Review by evilbacteria

Reviewed: 09/07/02 | Updated: 09/07/02

Hulk smash! Hulk jump! Hulk crush! Hulk bored...

Graphics: 9
Sound Effects: 8
Music: 8
Originality: 5
Play Control: 4
Challenge: 5
Replay Value: 5
Overall: 6

The Leader, Hulk’s arch nemesis, is causing his own peculiar brand of mayhem, and so The Hulk sets off through random, unrelated stages to find and destroy The Leader. Sigh. It’s so hard to find good console games based on superheroes. X-Men for the Sega Genesis does the trick, and some of the Batman games for Nintendo are good, but most superhero games are mediocre at best. That’s the best way I can think of to describe The Incredible Hulk. While it’s not a bad game, per se, it certainly let me down in a number of ways.

Good Points:
The man’s name is The Incredible Hulk, and it certainly fits. He’s got some cool moves, like grabbing an enemy by the neck and hurling them into the air, and of course can bash down certain walls. The ground shakes when The Hulk lands from a great height, which is a really cool addition, and there are a few giant rocks or cars to be hurled about like paperweights. A couple of semi-famous villains, such as The Rhino and The Absorbing Man, make cameos. Basically, the fact that the game is based on a popular comic book makes it cool.

Bad Points:
The game doesn’t follow the comic book very well, though to a point it’s to be expected. A game about The Hulk with all the strength he demonstrates in the comic book would be far too easy, but I feel they could have done a better job. The Hulk is simply much too weak. It takes quite a bit of effort to defeat robotic stormtroopers and animated statues, things that shouldn’t give The Hulk any trouble at all. This is a platform game (you should be able to tell by all the jumps), so it would have made more sense to have The Hulk defeat the normal enemies in one or two punches, rather than taking three head butts or two uppercuts to kill the average goon!

The graphics are excellent. Great attention has been paid to detail, and the characters have the same kind of coloring as in a comic book. For example, when The Hulk climbs a ladder, you seen meticulously drawn back muscles flexing. When The Hulk claps (a special move that knocks down enemies in front of you) the wind from the move blows back his hair. Probe seemed to realize that comic books are nothing without their pictures, and a game based on one would be ridiculous with bad graphics.

Sound Effects:
Again, I am impressed. When The Hulk lands from a jump, there is a boom as the earth shakes. The Hulk grunts in a very Hulk-like manner whenever he gets hurt, and there is a cool cracking sound when he slams his arm against walls. However, while half the sound effects are excellent, the rest are not nearly as high-quality, such as the fact that all walls, whether steel or marble, sound like shattering glass when you smash them down. Oh well.

The music is catchy and up-tempo, fitting right in with whatever level you’re playing. The first level, which takes place on a construction site, has a slightly techno sound to it, while the last level, which is some sort of weird alien planet or something, has background music that could come from a sci-fi or horror movie. The boss music, of course, is dark and menacing, but that’s what we’ve come to expect as gamers.

I can’t really say what sets this game apart from the crowd. It’s a platform game that plays like a beat ‘em-up, having you leap from place to place as you fight with enemies. Thankfully, you can get a pill to temporarily transform into Bruce Banner (when did he ever get that in the comic book?), and this allows you to get into smaller places inaccessible to someone of The Hulk’s girth. On the whole, this is not a particularly inspired game, and there’s nothing to do that hasn’t been done before, but there are a couple of things unique to The Hulk.

Play Control:
This is where the game really suffers. There is a noticeable delay between the time you press the button and the time The Hulk actually does what you want him to do, and trying to jump takes a significant amount of pressure. You’ll really begin to notice this when you first run up against The Abomination, who is much faster and more maneuverable than you. Get used to it, because The Hulk doesn’t like to be rushed. He’d much rather take his time in attacking, and this can be irritating when you’re surrounded.

The game isn’t especially hard, though some of the bosses can be a pain. The biggest problem you’ll have is the fact that The Hulk can’t react fast enough to hit the enemies easily, or dodge many attacks. The slow reaction speed when it comes to jumping makes certain places obnoxious, but there are very few places where you’ll take damage or die from missing a jump. You’ll just have to do it again. Health power-ups are few and far between, especially after the second level, and it’s difficult to get someone as big and slow as The Hulk around without getting hit.

Replay Value:
With only five levels, this is a relatively short game. There are a few “secrets,” which basically means there are different places Bruce Banner can crawl through, but all in all there’s not much reason to come back to this game once you’ve beaten it. The gameplay is pretty tedious as well, so there’s not much chance you’ll want to come back to it.

The Incredible Hulk is pretty fun the first time you play through it, but there’s not much reason to do it again. While it looks and sound great, the play control is sub par and aspects of it are too easy, while other aspects of it are too hard. And of course, The Hulk doesn’t really act like The Hulk. You can bash walls down, pick up jeeps, and throw people, but these are all things that you can do in a lot of other fighting games. If Probe had just made it a platform game it would have fit better into everyone’s idea of The Hulk (not to mention being less dull), but as things stand you’ll just have to take it as a decent beat ‘em-up, rather than an average platform game.

Rating: 6

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