The Incredible Hulk

a game by Pocket Studios

Platforms: PSXGBA

Genre: Action

See also: The Incredible Hulk Games

Overview

From the pages of Marvel comics comes The Incredible Hulk. The mean green fighting machine is staring in his own adventure and he is mad as ever. For all of the Hulk fans out there, a solid title staring Mr. Green has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, after playing Eidos' version of The Incredible Hulk, you may still be looking for something solid.

For the younger generation not familiar with who the Hulk is and how he became the Hulk, let me fill you in. Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was a normal guy who happened to be a nuclear physicist. One day, an exploding Gamma bomb exposed him to a massive dose of Gamma radiation, thus altering his genetic structure. Now, whenever he gets angry or excited, Dr. Banner turns into a huge green monster with superhuman strength. The monster is known as Incredible Hulk.

In his latest adventure, the Hulk has been taken prisoner by members of a team of Super Heroes sent on tactical missions. The Super Heroes goal is to try and convince the Hulk that his powers can be used for good and benefit mankind. Your job is to battle the Hulk out of captivity to confront the leader. All of this to prove that he can be turned to good.

Gameplay

The Incredible Hulk is best described as a side-scrolling adventure game. The object is to battle your way through 14 levels of enemies and puzzles to face the leader of the Pantheons. If he can make it, he will be convinced his powers can be used for good. Unfortunately, a load of Super Villains are out to get in his way and keep him from ever reaching his goal. It is up to you to defeat these enemies and make it through alive.

The Incredible Hulk is armed only with his super strength to battle the enemies. Hulk has learned a number of attacks which even include some special attack he can pull off when he has collected enough extra power. The Hulk can walk, run, jump, punch kick, duck, block, uppercut, grab an throw objects and do a shoulder charge. When he has the power to perform the special moves, he can pull off a sonic clap, floor smash, vortex spin and even call on an emergency team that is out to protect him. All of these moves are nice but fairly unexciting.

You will basically be battling your way through 3D levels that are dark and bland. The object of each level is different but the common goal is making it to the next level. I really just could not get into this game. It lacked original gameplay and was very average. I could not for the life of me figure out why hitting the walls replenished your life meter. The levels have various power-ups scattered throughout that will also replenish power but if you are running low, just start bashing the hell out of the wall. Huh?

One inventive thing about the game is the ability to call on the emergency guardians during fights. These guardians are the Super Heroes that have kidnapped you and are trying to help you. If things start to get hairy, just call upon your available guardian to come down and perform their special power. This was definitely the most inventive aspect of the game.

I will say The Incredible Hulk is very challenging. There are a number of puzzles that must be solved to reach the next level. The puzzles come in the form of switches, finding hostages, located devastating secret weapons and others. This has all of the makings of a cool game but it just does not play up to the potential. We all know a great story only goes so far and it is the gameplay that counts.

I have one last question. The idea behind The Incredible Hulk is that Dr. Banner is a normal guy and the Hulk only comes out when he gets mad. Why is there never any mention of his normal human self in the game? I think it would have been better if during the normal exploration parts of the game, you play as a normal person and when you are confronted with obstacles or enemies, you have to change to the hulk. This would have added a whole new element to the game and, quite frankly, would have followed the story of the Hulk better. Basically what you have here is a game loosely based on The Incredible Hulk hoping to draw in comic book fans.

Graphics

The Graphics in The Incredible Hulk are average at most times. The darkness that is present through the game gets a bit old. This could easily have been a 16-bit title wrapped in a 32-bit case. I found a lot of the items blending into the background and difficult to locate. The Hulk himself looks pretty cool but there is nothing spectacular here.

Bottom Line

The Incredible Hulk is a fairly ho-hum game that could have been better. I really wish they would have incorporated human to Hulk morphing because this is really what the Hulk is based on. I think what you will find is this game wears thin fairly quick and unless you are a huge fan of the Hulk, I suggest renting it first to see if this green machine is for you. For the rest of the world that has no interest in comics but just want a good game, this will probably be a disappointment.

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