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Ultraman Reviewed by Tom Lenting on . Rating: 50%
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  • Review Score:

  • C
Maybe it is because I live in Europe, but before playing this game I had never heard of Ultraman nor was I aware he was some kind of superhero in Japan. The Japanse have some strange superheroes, because it's totally beyond my comprehension what Ultraman is suppose to resemble. I guess he's some kind of robot or alien, but he mostly looks like a diver in a fancy red-silver wetsuit to me.

There are plenty of options to choose from in Ultraman. Unfortunately I can't tell you what they are, because it's all, as one would expect from a WonderSwan title, in Japanse. Experimental button bashing give me the idea the game contained at least a story mode. To fully understand what the hell is going on one should take an advanced course Japanese, but my method of clicking on all the buttons to get through the option screens rapidly works fine too.

After some research, I found out that Ultraman was released in 1991 for the Super Nintendo in the U.S.A. as well. It turned out to be an extremely poor 2D fighter which tried to lift on the success of Street Fighter II. This Ultraman game is still your average Street Fighter clone, only this time on the WonderSwan Color.

I guess there are plenty of characters to choose from, but I only managed to select our superhero himself. I couldn't pick many opponents however: only his mirror self and some kind of Godzilla-like creature could be faced. The charactar select screen contained many more question marks. Somehow unlockable, I suppose.

The story mode is a little better, the game offers a quick cinema (full of several pages of Japanese text) and then you're off to fight some massive character in the middle of a city, mountain or what have you. After you've beaten your foe you will have the choice of who to battle next, but since the game is in Japanese it really didn't matter which character I went with.

The game itself looks alright with large characters and fairly bright colors, though the backdrops are a bit uninspired. The music is also of standard quality, but my version didn't seem to have any sound effects. The animation is a bit jerky, and the whole game feels too slow. Controlling the game is just so-so. However, I somehow managed to beat that nasty Japanse Godzilla fellow. Serves him write, attacking innocent diver men isn't an appropriate hobby.

Overall, I cannot honestly judge Ultraman. It seems a very moderate game to me, but if you meet some very specific conditions (being a fan of the serie and understanding Japanese especially comes to mind), feel free to add as many points to the score as you like. For me most of the game is completely incohere, but only when it comes to navigating the menus. Thankfully the fighting itself is pretty easy to get used to, no matter what language you speak. Unfortunately it's not a very good fighting engine, so perhaps the argument is moot. Still, in my opinion anyone called "Ultraman" would be better fit promoting the latest washing powder instead of a fighting game.
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