Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Superman Returns: Fortress of Solitude (GBA)

I never liked the Superman Returns logo much. Sure the S shield looks nice with some depth to it, but I don't get how he can hide that under a shirt. It ruins my suspension of disbelief!

 "You may have already suspected this yourself after you learned you could fly and shoot lasers from your eyes. And found your spaceship."

Okay... so what's this game going to be about then? It's called Fortress of Solitude, but somehow I doubt we're going to be spending the entire game just sitting around in Superman's basement looking at crystals.

Especially not with this heroic music playing in the background.

It's... a puzzle game? They made a Superman puzzle game?

Oh, well that explains why this is has the Superman Returns license. Only Superman has the super human abilities needed to cheat at puzzle games.

This puzzle is a little bit like Sudoku, only without the numbers. I have to make it so each row, column, and quarter of the grid has one of each shape in it, putting down pieces from the selection on the right.

Like that!

And now I have to do it again.


Huh, what? Someone's coming to break into my fortress? But what about the puzzles...

Okay fine, let's go do some actual Superman work.

Now it's a shoot 'em up? I have to fly right and shoot enemies using the correct power. Heat vision for blue enemies and freeze breath for red enemies.

Each wave of enemies drop a crystal when defeated, and apparently I need to collect as many as I can. Maybe a certain number of each colour, I don't know, I stopped paying attention.

This is about as basic as shoot 'em ups get, I fly up and down and press the correct button to kill the bad things as they appear.

Superman's usually against using lethal force, but these assholes interrupted his puzzle game so he'll slaughter the lot of them.

Boss fight time!

It seems that Superman doesn't need my help for this one. He can beat up Parasite just fine using a cutscene.

Give it up Parasite, you can't win this. I collected a whole lot of crystals in a shoot 'em up minigame and now I'm unstoppable!

And back to playing Kryptonex again.

I started getting bored and just throwing pieces down randomly until I put one in the correct place and it stuck. But each mistake adds 30 seconds to the clock, and I only have 10 minutes to finish the whole set of puzzles, so I soon ran out and had to start again.

There Jor-El! I've finished your set of puzzles, so what's my reward? Do I get some access to some cool Kryptonian tech, or maybe training to learn a new superpower? Walking through walls would be cool. Or maybe time-travel.

Oh, what about time travel, time freezing and teleportation, like that guy on Heroes?

Hey, I won a low res picture of Brandon Routh in a wetsuit!

Back to the puzzles then I suppose.

Okay, this is new. Crystallization is an entirely different game from the last one. This time I have to form rows, by placing down crystals adjacent to other crystals that share the same colour or shape. So for instance, in this highlighted space I would be able to place a red crystal or a square crystal.

I hate to say it, but this might actually be the best Superman game I've played so far. I'm not actually enjoying it, but it seems to work as a game. They've got around the problem of having an all-powerful player character by having him to play a game where his abilities are limited to things like shooting blocks he doesn't want with his laser eyes.

But I don't really want to play a game where I play as Superman playing a puzzle game, so I'm moving on to something else.

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