There's no time to waste! *throws Superman 64 in garbage bin*
Superman 64...a disgrace to the Nintendo 64. Basically, a disgrace of the Man of Steel, who doesn't seem so super anymore because of all those released garbage games starring him. Actually, not all of them are bad, with the first ever Superman game being also the greatest, but Superman games are pretty much garbage. This game though is not only the worst Superman game ever released, but one of the worst damn games ever known to mankind! I am not kidding! If you own a N64, for Gods' sake don't do it! You'll hate Superman to death!
I try not to be exaggerating, but this game.....is something else. First off, the game has been developed by an unknown french company called 'Titus'. I never heard of it before and I haven't heard of it ever again after Superman 64....so I guess I know the reason why Titus stopped making games. Alright, let's say you're back at June 1999, going to the game store just right down the alley. You see the -back then- new Superman 64 game and think "Wow, now I'll get to play as Superman in my N64! Cool!" So you give away around 70 bucks and take your shiny new game home. First thing you'll notice is that the cover box has no title on it. You can guess it's Superman because he's in the front cover, but a nice little text writing "Superman 64" wouldn't do any harm. Apparently the game was originally called "Superman: The New Superman Adventures" and was planned to be released for the PS1 too, but I guess they just sticked to the N64 version and didn't even bother writing the title on the front box.
Anyway, you ignore the above little fact, and pluck the cartridge into your soon-to-be-sorry Nintendo 64. After a few moments the Main Menu shows up....and there's no title in there either. It's just Superman again, fighting with a villain that looks like Brainiac....although I don't recall seeing him anywhere in the game. Another thing you'll notice is that the letters are hard to read because they're too damn long and have pretty much the same colour as the background. You pick your language, select New Game and press A. Lex Luthors' voice introduces you in the atrocity: "In short time your fate will be sealed, Superman." Okay, what did I just hear? Some dubbed voice-over from the movies? How cheap. It doesn't sound well either, Luthors' rough voice makes it sound like "Your face will be sealed Superman." Anyhow, you watch a cutscene with some blurry graphics.....you can't really tell whos' who...but it seems like the baldy to the right is Lex Luthor and the other 3 stick figures in the vortex are your friends. The story goes as following: Lex Luthor traps Supermans' friends into a virtual Metropolis and Superman has no choice but to enter this virtual world and save them.
Let me tell you that in the proccess of saving them, Supermans' tasks don't involve fighting giant Lex robots and beating up tough super-bad guys in awesome airborne battles, but mainly consist of flying through rings Luthor has scattered across his virtual world, picking up some cars, and trying to find a way out in some gloomy buildings. Yeah, this game is that cool. Before I tell you more about the gameplay, I'll tell you a little bit about the controls: Z puts Superman into fly mode or lands him into the ground, B accelerates Superman and makes him fly forward, the analog stick moves him and A does some punching-kicking action. Actually, I had to restart the game 3 times to figure out how they work, because after the introduction cutscene Superman is put srtaight into action, and has too fly through rings. At my first try I couldn't even make him fly, becaue I was supposed to press Z, hold B and move Superman around, but the Z button was so damn unresponsive, I ended up throwing Superman into the water near me. It took me about 7-9 taps of the Z button to send Superman airborne, and then I couldn't move him because I had to hold the B button too. Who organized the controls like that!? I can barely fly Superman with such horrible controls! A tap of the analogue stick in the wrong direction, and Superman goes completely off the track. That is incredibly frustrating when flying through the rings, because I usually mistake the button that sends Superman up for down and vice-versa. Once you tap the analogue stick wrong, Superman goes so off the ring loops that it is almost impossible to get back on track! So, for instance, I miss one ring above me, and Superman does the up-movement right after I pass it, losing the next ring too. Sadly I don't have time to figure out how to get Superman back in place or return to go through the missed rings again, because I have a timer. And if you thought that the time would be keen on you because it's the first level and such, you're wrong. You have barely enough time even to fly through the rings in proper order!
After you get to know the controls a little better, you'll realize how tedious this game is. You fly through some rings in an entirely empty virtual Metropolis, or you pick up some cars and throw them away. Repeat until you finish the game. Sounds fun? The execution is way worse. If you manage to get past the first trail of rings with those twiggy controls, you'll be so amazed of your achievement that you won't realize the second mission has already started and the timer has gone already to zero! Yeah! The second mission is 5 seconds long and requires you to pick up a nearby black car driving in an empty road and throw it away before the timer is set to 0. You get 11 more seconds to pick and throw a second car a few feet ahead of you, but I doubt it that you'll do it with the first try, becaue the time isn't enough even to read the mission objective instructions! A sign pops out and flashes for half a second, and then the 5 second countdown begins. When I first got to that mission I was like "wait, what-who?? what??" and the mission was already over, with a message writing LEX WINS flashing on my screen in thriump. And guess what! You don't get to try the mission again, you're back at the rings one!
So finally when you become an expert at those first two missions, and manage to pick up and throw those two cars (is that even a mission? What's the point of picking up and throwing a damn virtual car in an empty virtual town?) you'll be greeted in the third mission, which is flying through rings in an empty Metropolis again! The lack of creativity sure is bugging me. Lex Luthor trying to kill Superman by leaving rings around his virtual world for him to fly through? He's such a bad ass. Anyway, fly through all the rings, and guess what's the next mission: more car pick-up! You had it coming, hadn't you? This time you have to pick up that car and fly to the end of the staright-forward road before those black things (they're supposed to be enemies) shoot and explode the car. Again, you have barely enough time to understand what the heck is going on, because when the mission starts, Superman is facing in the completely opposite direction, so I just stayed there staring the void and tried to get the controls to wokr to turn over, but when I did so.....the car had already exploded. And yep, you're back at the rings.
Seriously though, when you get hold of that car, the rest is unbelievably easy. Just fly up and to the end of the road to clear the mission. Those black thingies can't reach you anyway. Who thought of those stinking car-missions? I won't be surprised if he's working at his local Burger King store now. Anyway, after that car mission, you get to....fly through rings.....how original. And then some broken combat mission and another ring ride....If you manage to keep your eyes open, because I nearly slept through all that, you'll get to play a mission different than the others. Yeah, in this mission you must get the Freeze Breath item and then blow off the three tornados up ahead. Isn't Superman supposed to have infinite powers? Well, Titus thinks that Superman must get an item to activate one of his powers, then use it carefully because of its' limitation. The mission is as frustrating as all the others, because the controls are so unresponsive you'll run through those tornados without blowing off nor one. There's no timer in this mission, but if you take too long you'll lose. That's as bad as having a timer, but anyway. If you lose on that mission, you're back a the rings. But I bet you already knew that by now. If you manage to pull that mission off, you'll get to fly through rings again! Only this time most of the trail is underwater. While underwater, you'll notice that there's sky even under it. That's just flat out lazy, they didn't even bother drawing the sea. Also, the last ring in this mission is almost impossible to find, because they've hidden it in a far ledge underwater. How am I supposed to find out with 10 seconds left on my timer??
That's pretty much level 1, I was just giving out examples. Level 2 has Superman doing James Bond stuff inside a laboratoy-like building. That's just wrong, Superman is supposed to be fighting in airborne battles, not picking access cards to open up secret doors in a gloomy building! I won't even go on to describe level 2, because its design is so broken I needed a guide to get past it. Level 3 is again an update of Level 1, flying through rings or fight some Dark Shadow guys....it's all so repetitive, you'll feel like you're going through an endless nightmare. The fighting combat itself is broken as well, because Superman punches like dancer in seizure. One punch and the dark shadow is dead, making most combat missions utterly worthless. Some enemies, like robots, require picking them up and throwing them away in order to kill them, but if I fly to them, they explode immediatly in my face, leaving me with a confused expression. Did I also meant Level 2 is completely glitchy?? The building is so dark you won't be able even to see your charcater! You have absolutely no idea of what to do, and you wander around aimlessly in an empty room with some doors and some computers. The main room is even worse: the draw distance is so awful you'll see blue walls all around you and only when you get 3 feet away from them the room walls will appear out of nowhere! I told you, it's like a nightmare! Plus, more than one times I was so super that I run past a wall into a complete blue nothingness, and I wasn't able to get back at all, or I was so super that I stuck in the middle of the floor as I was swimming on land, making me restart the game becaue Superman wasn't able to fly!
Level 3 consists of looong ring rides, which are up for 7 minutes again(longegivity = fun? In this game, it's not). There are also some seriously stupid missions, like one where you have to destroy 3 flying robots and you have 3 minutes, and in the next mission another two of those but you have 50 secs! Are they retards? Plus, there's the laughably bad mission where a skater boy skates and you have to beat up the dark shadows in front of him before the kid gets shot. One question: is the skater blind or just plain stupid? Can't he see these black men are about to kill him? What the hell! Even my 5 year old niece could think of better missions! Plus, it doesn't make sense: what the heck is Superman doing in a virtual town, flying through virtual hoops to satisfy Luthor and saving virtual retarded people from virtual cars and enemies? The real world needs him, and his flying through rings! And after that, he flies through rings, and after that he flies through rings, and after that he flies through rings! Or walk inside a dull building tryingt to figure out what he's supposed to do.....
Graphics and sound is one of the worst on the N64 ever. The developers didn't even bother drawing up the sky, which is just plain purple, making you feel like you're on steroids. The draw distance is 10 feet at best, and buildings appear out of nowhere. Also, why is everything green? The developers called it Kryptonite Fog, but I just call it "lazyness". Everything has a green flash, from roads to skyscrapers. Looks like the developers didn't bother colouring anything except Superman, at all. Now that I've mentioned Superman, one look at his face should bring you to tears of laugh. There are some black lines scribbled across a big pink polygon, and they called it a face. Superman himself looks blocky and laughably bad, and the textures are so blurry that you'll really feel you're inside fog. Looks like the developers got a thing right, eh?
Sound is particulary non-existent, with the same sound-effects here an there, and some bland music accompanying Superman on his worthless quest. On occassion, you'll hear some pathetic voice-overs, like Supermans' "Then there's no time to waste!! line at the start of every mission. Some villains, like Mala, don't even have a voice over or a damn lyp-syncing! Not that you'd want to hear what they say, because they all talk crap and give you hints on how to beat the level. Dumbags. For example, what pretty much Mala says is: "Hahah I've trapped your friends in a cage underwater just on the next room, you'll never find them!" There is no Superman theme either. That's it! I don't want to write another line about this "game" anymore, it makes me feel sick. I could go on and on, describing how tedious the multiplayer is, how horrible the design is or how unfinished is this game in the first place, but I've had enough. This game doesn't deserve such a long review, but I did that to warn you: don't be like all the sorry lads who gave away 70 bucks just to buy this piece of ****. In fact, don't play it even if they pay you. And if you are one of them who has the Superman 64 cartridge at his house, the best place for it is not your N64, but your garbage bin.
Bottom Line: DON'T BUY IT!