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The Incredible Hulk – Sega Genesis

The Incredible Hulk – Sega Genesis

192761-the-incredible-hulk-genesis-front-covers.pngPlatform: Sega Genesis

Developer: Probe Software

Publisher: U.S. Gold

Release Date (NA): August 10th, 1994

Genre: Action/Adventure

Nerd Rating: 4.5 out of 10

Let me ask you a question:

Have you ever been seated at the dining room table with a steaming plate of greens in front of you? You know you won’t enjoy them, but the ever-watchful eyes of your parental units leave you with no choice – you must stomach the greens.

Well, that’s exactly how I felt as I set out to review The Incredible Hulk, which like the example above, is steaming and green.

Okaaaay, it’s not terrible. But it certainly isn’t incredible.

Hulk_1_coverThe Incredible Hulk. You may have heard of him. Perhaps you’ve even read a comic or two. Or like me, you read the book adaptation of that unmentionable Ang Lee flop.

And for the two of you remaining who didn’t close out this review after reading the last sentence, let’s talk about the game.

Honestly, I didn’t expect much. Some comic book video games are fun, like X-Men 2: The Clone Wars. This, however, just had an odor…not to mention I played it years ago before leaving it in a box, only to begin a stunning dust collection. It left not much in terms of an impression on me, so I expected very little this time around.

And what do you know. It lived up to my lack of expectations.

So, The Incredible Hulk. Imagine what potential a game based on such a devastating creature could possess. Had they done it right, this could have been a pretty fun game. Picture yourself ripping through the air, then slamming fist-first into the ground causing waves of destruction within a mile’s radius of you. That’s what you’d want in a game adaptation of such a beastly hero.

But no. We’re treated to what is pretty much a very standard action beat ’em up. Your moves are garden-variety. Your attack is underwhelming. Your abilities are surprisingly limited, most of the time.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 4.02.41 PM

The Hulk

First off, isn’t Hulk supposed to have an amazing gravity-defying leap? He jumps high, sure, but I’ve seen Bill and Ted spring higher. You can max out The Hulk by collecting pill-like items, which increases the height of your jump a bit. Either way, when you change back to Bruce Banner, this scrawny weakling’s jump is around the same height as The Hulk’s. It would have been nice if they implemented this power in some way, even if it meant giving him a double jump or a height extension by holding up whilst jumping. Missed opportunity number one.

Yes, Hulk is pretty high in the air, but look at Bruce Banner. Their feet are practically on the same plane here.

When you max out your Hulk you are treated to additional attacks. One such attack is a stomp, which causes seismic damage by holding down as you return to the ground. While it’s nice to give old Hulkster some added powers when maxed out, I feel like The Incredible Hulk is really lacking without a ground pound of sorts in the title hero’s normal form. The Hulk is huge, so shouldn’t he have a move that can shatter bones by his mass alone? And even when he is maxed out you’ll have to stomp several times to kill enemies, which makes no sense and detracts from the fun. Missed opportunity number two.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 9.16.59 PM

Hulk stomps in his most powerful form, merely knocking the enemy down

That brings me to missed opportunity number three: Hulk’s strength. They really underutilized this crucial power of his. Now I know this is a video game, and certain measures have to be taken when dealing with a character of Hulk’s power and durability to make it challenging. I’m fine with that. But really, Hulk’s attacks seem ineffective.

It takes the Hulk several blows to pulverize his enemies into non-existence. Couldn’t they have instead given him more opponents to fight and left the heavy defenses to the super villain bosses? I mean, technical limitations and all, they still could have done a better job reflecting his power.

Instead, Hulk is no stronger than your average video game protagonist. And what’s worse, his punches knock everybody back, so you’ll have to leap around constantly and punch when you can, making combat slow, clunky, and uncomfortable. What kind of an epic super hero battle is that?

Look at how far back he sends his enemies after each punch. It makes sense sure, because he’s The Hulk. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t one punch do them in?

The Hulk has a few other signature moves when he’s maxed out besides the stomp. Some are relatively easy to perform, some require a precise button combination much like you’d find in a fighting game. Was that really necessary? I’m certain there are enough buttons to make this easier. I mean, perhaps if these were regular abilities that would be okay, but no, powered-up Hulk only lasts for a limited duration. Most of the time we get very standard moves, but then for a short while we can actually have fun with the Hulk – only if we have the button combos memorized? Please.

Oh, and the special attacks are still unimpressive.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 5.13.09 PM

One of Hulk’s abilities when he’s powered up: Turning his enemies into a bowling ball. It’s cool in concept but not worth the effort to learn the button combination

Here’s an idea: instead, give regular Hulk all these special moves and have maximum strength turn him invincible or something.

The Incredible Hulk is just the kind of game that doesn’t really leave much of an impression. Sure, it’s not really a bad game. To be perfectly honest, in my mind I thought I’d be writing a scathing review of it for April’s Foolish games, but instead found it to be just another run-of-the-mill title. It’s perfectly playable. It’s…kinda something in the neighborhood of fun once you get into it. It’s relatively harmless and inoffensive. The controls are not the best but what you’d expect considering the bulky hero you’re commanding-

Oh great.

They couldn’t get all of his powers down in The Incredible Hulk but they certainly emulated his physical nature accurately with slow, lumbering, awkward controls. Thanks Probe Software!

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 5.29.45 PM

I actually like this aspect of the game a lot. It’s the one thing that makes it stand out

The one cool thing I will note is before you die you transform back into Bruce Banner. You can also find a certain pill that morphs you back for…strategic purposes maybe? This was already mentioned above but I have to say I enjoy how this changes the dynamic. You can’t fight as Bruce. You can, however, leap like a lemur and crawl on the ground, which is something Hulk cannot do. Bruce can take up a pistol, but it’s only packing two shots so it’s basically pointless aside from blasting open crates, which contain tablets that’ll turn you back into Hulk instead of killing you when you’re shot. It’s a nice change of pace but ultimately Bruce’s death is inevitable. So, much like playing this game, you might as well give up before you’ve wasted too much of your time.

The music and sound effects are as bland and lifeless as the overall presentation, so let’s hand it to them there. The developers earn a gold star for consistency.

Though I must say, there’s one sound effect in the second stage that is strikingly familiar. Wait a tick…could it be?

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 8.04.27 PM

They ripped a sound from one of my favorite games, The Lost Vikings! Yeah, whenever a fire-beam thing is shot, it’s the same sound as Eric the Swift ramming his skull into a wall. Well, folks, you know what that means…

Time for me to review The Lost Vikings!

Next time, we’re going to make their loss our game!

Written by ZB

ZB

Since the tender age of four, I have been playing video games to occupy my free time. Raised on Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I have an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the classics. Also an avid collector, I have accrued such consoles as the Atari Jaguar, Super Famicom, Odyssey 2, Sega Nomad, just to name a few.

Got any questions, comments, concerns, or threats? Feel free to email me at zb@nerdbacon.com. I am happy to hear your feedback!

 
 

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3 Comments

  1. Why thank you, I appreciate the kind praise!

    Isn’t it funny when you find those titles that even kid you didn’t enjoy?

    I’ve never played the one you mentioned, do you get to change back into Bruce Banner?

     
    • AbyssalOblivion
      AbyssalOblivion says:

      Of course! Big fan of your work since you’ve come to the site!

      Hmm… I can’t remember if you’re ever Bruce Banner in that one. I just remember being the Hulk and having a blast destroying the city and such.

       
  2. AbyssalOblivion
    AbyssalOblivion says:

    Another awesome review ZB! I actually had this game as a kid on my Genesis, and even 6 year old me didn’t really care for this one. The only Hulk game I ever played that was any good, was that Ultimate Destruction title on the PS2/Xbox.

     

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