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Revision as of 03:05, 14 October 2021
"YOU'RE WINNER !" — Victory screen from Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
This article has been featured on the Crappy Games Wiki!
Also Superman: Wastes the time of the poor souls and flying through rings who play this.
"This game doesn't even qualify as shit! It's like the equivalent of shit takin' a shit! This is unspeakably, shockingly bad. It's sickeningly loathsome! It's a fuckin' suffering to the mind! It's a bunch of fuck, and it doesn't belong on this planet! Somebody's gotta take care of it; this is a job for the fuckin' Nerd!"— The Angry Video Game Nerd
Lex Luthor has created a virtual Metropolis and trapped Lois Lane, Professor Emil Hamilton, and Jimmy Olsen inside. He then forces Superman to face the challenges of the virtual world to save them.
The game is divided into two types of levels: Flying and Mazes. Each involves clearing objectives and puzzles within time limits. In Flying levels, players navigate Superman through a track of rings, then Superman must then complete a different objective like lifting cars or fighting an enemy. In Maze levels, Superman must complete a specific set of puzzles, usually searching for key times, killing enemies, escort missions, etc.
Why It Sucks
- Executive Meddling: This game is a prime example. Titus originally envisioned the game to be open-world and even made a lot of destructible levels, but Warner Bros. was paranoid about Titus taking on the project and told them exactly what they wanted while watching the game through a microscope. They're the reason why the game takes place in a virtual world (not allowing Superman to fight real people) and having to pick up icons to use his powers. They had no creative freedom and them being so busy trying to please WB is the reason for many of the problems below.
- The infamous flying through rings level. The most hated thing in all of Superman 64 is that most of its levels rely on flying through rings to get to the end of the level, which not only does not make sense at all but also is extremely annoying due to the controls being an absolute disaster (more about it below). Most of the time, you will fail to pass through a ring and increase the chances of failing the level for each missed ring. Some ring levels even have the nuts to make you start right next to the end ring, which is just unfair and is the overall reason why the ring concept is just awful.
- Players have to repeat the previous ring-flying segment upon failing the objective that comes immediately after, which is likely to happen due to the unforgiving time-limit in virtually every level and the fact that mission objectives only stay on-screen for about a second, giving the player no time to adapt. After a certain amount of tries, this stops occurring and players actually start at the mission instead of having to "solve the maze" again.
- The controls were heavily criticized for being very unresponsive, making the ring stages extremely difficult. Because of the many ring stages, this made the game extremely frustrating, which becomes worse as some rings are moving. Superman goes off-course too easily. Darklordjadow1 developed a method to make Superman somewhat easier to control, which is to spastically twitch the analog stick rather than holding it in the direction one wants him to move.
- The controls aren't any better in the other sections, they are still unresponsive, and are worsened by the awful animations (mainly punching) and the disastrous framerate.
- Superman walks way too slow, making it completely abysmal to progress, and basically forcing you to fight through the game.
- The practice mode is also flying through rings, except without the time limit. (Unless you're playing on Easy, in which case, the rings don't exist), making it completely pointless.
- Very short draw distance, due to hardware limitations. The game claims that "Kryptonite Fog" covers the world, except it doesn't excuse the indoor levels having the same short draw-distance as well. By the way, kryptonite is highly radioactive and poisonous, and that much Kryptonite Fog found in the game would cleanse virtual Metropolis of all life, including Superman himself, in reality is just that the game has abysmal programming and an extremely weak engine.
- The collision detection is so bad that it makes the game basically a cousin of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, but much worse. Superman can get stuck on buildings he's several feet away from and he can easily become out-of-bounds in the indoor levels. By the way, when trying to go too far in outdoor levels, Lex will say "You're trapped in my world, Superman".
- In some places, the game actually glitches allowing you to pass through solid walls.
- The framerate is a performance disaster, as the game's performance slows down and/or accelerates all the time, especially in the ring stages, which shows how poor the coding of this game is, and most of the time the game cannot even reach 25 FPS. Super Mario 64 on the other hand had even better performances than Superman 64, and will always run at 30 FPS perfectly with even better graphics.
- Unbearably awful graphics nearly on par with Bubsy 3D. It's worth mentioning that the game came out in 1999, everything has no detail whatsoever, the models look like awful action figures and move like those too. The color palettes are dull and ugly to look at, and the game looks like it's completely made of cardboard because of the ugly polygonal graphics.
- Half of the levels in the game have the player "solve Lex Luthor's maze", which consists of flying through rings, protecting civilians, defeating enemies, and picking up cars. That's it. Even worse, the game moves the rings at certain points, however, the ring stages feel pretty much the same.
- The other half of the levels involve solving extremely long nightmarish puzzles or labyrinths with no clues, and filled with trial and error, with each worse than the last.
- At some points the game outright lies about what you have to do, this is noticeable in the stage where you fight the parasite.
- The game lacks any direction of what to do at this level, and it forces you to do an insane amount of stuff to get to the end. Like how you in the last level you have to use super breathe to freeze Jimmy and Lois so they can cross the hazardous walkway safely.
- There aren't any checkpoints at all. If you fail, you must go through the entire level again.
- Every object that can be picked up by Superman explodes. This can cause players to unintentionally harm themselves and take a huge chunk of Superman's health.
- The final stage has a puzzle that not even with trial and error can be solved, you pretty much have to get lucky as you need to cross teleport hatches and make the number on the screen equal 2000, but there is no way to even know which teleport hatches do what, and the stage is so confusing that memorizing it is impossible.
- Awkward attacks where Superman randomly flails his arms to attack, they had a weird range making them a nightmare to use and his only other attack is the heat vision which can't be used once the heat vision meter reaches zero. He can also ram at his opponents while flying, but due to the abominable controls, this is extremely hard.
- If you fail a level, you can either press A to restart the level or Start to quit the game and return to the menu screen. The problem is that there is absolutely no confirmation message before quitting the game, meaning that players can accidentally press Start in hopes of restarting the level only to get sent back to the menu without warning.
- The enemies besides the bosses are random black figures or lame robots, with some of them shooting projectiles that can destroy Superman.
- An insane amount of glitches due to being released in an apparently unfinished state, such as lifting invisible objects. Some of them allow the player to skip levels, then others can screw with the physics of the game, and there is another in the final stage that can kill Superman without him being hit by anything, even with an invincibility code, making the final stage pretty much practically impossible to beat.
- Superman can still take damage and get killed after completing a level, and dying after that leads to failing that level despite already having beaten it, requiring a complete restart of the level.
- Horrible and repetitive sound effects, mainly in the puzzle sections when fighting enemies. For example, Lex's laughing sound is extremely awkward and sounds like it wasn't even done by an actual human. Also, the gun sounds that you can hear when you are near to the end ring in the ring levels are annoying.
- The gameplay overall is mind-numbingly repetitive and boring at best and outright insufferable at worst. The first levels rely on flying through rings, then do the challenge, flying through rings again, do the challenge again, and so on. The next levels are mostly on the puzzle sections made of ugly mazes and it's so difficult to understand what to do to get on the next section without watching a walkthrough video of the game.
- No replay value whatsoever, there isn't any unlockable content, the multiplayer mode is completely unplayable (See WITTW#26 below) and the game forces you to play on hard to really beat the game. The majority of the issues that the game has are what makes it totally irritating and can make the player not want to play it again.
- The soundtrack is incredibly generic and not even the default Superman theme is included (although this could be because of the game being based off on the cartoon series instead). It is so bland and repetitive that you forget it's there 90% of the time.
- The bosses themselves are pathetically easy to defeat; even the game's normal enemies are more difficult to defeat than them. Most of them simply walk up to Superman to attack him, and it only takes a few punches to defeat them, this is an insult knowing the villains they have, one of them is Darkseid who is a character that's even stronger than Superman.
- The only exception to this is Brainiac, the final boss, who does not have any A.I. at all, so he does nothing.
- Trying to play the game in Normal mode or lower, upon reaching the final level (assuming a player is masochistic or patient enough to play that long), the player is told that the final level is only available on Hard skill level (Superman Mode). In other words, one must play the whole game to that point again. The game defaults to Normal mode, meaning players unaware of needing to play on Superman Mode would have to replay the game from the beginning.
- Very glitchy demos, where the AI that is supposed to control Superman to make him fly through rings completely messes up after a few seconds, and starts flying at random directions without the ability to detect walls, making Superman hit into walls very often. Sometimes, the AI can make very awkward moves like flying in circles, etc.
- The ending is even worse than the "You're Winner!" endings from certain NES games, with Lex Luthor literally mocking the player and cutting to black.
- Superman has to pick up special icons to use his powers, like his heat vision, super-breath, etc, which is extremely stupid as they can also be hard to get due to the aforementioned controls, and the powers have limited uses.
- It is possible to find an X-Ray Vision power-up in the sixth level, but all it does is revealing that there is lead in the wooden crates, which the player throws at Metallo to deal extra damage to him during his boss fight. Outside of this level, the power-up does absolutely nothing at all.
- You must also blow tornadoes with the super breath, but this attack has barely any range at all.
- The game's credits don't list any testers, proving or suggesting that the game wasn't even playtested when rushing it out for release.
- In fact the game doesn't list any lead designers at all.
- The multiplayer mode is somehow even worse than the single-player mode:
- The mode can only be found by plugging in a second controller and selecting New Game.
- The first mode, called Battle, has both players flying through a level trying to gun each other down, but because of the horrid draw distance, it is almost impossible to see the other player. It does not help that both players have tons of health and the weapons deal very little damage, overall making the mode unplayable.
- The second mode, called Race, does not explain how it must be played and uses the rings mentioned before.
- Superman is not even playable in any of the modes.
- Massive plotholes:
- If Lex controls the virtual world, why didn't he take away Superman's powers?
- After Superman defeats Darkseid (one of his strongest opponents in the cartoon) he throws him into a jail cell, which would make no sense as Darkseid would just simply break out of it with his godly powers.
- The game originally came bundled with a comic book intended to explain the plot, but the comic itself is just as bad, it had a story that made no sense, villains that didn't exist in the game like Jax-Ur or Bizarro, and in some points, it contradicts itself, more specifically with the creation of the dimension of the Dark Shadows.
The game holds a 22.90% at GameRankings. It is often known for being one of the worst games of all time and won several awards for that title. Despite the negativity, it was a top seller in North America.
Reviewer Darklordjadow1 made a four-part review of the game (with the first being the comic book review), stating that he wanted to show the entirety of the game so people could know just how unbelievably awful the game is. By his own admission, he spent months struggling with the game and had to resort to cheating with a Gameshark Pro because he kept losing due to game-breaking bugs. After reviewing the game, he made it a running gag to take jabs at Titus Software in future videos.
The Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed the game and questioned the purpose of Superman 64 wondering if it is "some sort of insanity test".
The game appeared as No. 2 in WatchMojo's.com's "Top 10 Worst Video Games of All Time" list.
- There was going to be a PlayStation version, but due to Titus Interactive's Superman license expiring, it was never released, although there is a playable prototype.
- Beta builds are actually more playable than the finished product, and an unreleased PlayStation version was revealed to be far more technically competent.
- One of the titles used for the game is Superman: The New Superman Aventures [sic].