You know, I could be doing something productive right now. Like writing a book, or painting a picture. But no, here I am, playing SUPERMAN FUCKING 64 because I hate myself. Oh god.
Alright, so there’s nothing I can say about Superman 64 that can do it justice. In fact, I’m sure everything there is to say about it has already been said a hundred times over. But let’s just get this out of the way: Superman 64 is the single worst game I have ever played in my life. And I’ve played Shaq Fu, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, heck, I’ve even played E.T. on the Atari 2600. But nothing, NOTHING compares to this. I mean, just look at it.
So, I’m sure all of you have at least HEARD of Superman 64, but few (if any) of you have actually played it. As you know, your immediate goal is to fly through a series of rings, hindered by some of the most godawful controls in video game history. But there’s so much more to it than that, so much ELSE that makes this game so terrible, and yet all that anyone seems to talk about is the rings.
So, yeah, rings. LOTS of rings. Steering is no simple task in this game, and if you miss more than like two rings, you lose. You have barely enough time to complete the ‘maze’, and the game gives you no time at all to figure out the controls. You’re just thrust into this ring challenge with no warning or explanation, and the game sees fit to laugh at you when you lose. Beautiful.
Beat the rings, and you’re immediately thrust into the next challenge, again without any warning… not even a “You win” screen. Instructions flash on the screen for a second, and again you’re expected to know exactly what to do. So naturally, you’re going to fail… and guess what?
Yes, back to the rings. Fantastic.
What you’re supposed to do is pick up the cars and throw them, but you’ll have no idea how to do that because THE GAME DOESN’T TELL YOU SHIT. You can check the controls in the start menu, but that’s still no help… and the game gives you only 6 seconds or so on the car challenge. And when you DO beat it…
Yeah, you bet your ass there’s more rings. Harder, too. Still, hopefully you’ll have adjusted to the shitty controls at this point… at least for the flying. Trust me, it gets worse.
Next, you need to pick up a police car and carry it to a checkpoint. You’d think it would be easy, since you know how to pick things up by now, but you’ve got like two seconds to grab it before enemies blow it up. And you go right back to the rings if you fuck up, so you’d better haul ass.
And then, MORE RINGS.
I’m stuck against a wall. That’s… that’s great.
And then… COMBAT! That’s right, there IS in fact fighting in this game. And guess what?
It’s awful. Like, really, REALLY awful. Superman flails around like a five-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, and you’re lucky if you actually manage to hit your enemies. It’s still better than flying through rings, but that’s like comparing herpes to syphilis.
And, of course, there’s more rings.
And after that, you’re apparently supposed to blow away tornadoes. How do you go about doing that? Well, apparently the C up button is your ice breath, but…
…nothing happens. So, you fail, and go back to the rings. Well, guess what?
You’re supposed to pick up “ammo” for your ice breath. Yes, apparently the meter was empty, and SUPERMAN NEEDS FUCKING AMMO FOR HIS SUPERPOWERS WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK
Oh. That… that looks great. Grade-A work, Titus.
Have I mentioned that this is a good game?
Well, can’t say I’m surprised.
Wait… what? A “Superman Wins” screen? That’s new.
Holy shit. I actually reached a new part of the game? I’ve never actually seen anyone play past the third ring maze! Let’s check it out!
Oh, and remember when I said things get worse?
All of the sudden, the game is completely different. You’re inside now, and there’s no timer… it’s actually starting to look like a game! Maybe things will improve from here on out!
I guess you’re inside LexCorp or something. You navigate the halls, battling extremely annoying robots as you proceed. Why are they so annoying? Well, they explode when you punch them, which hurts you. Well, alright… why not just pick them up and throw them? Well, somehow, the explosion will still hurt you, even though you’re not near it. Great.
Ohhh yeah. That’s beautiful, right there.
This game is like a surrealist art piece.
Anyway, you find a key card. I’m not sure why Superman can’t just bust down any doors in his path, but hey, I don’t make the rules.
The computer is back where you started, so yes, there’s backtracking now. And if you thought the navigation was bad before, you ain’t seen shit. Superman gets stuck on EVERYTHING, especially if you’re flying. Which you probably are, because Superman walks ridiculously slowly.
This game sucks.
You talk to this bitch, who taunts you about something or other and then just walks off without Superman doing anything to stop her. Her face also looks like a kidney bean, so maybe Superman just felt bad for her.
And then you’re flying around in a big room and there’s robots and a giant eel and I just gave up at this point. I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to go, and let’s face it, this game is not worth the trouble.
I’ve played a lot of ass games throughout the years, and this one takes the cake. Superman 64 is a legend among bad games, and rightfully so. I mean, there’s really nothing quite like it. Superhero games are always kind of hit or miss, but there’s a difference between being bad and being this bad. This game makes Batman: Dark Tomorrow look like Arkham City. It makes LJN’s X-Men look like the X-Men Arcade Game. It makes Justice League Task Force look like Injustice: Gods Among Us.
I’m not fond of it.