The world hasn’t seen as many Hulk video games as they have Spider-Man or Batman, but out of the few Green Gamma Giant games fans have had over the last few decades, even the worst of the Hulk games have done one thing very right: They captured the spirit of the Hulk! And 1994’s generically titled The Incredible Hulk is no different.
Publisher: U.S. Gold
Developer: Probe Entertainment
Platforms: SNES, SEGA Genesis
SMASH! Always the key ingredient to any great Hulk experience, and the creators manage to pull it off in the most bland and uninteresting way possible! But what this cartridge lacks in substance it makes up for in heart. At first glance, you’ll approach Incredible Hulk as your run of the mill 2-D sidescroller. You’ll time your attacks on your enemies and their gun fire, wait for the precise moment to make your jump onto the revolving platform, or attempt to dissect the boss’s weakness. Doing any of this will surely result in extreme frustration and a desire to punt your SNES against the nearest wall. There’s only one strategy that makes this game playable, and that’s blindly sprinting and crashing into everything in your path in true Hulk fashion.
You may be asking yourself what is it that has Hulk raging this time. Is it persecution from society? Is it an identity war within his soul? Is Betty Ross in trouble? Well, the story portion of the game never really gets explained in any kind of great detail. But we do know that arch rival the Leader is involved! We can’t really get any idea as to what extent, because the comic sans font that makes up the narrative is often squished together and not really legible. Rhino and Abomination appear as bosses in the game, though if you’re playing the game right, you won’t really be facing off with them for too long before you put them on their asses.
Sadly, even “playing the game right” doesn’t make it that much more fun. Bulldozing over enemies and objects as a pissed off Banner sparks a thrill during your first five minutes with it, but each maze of elevators, platforms, and Stormtrooper-like henchmen drags on far too long, and the game offers no reason to really care about completing whatever level you’re on, much less the entire campaign itself. Though I was enjoying the oddly placed high tempo pop soundtrack that accompanied each level.
Incredible Hulk is lacking a few video game essentials like fun, but as a Hulk fan I can appreciate the spirit of the style of the gameplay. When you step into Hulk’s shredded purple pants, all you want is to break peoples faces, but this game actually turns what should be satisfying carnage into an unfruitful chore. It took technology another 11 years to finally realize the full potential of a Hulk video game with The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, leaving you with absolutely no good reason to ever play this game, but still, The Incredible Hulk is not a comic book video game to be disrespected.
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