This Friday calls for a little change of pace. There's a little something going on in the world of video game reviews called the "Review a Bad Game Day", and how is a guy like me supposed to resist something of that epic magnitude?
Part of me wants to say I've been looking forward to this, while another part of me wanted to just curl up in a little ball in the corner and cry. Why do I want to torture myself with more bad games on purpose? I've already dealt with enough with the last 150+ reviews of done spanning the NES / SNES / and Sega Genesis systems.
But, no. This isn't about me. This is about informing you, the reader, of the horrors that plagued the systems of old. So I sat with my thoughts for a bit, ultimately deciding upon my fate. A fate that is not one bad games...but two. Two epic failures that should have never made it past the first stage of development, much less get a passing grade during the testing phase.
My fellow gamers...I give you a DOUBLE DOSE.....of DC DISASTERS.
I have a feeling you know what two games I'm talking about. Take a deep breath. We're going in.
Title : Superman 64 (Superman: The New Adventures)
Publisher : Titus Software
Developer : Titus Software
Genre : Action Adventure (if you could call it that)
Players : 1 Player / Multi-player
Release Date : 1999
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$7
It's true. I own this game. I'm not even going to deny it. It still holds a special spot on my shelf. A spot that requires the victim to get past a security check point, a six-inch thick steel door locked by a 20-digit key code, and a wild boar just to this game out for a test drive. I lied, it's just in between a few other games, slowly collecting dust until I have to pull it out for special occasions such as this.
In fact, I'll be brutally honest with all of you. I bought this game the day it came out, and the copy I own is still the same one I bought many years ago. That's right. Keep laughing. I couldn't help it though. I was a huge comic book buff back in the day, and when I see a Superman game coming out for the N64 (which I still think is one of the best consoles to date), I had to get it.
You could imagine my immediate regret when I first started playing this.
What do you think of when you think of Superman? Speed? Power? Battles of epic proportions? Of course. How about flying through rings, or timed flight paths? No? Well, too bad that's what you're going to get.
There's a reason this has been named one of the worst games of all time, and I'm about to explain to you why. But let's take a moment, and offer TITUS a nice, slow, clap for providing us with this gem.
In this "game" (I'd like to call it an experiment in failure...), Superman is tasked with flying through rings.....and doing other mundane tasks such as carrying objects and attempting to fight villains...in order to rescue his friends in a virtual re-creation of Metropolis designed by the infamous Lex Luthor. It's not only a virtual world, but it's a virtual world filled with KRYPTONITE FOG. That's right. Because the developers needed an excuse for their horrible draw distance on the game's graphics, they decided to call it KRYPTONITE FOG.
Wow. Just wow.
Little known fact about this game before we even get started. Did you know there's actually a multi-player mode? That's right, folks! Now you can have your friend join in on the torture as you try to find and / or race each other in that delicious, green, fog! Oh, how my heart is skipping with glee!
You know how games usually start off by giving you a sort of tutorial level to help explain controls and the mechanics? Yeah, well Superman 64 tries to do that, but I never heard of failing the tutorial level almost 100% of the time. Give yourself a challenge. TRY and beat the first level of Superman 64 where you fly through the rings in one shot. Do it. I can't even master the miracle of flight that Superman is known for. He flies as if he has had one too many shots of Tequila. Hell, after playing this game, I'd like to drown myself in tequila too.
There's two type of levels that you'll have to suffer through, and there's a whopping fourteen of them (trust me, you won't get past one..like I said before). First batch of levels are the ones where you have to fly through the damn rings. GOOD LUCK. If by some stroke of luck you get passed it, then you'll have to complete some other objective like protecting a civilian, or beating some villain up. All the while, your health is gradually depleting and you don't know why. Maybe you're taking too long, maybe there is kryptonite nearby, or maybe the game just hates you.
Just know, if that health bar reaches 0. You get to start....all...over...again..
Yeah, I'm supposed to be holding a car in that image...looks like it don't it?! The other level you'll most likely never see, is mostly combat and puzzle solving involving a boss fight. It's the closest you are going to get to a so-called action game. I don't know why I keep calling this a game. WHO TESTED THIS!?
I've been complaining a lot, but why exactly. Let's rant for a bit.
Gameplay? There is none. If you call flying through rings, and trying to pick stuff up while a clock whittles away gameplay then sure...this is a game. This is NOT a Superman game. Where's the combat? Where are my special powers? My laser eyes, frost breath, and super sonic speed!? And don't give me that bullshit about "Oh, but Tom you can get special powers through power ups scattered about the level." SCREW THAT. I'm SUPERMAN, DAMMIT. I SHOULD USE MY SUPER POWERS WHENEVER I DAMN WANT TO!
Graphics - disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. It's a blocky, jumbled mess with horrendous draw distance, pitiful frame rate, and absolutely no collision detection. Don't get me wrong, I like being able to fly through buildings and fall through the world as much as the next guy........actually, no...no I don't.
Music and sound - *sigh* no, just no.
So what kind of score does this game really deserve? Oh, I don't know...how about a big OL Bizarro head. Because that's what this game is. BIZARRO SUPERMAN....this is what I looked like after I played this crap.
Final Score (out of 5) :
So, what's next? OH, look...something just as bad.
Title : AquaMan: Battle for Atlantis
Publisher : TDK / Warner Bros Interactive / DC Comics
Developer : Lucky Chicken Games
Genre : Action Adventure
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 2003
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$10
Hmm, Lucky Chicken Games, eh? Perhaps we will get lucky with this game and maybe it'll be a tad better than Superman 64? NOPE! Not even close. In fact, I'll put this as a close contender as winner for worst game ever to fall off the assembly line. Can you hear it? Can you hear the music as this game was being pumped out?
Follow this link for the music...epic bad game assembly line music....
You know, Aquaman has a bad rap as it is for being one of the lamest super heroes in the DC universe, so they didn't do him any sort of justice with this game. Oh, wait...see what I did there? Justice...JUSTICE LEAGUE!? Wow....pat myself on the back for that one.
Get ready to dive into the depths of the ocean with this game. Hell, it should have been sent into the Mariana Trench. Would have been better off. Summon your fish friends. It's time to get wet.
Black Manta has returned, and he's out for revenge. After Aquaman blew one too many bubbles in his face, Manta is about to go all Ursula on the townsfolk of Atlantis. QUICK! Call King Triton! Oh wait, this isn't Little Mermaid...(which is a DAMN good game for the NES). You are Aquaman, savior of the sea, and the only one who can stop Black Manta and the DARKER evil that lies underneath the waves. SPOILER ALERT : It's Ocean Master. NOW YOU DON'T HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME ANYMORE! You can thank me now.
Right off the bat, you'll notice something, well, interesting about the games cut scenes. They aren't animated. Instead, they are static images meant to look like panels out of a comic strip. Okay, don't all yell at me at once, but I actually liked this from this game. It's something different, and it's not something that's really seen and it was an honest to goodness decent attempt to pull from the comic book world.
Maybe it's because I went to art school with a degree in cartooning, so I might be biased. BUT I LIKED IT DAMMIT! As corny as it was.....and as lazy a move it might have been to avoid animating cut scenes...damn...it is lame, isn't it?
The game is a strange sort of beat-em up, where you swim around until you run into an enemy at which point you'll enter a combat mode. You'll basically just punch, or kick, or swipe your little hook hand at the enemy until he's dead. Spam those attack buttons as fast as you can, because otherwise you'll just get assaulted by even the easiest of enemies. For some reason, the game hates Aquaman just as much as everyone else does because he can't catch a break from even the easiest foes.
Apparently, and get this, you can pull off combo moves too. Don't even bother. Spam your punch and kick, because it's more effective. By the time you figure out how to do a damn Mortal Kombat styled fatality on the enemy, he'll be pegging you in the gut as your health dwindles above 0. At least the moves have some cool names like WHALE BURST and DOLPHIN FIN LUNGE KICK...I made those up....don't know what the names are....not as cool as that I'll tell you that much.
When you're not spending your time fighting Manta's minions and singing "Under the Sea", you'll be swimming....a lot. At least you're swimming through the beautiful city of Atlantis! That looks more like an underwater Gotham City. Who would have thought that Atlantis would be so dark and gloomy. Hell, Aquaman. I don't think it's worth saving.
Visually, the game's not bad...if it were an N64 game. Seriously, if you think about it, Superman 64 looked more like a bad PC game or a poor attempt at 3D on a 16-bit system, and this game looked like it fit more on the N64 than it did the Gamecube. What the hell was this game trying to prove?
The best part of the game is discovering all the invisible walls that you'll encounter! I really think there's a hidden achievement for finding all of them, because there's a ton. Swim one way, and it sort of looks like an opening, then BOOM. Wall. Nothing's there..but it's a wall..or...I'd like to think of some fisherman has Aquaman on his line and is reeling him in every time he gets too far. A nice fish hook in Aquaman's mouth. TAKE THAT, AQUAMAN! Call on your whale for help now you helpless fool!
In all seriousness....this game sucks. At least you can fight, unlike Superman. That's something. Not saying its good. It's just something. And something is better than nothing.
As for the final score? Let's see...how about one Aquaman choking on a soda can plastic holder. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. Don't throw that crap away before cutting it! For reals.....yo.....
Final Score (out of 5) :
1 Sad Aquaman
Until next time, keep on gaming!
As for me.....I'm gonna go back to crying in a corner....