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Silver Surfer

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Silver Surfer
"Silver SHIT! He looks so stupid! I mean - what the Hell's wrong with him?"
The Angry Video Game Nerd
Genre(s): Shoot 'em up
Platform(s): Nintendo Entertainment System
Release: November 1990
Developer(s): Software Creations
Publisher(s): Arcadia Systems
Series: Marvel

Silver Surfer is a video game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System which was based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. Developed by Software Creations and published by Arcadia Systems. It was released in November 1990 only in North America.


In Silver Surfer, the player controls the titular Marvel Comics hero through various levels that alternate between a side-scrolling and an overhead perspective.

Each stage is divided into sections. At the end of each section, a mini-boss appears, and the Silver Surfer must shoot the main enemy while many other enemies attack as well. These are the only times where the screen stops scrolling forward. The third and final section contains a super-villain from the comic book series who will take more hits to defeat. The villains featured in the game are Reptyl, Mephisto, Possessor, Fire Lord, and Dorrek VII, the Skrull Emperor.

After the first set of levels is complete, Galactus appears and sends Silver Surfer on a final mission into the Magik Domain to collect a Cosmic Device from a villain whose identity is less than clear. Despite previous claims, the final boss is actually a giant purple being with a handgun that does not appear to have been in the comics, although the image near the boss's health bar suggests that the main antagonist is X-Men villain Mister Sinister. Once Silver Surfer defeats him, the rest of the Cosmic Device is his, and he tells Galactus that no one must have access to the "Cosmic Device" and hides it for safekeeping so it may not fall into the wrong hands.

The game has a password feature that allows a number of upgrades, such as invincibility. The game has cut-scenes between the levels to move the storyline ahead and allows the player to pick the levels in any order, similar to the Mega Man games. The game also features two additional 'quests', the first of which is unlocked by entering a password given to the player upon completing the "Magik Domain" mission.

Bad Qualities

  1. If you even slightly touch anything, you will instantly die, and you usually won't have enough reaction time to avoid it.
  2. Virtually every enemy is a bullet sponge (takes a lot of hits to defeat), moves extremely fast, and has an erratic movement pattern.
  3. Silver Surfer's hitbox is way too big, especially in the overhead levels where he can be killed if anything touches his board.
  4. Almost every overhead level restricts the Silver Surfer to cramped narrow passageways, making it more difficult than needed to avoid enemies and projectiles.
  5. No auto-fire option, meaning you have to press the fire button repeatedly through each level, making your thumb potentially hurt (unless you use a turbo controller or an NES emulator that includes turbo control).
  6. Has almost nothing to do with any of the Marvel comics and does no justice to the character by making him so weak.
    • The final boss "Magik Domain" is actually the X-Men antagonist, Mister Sinister on the loading screen and the HUD. However, his sprite is just a giant purple monster with a handgun that isn't seen in the comics.
  7. Even when fully powered-up, your bullets do hardly any damage and the "option" power-up you get from picking up enough power-ups is cumbersome to use (you need to tap B to change the direction it fires in) and is only really useful for killing enemies that appear behind you in the side-scrolling levels.
  8. In the overhead view, it's almost impossible to tell which obstacles you can pass through easily and which ones you can't and enemy bullets often blend into the background.
  9. Poor level design, with many obstacles and enemies being unbearably hard to avoid and some of the more three dimensional areas of the game have linear paths that limit the range Silver Surfer can be able to shoot and destroy a few enemies, especially the moon level, and since nearly everything in this game is completely insta-kill, it ruins the potential that the game could've had thanks to the linear hallways and overall poor enemy placement that make the levels even worse.
  10. The gameplay can get very repetitive and annoying at times, thanks to the relentless difficulty and repeating level structure that is repeated a grand total of 5 times in a row with all of them having badly-designed levels and generic level themes that every game before this one has including ones from the NES library, which makes the game feel outdated and formulaic at best.
  11. Nausea and epilepsy-inducing water graphics in one of the overhead levels and a flash blindness-inducing death screen.
  12. Every single time you fail, you have to see an image of Silver Surfer prostrating in defeat. It's not just annoying, but also disgraceful to him.
  13. Sequel-bait ending: The Silver Surfer finally completes the Cosmic Device that Galactus wanted after he defeated the final boss of the "Magik Domain" (Mister Sinister), Galactus wants Silver Surfer to hand him the fully-assembled Cosmic Device to rule the world and Silver Surfer refuses to hand it to him saying that he will store it in a safe place to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. However, there's no way to fight Galactus hand-to-hand as the game immediately cuts to the credits.
    • Like with the Game Gear version of Sonic 2, even if you beat the game, the game cuts to a game over screen after the credits, as if it's disappointed in the player for playing the game all the way. Though in this game's defense, this can basically be understandable since it cuts to the name entry screen afterwards.

Good Qualities

  1. It has very good music, as with most games on the NES.
  2. The graphics are good and detailed.
  3. The controls and gameplay are good, regardless of the difficulty.
  4. Just Like in Mega Man or Ducktales, you can choose between levels and play them in any order do you want.
  5. You can tell which objects will kill you on collision and which ones are just background objects by firing at them. Projectiles will be stopped by actual obstacles.
  6. Unlike other bad games like The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy the stages,enemies and boss fights actually have variety and the gameplay doesn't feel repetitive.
AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
This game/console belongs to the "High Level of Shit Contamination" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.



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