Good Superman Game?

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DaHeckIzDat
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Good Superman Game?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » February 8th, 2017, 11:23 pm

Do you think it's possible to make a great Superman video game? I'm not a huge fan of Supes, but after playing the Arkham games I started to wonder if they could do the same thing with other superheroes. IMO, Superman would probably be the hardest because of one thing: flying. Freeflying in video games has always been clunky, at best. Since flying is such a big part of who Superman is, they'd either have to implement poor flying controls that could possibly detract from the game as a whole, skip the flying altogether, which would doubtlessly piss people off just as much as bad flying would, or invent a brand new way to implement the flying that nobody's seen before. Everything else is more than possible, but I think the flying part would either make or break the game.

What do you think?

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Stalvern
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby Stalvern » February 9th, 2017, 1:20 pm

It could have the clunkiest flying possible and still be worthwhile if it lets me accelerate around the Earth faster than light and reverse time whenever I screw up.

pacman000
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby pacman000 » February 9th, 2017, 2:11 pm

If I remember the old Adventures of Superman TV show well enough Superman only flew from location to location; if we stuck to that flying wouldn't be a major part of the game.

Stalvern wrote:It could have the clunkiest flying possible and still be worthwhile if it lets me accelerate around the Earth faster than light and reverse time whenever I screw up.


That brings up another problem: Superman has become too powerful. Perhaps the game makers could pare it back to where it was in the old Fleischer cartoons, where he could be hurt by things besides kryptonite.

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scotland
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby scotland » February 9th, 2017, 4:30 pm

pacman000 wrote: That brings up another problem: Superman has become too powerful. Perhaps the game makers could pare it back to where it was in the old Fleischer cartoons, where he could be hurt by things besides kryptonite.


That's a neat idea. Power Creep is a constant issue with Superman, and they keep trying to knock him back down. The 50s Adventures of Superman was interesting as superheroes were not that popular, so much of the story was about the Daily Bugle staff.

Get a good Superman writer from DC, and it would probably work. Part of the game could be him as Clark Kent, or even as Kal-EL (or Jor-El) on Olde Krypton. Put him on WarWorld versus Mongol or Lobo or something. Put him on Apokalips. He could adventure in the Bottle City of Kandor, etc. There are lots of ways to use Superman where for much of the adventure he has only limited powers. The 50s Adventures of Superman is a good idea - could play as Superman from various settings instead of just picking one.

Edit: If you want to save your friends, Solve my maze! (Just had to get that out of my system)

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Stalvern
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby Stalvern » February 9th, 2017, 4:54 pm

All right, serious post.

For the flying controls, map lateral/vertical motion to the left stick and pitch/yaw to the right. Move forward with the right trigger and backward with the shoulder button. To start flying, jump and hit the trigger.

As for the gameplay itself, I think it's important to realize that even if enemy attacks don't injure Superman very much (kryptonite notwithstanding), they do knock him around a lot and slow him down, and villains can often take punishment from him nearly as well. Also, superheroes in general have to deal with both the urgency in stopping villains before their plans are realized (or, if the plans have been realized, in saving their victims) and the responsibility of avoiding innocent deaths and other collateral damage. These factors could easily create an awful game (endless, chaotic fights and escort missions puncutated with failure because you bumped into the wrong bystander or ran down the timer), but they can absolutely be tuned for balance and applied to varied, interesting stage objectives (this can't be stressed enough; repetition has killed countless superhero games). Some puzzle elements would be good: Superman can do almost anything, but that doesn't mean it's easy to figure out what he needs to do. Taking that question further, it would be ethically interesting if, across the world of the game (whether simply Earth or the entire DC universe, depending on the scope, although I think Earth would work much better in this context), multiple threats had to be dealt with on a priority basis - there's only one Superman, and he can't save everyone. If this is starting to sound like an unreasonably big game, Superman himself is kind of an unreasonably big character, and I think that to do him justice would require substantial ambition.
Last edited by Stalvern on February 9th, 2017, 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sut
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby Sut » February 9th, 2017, 4:55 pm

scotland wrote:The 50s Adventures of Superman is a good idea - could play as Superman from various settings instead of just picking one.


Like a Mickey Mania style game ? Each level representing a different era. This would also help with him getting more powerful.

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Stalvern
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby Stalvern » February 9th, 2017, 5:03 pm

Sut wrote:
scotland wrote:The 50s Adventures of Superman is a good idea - could play as Superman from various settings instead of just picking one.

Like a Mickey Mania style game ? Each level representing a different era. This would also help with him getting more powerful

There was a Spider-Man game that did that a few years ago.

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » February 9th, 2017, 8:34 pm

Even if they found a way to make the flying controls work, that still leaves the issue of flying itself. In all the games I've played with flying in them, I think Super Mario Galaxy did it best, but even that requires you to stop, rotate to point yourself in the right direction, and then start moving again. Apply that to a hectic battle situation, and that kind of stopping and starting could easily get you killed.

I suppose there's also the option of making it like an airplane/dogfighting game, like Ace Horizon or something. Like, you take off and then Superman automatically starts flying forward and you control him like an airplane. The problem with that, at least for me, is that airplane games are really disorienting. If you accidentally pass your target, you have to loop up, corkscrew sideways, and then locate your target. Which way is down? Am I still facing the same way, or am I heading in a completely different direction? Where'd my target go? Etc.

I think the best bet would be to combine the two of them. When you fly, make him go forward automatically like an airplane, but also have the ability to stop him on a dime. Maybe even have a lockon function for the enemies so that you'll immediately spin to face them when you stop to reposition yourself.

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scotland
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby scotland » February 9th, 2017, 9:03 pm

That would have me motion sick in no time....I'll stick with flying with Space Harrier.

eneuman96
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Re: Good Superman Game?

Postby eneuman96 » February 9th, 2017, 9:30 pm

This almost happened on the NES. No, I'm not talking about the horrible Kemco Superman NES game, but rather an unreleased Sunsoft title (also just called Superman) planned to be released late in the system's lifespan before being turned into a lawyer-friendly version called "Sunman" and later cancelled altogether. There exist prototype ROMs for both versions of the game online, and what Sunsoft managed to put together was fairly decent for what it was. I get the impression that if Sunsoft kept the Superman character, polished the game, and released it, it would have been a genuinely good Superman game.


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