to be at boss-level since regular henchmen would be nearly useless against the man of steel.”
“Superman is boring and lame because he has a ton of super powers and he can beat anybody, but Batman is awesome because he has no powers and he can beat everybody!”
Sense no make. Sense no make.
Seriously? Superman boring and lame because he has powers? Son Goku (from Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z) is very similar to Superman in terms of powers and abilities, and yet I never hear anyone saying that Goku is too powerful to star in a video game. Heck, there are literally dozens of DBZ games out there currently. Samus Aran from Metroid has powers, but no one says that those games suffer because of that. Having super powers is part of what makes Superman cool. Come on! Supes can friggin’ fly! Flying is cool! That alone is reason why Rocksteady should make a Superman video game. Thus begins my proposal. I believe that a Superman video can work, and that Big Blue is capable of doing more than just flying through floating golden rings and beating up a tornado.
These “issues” with Superman are minor and could easily be dealt with with a certain degree of thought and creativity. For example, Superman can be hurt by someone in his strength class and is vulnerable to magic. The issue of Superman’s powers can easily be rectified in any one of the following ways:
1. Have Superman start out with only a limited amount of strength and powers, so that he would gain more abilities and become stronger as the game progresses.
2. Emphasize Superman’s other abilities besides fighting. Give Superman a series of missions, such as stopping a speeding locomotive from falling off of a damaged bridge or finding several bombs hidden in various parts of Metropolis or saving several citizens from an erupting volcano. Also, the missions could be timed so that Supes only has a limited amount of time to succeed in the missions or else he loses a life or something. Every level of the game doesn’t have to have Supes going a few rounds with a villain.
3. Have the game focus on a younger Superman who is relatively new to the super hero scene and as such, Clark’s powers wouldn’t be fully developed yet. Again, Supes’ strength could increase and he could gain more super powers as he progresses through the game.
4. Have Superman’s more devastating powers, such as heat vision and ice breath, reserved as special moves which can be used, but using them would lower his life bar, so the player won’t be able to just use them all of the time, and should mostly save them for extreme situations.
5. Give Superman a Super Meter, which would gradually build up whenever Supes punches or kicks an opponent. Once the Super Meter if full, Supes would be able to unleash a devastating super power, but the Super Meter would empty as he’s doing it. Also, Supes would have to start each new level with an empty Super Meter.
I’d play a game like that. How about you?