This is INSERT COIN, our brand new video series dedicated to the storied history of the arcade business. Join Robert Johnson as he looks at the best and worst of arcade coin-ops every Thursday. What is he talking about this week?
Superman, of course. Find out why the man of steel still so perplexing all these years later.
Superman for the arcade is a game of mystery. And by the time the last boss is beaten and the credits roll, the game ends up asking more questions than it answers. Who is this second red Superman? Captain Marvel? Mon-El, possibly? Who knows? The game gives you plenty of room to use your imagination. Who's this guy? Martian Manhunter? A green Lex Luthor? The Great Gazoo? Why are more of the enemies just palette swaps of Superman? Okay, I know who this guy is. It's Doomsday, obviously. But what are these weird emotionless silver guys that freaked me out as a kid? Devolved Batman and Spider-Man? Is Superman at war with furries?
This classic was made by Taito, and it does the man of steel more justice than any other game that came after it. You can fly, you're powerful, your theme music plays in the background, you're ... Superman. And there are levels in the game that turn into a "schmup" and you get to use your heat vision. Awesome.
The punch animation is the same as Taito's game Final Blow, so that's pretty cool. And last question: Why does every beat-em-up have to have some kind of Vegas Casino level? Can someone explain that?
Like I said, Superman arcade really lets your mind run wild.