ehsan's Superman (Nintendo 64) review

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Superman 64 is an insult to mankind much less to gaming itself

Superman 64 is probably the worst game ever created. There is no positive aspect about this game. It seemed as though the company, Titus, decided to take all the best aspects about the Superman comic books and movies and disregard them, except choosing to follow the show, Superman: The Animated Series, adding along a 3 enemies and 2 bosses.

The story of Superman 64 is very simple. Lex Luthor, the main villain in the Superman comics, has decided to kidnap Superman's friends and take them through a portal and make Superman search for them, while saving people, fighting his way through forces, and flying through rings in a fixed time limit. This is pretty much the level structure throughout the whole game. You basically flt through rings, defeat some men with weapons, and sometimes save a person. The whole problem with the story is that the developers never took advantage of the critically acclaimed comics and movies. There are so many excellent stories and villains in the comics that there was no excuse for Titus skip out on them and create a very bare story. Most of the story is told from the beginning cutscene and newspaper articles between every level. There is really no point in listening to the story because of the sheer predictability and stupidity.

Rings happen to be Superman's true weakness.
Rings happen to be Superman's true weakness.
The gameplay of Superman 64 can be best described as "broken", "frustrating", and "uninspired". The way that Superman is controlled is very painful to play because of many gameplay glitches, such as when you are hitting an enemy, you constantly miss, despite the fact that you are literally touching the enemy. The enemies are extremely stupid and they often reload their weapons ever if they didn't shoot and they also never move out of their positions, making the combat a chore rather than a challenge. The combat in the game is basically mindless button mashing combined with Superman's super powers, which can be obtained as powerups, which is very unappealing, because of the fact that the powerups are very scarce and there's no point in using these powerups as they'll run out in a short amount of time.

The most "important" aspect of the game is the flying, which is used alot due to most of the game being flying through rings. The ring flying is one of the most frustrating things in video game history of video games, due to the very short time limit, bad controls, and the unforgiving gameplay. The whole problem with this part is that the game is very harsh on flying through the rings, because if you miss more than one ring then you have to go back to the last checkpoint, which most of the time is the beginning of the level. If you have missed a ring you can always go back through it and get a penalty, but due to the horrible flying controls you'll waste run down the timer and lose the level.

The final portion of the gameplay is rescuing civilians from cars and in on portion of the game tornadoes. The problem with rescuing the civilians from the cars is that the game gives you the instructions to destroy the car in about a split second and then gives you 10 seconds to do the objective, which is unfair and if you lose, you will have to repeat the level all over. And the tornado portion has you using you Super Breath to destroy them. It is very frustrating, because you sometimes have to use your breath in midair, which means he must stand still. You sometimes have to move the analog stick around just to get him to stand still. Overall the gameplay is very frustrating and broken that just doing a simple task as flying can cause a person to shut the game off.

The graphics in the game are blocky and grainy, accompanied by a terrible framerate. Superman himself sort of looks decent, but the rest of the items and locations are just a pain to look at. The virtual Metropolis is just a bunch of silver buildings that rarely serve a purpose and there are rarely any other people in the game to interact with, so it feel very dead and empty. I've seen Commodore games with more interactivity than this game. Another huge issue is that sometimes you can fall through a solid floor, due to a glitch and have to start the level all over again, which sometimes literally makes this game unplayable. The graphics in the end are just terrible and probably some of the worst I've seen so far, and the inclusion of invisible walls further compliment the horrible graphics.

The sound in the game is probably the weakest point in the game, starting with the opening stock music. The could have used the excellent John Williams Superman Theme used in the movie, giving the game an epic feel, but they didn't. Throughout the whole game you hear very dull and boring music thst is very unmemorable. The voice acting in the game is mediocre, though it is rarely used. There are literally less than 10 different voice clips used, most of them which are Superman muttering, "Then they're no time to waste", and Lex Luthor's laugh every time you lose, (you'll be hearing those two phrases alot through the game), which is very sad.

There is also a multiplayer component in the game where you drive flying cars across a tunnel trying to shoot each other down, though it is very stupid and pointless. Another problem would be trying to find a friend who would be willing to play this atrocious mess with you. But a "positive" thing is that the multiplayer is alot "better" than the single player campaign, but that's not saying much, because the multiplayer is still dead as a cat in a doghouse.

Titus, you have brought great shame to Superman.
Titus, you have brought great shame to Superman.
The lasting appeal of this game is very short and it can be beaten in a weekend, that is if you don't quit in disgust or end up burning the game. The multiplayer however lasts about 10 minutes, before never touching the game again. If you're wondering how the game feels, all you have to do is play the first level and you basically played through the whole game, due to the fact that the game often repeats itself way too often.

Superman is an icon and a beloved Superhero throughout all forms of entertainment, and it saddens me to say that Superman's one true weakness is video games. Shame on you Titus for bringing this beloved hero to an all time low. It was as if you just skimmed through his comics and show and picked out small parts that made Superman who he is. Shame on you for releasing this game and shame on you DC for letting this company insult Superman's image. You know that the game is terrible if you include a cheat code to beat the game. I myself am ashamed of even touching this game. Do not play this game, let alone buy it, for it will cause shame in the Man of Steel himself, Superman.

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