With all this in consideration, I decided to approach Superman 64 with a completely open mind....different people like different games after all, and maybe it's one of those underrated classics people keep discovering months or even years later? There's plenty of games like that. Lost Odyssey was a lot better than I thought it would be. Beyond Good & Evil turned out to be great when I eventually played it even though it wasn't a sales success. Mirror's Edge fast became one of my favourites after I picked it up cheaply, and I can't wait for the sequel.
Superman 64 is not going to be joining that list.
|Green rings, green skies - get used to seeing these|
When you reach the end of a set of rings (which thankfully can be turned completely off in the options by switching the difficulty to 'Easy' if you so wish...although this prevents you from seeing the full ending to the game), Superman is given a objective to complete, such as stop a speeding car before it hits a civilian. No problem for Superman you might think but it's a huge problem for a Superman with borked controls. You use the B button to accelerate forward while you're flying, but the B button is also used to grab objects such as cars. So if you're chasing a speeding car that you need to grab hold of, then you're going to have to take your thumb off the B button, come to a stop and tap the B button again to grab it. But of course the car carries on moving, so you'll need to hold the B button down to catch it up again and then....well, you get the idea. It's unnecessarily fiddly and more often than not you'll only manage it by luck rather than judgement. If you fail an objective, then you're placed back at the beginning of the last set of rings you reached to do those all over again as well.
|Oh Superman! Have you glitched through the floor again?|
Manage this section, and it's back out into Virtual Metropolis again to fly through yet more rings and complete more mundane tasks over and over again. It's worth pointing out here that the city is strangely empty, devoid of any signs of life until you reach your objective and sometimes have to save one or two innocent bystander from being attacked. Another thing worth mentioning is that the draw distance is extremely low, resulting in severe fogging everywhere even during the indoor sections. The graphics are actually pretty bad in general, with low res and muddy looking textures being the order of the day and some laughably pathetic animation, particularly for Superman himself when he walks and flies. And throughout this all, you'll be hearing the same short bits of music on loop over and over again just to drive you mad in case the rest of the game hasn't already succeeded in pushing you over the brink into insanity.
|Wow, check out that draw distance!|
Is it the worst game I've ever played? I'd be lying if I said it was. I've seen some horrendously bad titles on other systems that barely even classify as games, and I'm sure I'll cover some of them more in due time. But is it the worst game I've played on the N64? At this moment in time I'm pretty sure it is, and I'm also sure that I'm unlikely to find something that will take Superman 64's place at the bottom of the barrel. It's glitchier than just about anything else I've ever played, and it's pretty alarming that this was once put out for sale at full price as a new release next to games like Goldeneye, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron to be honest.
TromaDogg's Final Verdict: 2.5/10