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Superman: The New Superman Adventures (Nintendo 64) artwork

Superman: The New Superman Adventures (Nintendo 64) review

"It is a recurring event to say gamers join in chats to talk about their passion and to exchange views, amidst profound remarks (sometimes) and insults (often). Ever since I gleefully joined all these legions of gamers, there is always one topic that is bound to pop up, whether intentionally or by accident (most likely, the result of another weary insult): ''what r t3h worsts game s EVAR?'' "

It is a recurring event to say gamers join in chats to talk about their passion and to exchange views, amidst profound remarks (sometimes) and insults (often). Ever since I gleefully joined all these legions of gamers, there is always one topic that is bound to pop up, whether intentionally or by accident (most likely, the result of another weary insult): ''what r t3h worsts game s EVAR?''

Since one would always happily list every crappy game he'd played and even some he'd never even touched, it became more reasonable to separate them console-wise to satisfy everybody. To get an idea of the results of such conversations, I have taken the liberty to provide a couple of examples below.

NES: Hydlide, Heroes of the Lance, Athena
Genesis: Sword of Sodan, Dark Castle, Barney's Hide & Seek

As you may have noticed, it is common to come up with different games for each console, as there are countless games on these.

The Nintendo 64 was quite different though. Only one game would come up, and this would be the sole title that wouldn't be contested as a choice. This game is Superman 64. You may also know it through different names such as Superman, Supamean, or The Suckiest Game That Ever Sucked.

No, the fact that only this game would be mentioned isn't due to the fact that it's the only bad game on the Nintendo 64 (the irony of it all, really!). Rather, everybody would agree that it fails pathetically at what it sets out to do. Actually, according to a guy who mysteriously disappeared after magically beating Superman, if we were to consider Titus's attempt as a ploy to ridicule the red-caped hero to favor Spiderman, then this game is true artistry.

PsionicDude: What do you like about this game?
Doshemekluta: You can see up his skirt.

For those who were lucky enough to have never even heard of the horror found within this game, I'll just say one thing: Stop reading. Granted, you will still be in the dark as to the legendary hype around this game and I'll be missing your precious vote (scroll down the entire page), but it's better this way. Superman really is the most despicable thing I have ever agonized upon.

Released by Titus in 1999, Superman is an action game where one wonders what really classifies as action here: The game, or the constant struggle with the controller. Yes folks, the controls are extremely bad, like everything else in the game. Very few titles, however bad they may be, have controls this bad.

Basically, you are asked to perform various objectives, which include, but are not limited to, saving other morons, fighting off hordes of enemies, flying through rings, and desperately resisting the urge of stomping on the cartridge. There are dozen of things you can do in this game. With proper controls and pretty much everything else redone, this game would actually be a fine action game. In its current state, it's everything, but a game.

To understand how this game plays, it is primordial to catch a glimpse of certain missions and to see how the controls mess up everything.

Sample stuff #1: I hit the bad guy, but he is invincible
When you thought you were actually the super man, it turns out you're just a goofball in a blue and red suit, and everybody else is super. Beat-'em-up parts require you to kick and punch these guys when you're not busy wasting your time with one of Superman's special moves. Special moves include, but are not limited to, infrared vision and speed.

As you kick and punch, you also find out the sloppy detection rate means it takes about ten attacks to kill a thug. Since you always get to fight groups of nerds, you die first. Remember, you can use only one special technique at a time.

Sample stuff #2: I fly through rings, but get attacked by them
Another level requires you to fly through an exhaustive number of rings within a time limit. The purpose of this level still puzzles me, but I'll refrain from attacking Supermoron's plot since it doesn't even have one. When the Devil is sleeping, let him be. Flying through these rings shouldn't be very hard, but with the game's controls, these same green rings seem to turn into unbeatable bosses. Supermammal feels the urge to ram his stupid head against the rings when he's not busy deliberately performing stunts to avoid them.

Sample stuff #3: I find the bomb, but it always blows up at my face
One of Superman's most ingenious levels involves finding bombs and taking care of them before they explode. Good luck achieving these objectives, you'll need it.

The main reason why Superman is so bad remains its controls, but it's not as if the other parts are good either. One could indeed wonder whether this is really a Nintendo 64 game considering how the graphics are terrible. Superman himself is a rectangle with a red cap, and his animation vaguely reminds me of a drunk Whelkman. Getting him to walk in a straight line is an exploit, getting him to perform anything else automatically grants you god-like status if you succeed (but you won't).

The backgrounds also stand out as the worst I have seen on the console. Superman's world is vastly comprised of polygons. When you fly, these same polygons get in your way and prevent you from seeing ahead. If you're lucky enough, you'll even have the sadistic pleasure of seeing Superman literally crash onto a huge building, smearing his cape all over his lego-like ass as the same time.

In Superman's world, cars look like rocks and do not even have wheels, among other similarly funny lack of details. With his super strength, Superman can pick these up and throw them on enemies, provided he has enough time. Most of the time, he dies if he attempts anything of the sort as everybody punches him to death while he's busy searching for his hands.

In addition, the blurry backgrounds make Metropolis look like a city where everybody is on dope. As a matter of fact, everybody is on dope here. Otherwise, how do you explain Superman's incapability to deal with the slightest of challenges? Did I also mention the lack of details in the backgrounds? The backgrounds lack details.

Amidst your eternal combat against the controls, you inadvertently press the Volume Up button on the television remote control. That'll teach you to let remote controls lie carelessly about because, as the tracks composed by Titus destroy your baffles, your head explodes. There are no words to describe the music in this game. Granted, it's not the worst. There are other soundtracks that are worse than this one, but this one is particularly monotonous and thus frustrating.

Unfortunately, the real problem here is that the music would have been better fed to a platformer. In a game that professes to be action-packed, hearing slightly melancholic tracks is ludicrous. Worse, by the end of the game, these get downright stagnant, actually preventing you from going any further if you were fool enough to turn the volume up. In a surprising twist, voice-acting is however well-done in his game. There's not much of it, but it's better than all the junk developers have gotten us accustomed to. Sadly, Superman dying is what you'll hear most of the time, and I'm not sure that's the best onomatopoeia in the game.

Granted, the game respects the television show.

That's the worst part.

It's hard to explain why this game fails so terribly at everything it attempts, since as you play it, you will realize there are a couple of original ideas scattered among the dozen or so levels. If Titus had taken the time to play-test the damn thing and to see how they could improve things, Superman would probably rank very high on the Nintendo 64.

Of course, ''Improving things'' itself would require a lot of work such as:
- Correcting Superman's animation,
- Giving wheels to cars,
- Reducing the difficulty level (damn, this game is HARD!),
- Sacking the original team that worked on this game,
- Spraying paint everywhere after purchasing buckets of it at the local store,
- And, most importantly, WORKING ON THE ****ing CONTROLS.

In spite of its miserable failure, Superman indeed got a cult following from all those people who get a kick bashing such nefarious games. In this specific case, you could go on rambling for days about all its aspects without ever running short of things to say.

I, however, now find it depressing to do so. The cartridge is actually close by as I am writing this review, and I feel I'll lose control (like the game itself really) if I look at it one more time. Consequently, I have no other alternative than to end this review rather abruptly.

siegfried's avatar
Community review by siegfried (June 18, 2003)

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