Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis
Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis is a beat'em up video game developed by Lucky Chicken Studios and published by TDK for the Nintendo GameCube and the Microsoft Xbox on July 23, 2003. A PlayStation 2 version was planned, but was cancelled due to poor sales of the GameCube and Xbox versions. The game is based on the DC Comics character Aquaman and is based on Peter David's controversial interpretation of the comic book character.
This game has received negative reviews from both critics and fans and is considered one of the worst games of all time.
Black Manta after being presumed dead for years, launches a surprise attack on Atlantis, forcing Aquaman to face his mortal nemesis in a final battle. Bringing with him waves upon waves of dedicated warriors, Manta intends to terrorize and ultimately destroy Aquaman's kingdom of Atlantis. In order to protect his subjects and the rest of the seven seas from Manta's evil machinations, Aquaman must venture into his city, save his people, and defeat Black Manta. Little does he know, however, that there is an even greater enemy waiting, who will attempt to take the Throne of Atlantis right out from under him.
The main gameplay is swimming to areas that have enemies and to beat them up until they are defeated. You can use punch kick or grapple attacks to defeat them. Some parts of the game have your pilot vehicles to defeat Black Manta's forces and enemies such as a sea dragon.
Why It Sucks
- While the story of an epic final battle between Aquaman and Black Manta could have been a cool concept, it is still kind of bland with nothing much in it. Manta is dropped out of the game after the first third to be replaced with Lava Lord, who in turn drops out of the game for Ocean Master.
- False Advertising: Despite what the box art shows, this game is not intense in the slightest.
- Poorly instrumented intro. While the idea of using comic book-styled cutscenes was cool, they use the in-engine character models instead of original art or CG, not to mention some of the words in the text bubbles don't even fit.
- No voice overs.
- Awful graphics and character models that look like something out of an early PlayStation 1 game, even Sonic Adventure, which was made five years before this game, had better-looking graphics.
- Speaking of the graphics and character models, Aquaman's model has a very mullet looking polygonal face with little to no detail whatsoever.
- Some of the gameplay is similar to Superman 64 where you pick up things and the time limit to complete the missions.
- On the topic of the main character, for some odd reason he has a hook for his left hand, even though Aquaman never had a hook hand, though his appearance might have been inspired by the Justice League cartoon series version of Aquaman.
- There is little to no variety in the game as all you do is swim and fight.
- The game is extremely simplistic. Despite all the abilities that are in the game, there is no strategy for fighting the bad guys, with one review claiming that all that was needed was to keep tapping "A".
- Unfair and cheap difficulty due to unbalanced combat mechanics. Aquaman can only attack one person at a time, yet the fights sometimes have multiple enemies attacking him at once. This makes the fights cheap and unbalanced as Aquaman constantly takes damage from enemies you can't attack because you're locked on to a different enemy. Some fights have six enemies ganging up on Aquaman, and a few fights have seven to nine enemies ganging up on him which makes the game completely unplayable on freaking normal difficulty!!!
- Attempting to use a combo that uses more than one button results in the game refusing to react to more than one button being pressed for the combo, or the first attack knocking the enemy out of range of the remaining attacks in the combo making them not connect with the enemy. You must tap one button to perform a combo that has all three attacks connect with the enemy.
- The controls are sluggish and hard to use.
- Most of Aquaman's abilities are either pointless to use or impossible to do properly, which causes the game to devolve into a button masher where you only press one button repeatedly.
- Blocking is pointless as it causes the enemy to grab you through the block and damage you.
- Grabbing enemies through their block somehow causes them to grab you, and their grab moves override your grab.
- Horrible draw distance.
- Special attacks are almost impossible to do because of the counter-intuitive control scheme. Darklordjadow1 has reported being able to do a special attack by pressing up and the A button only once early in the game, and every time he has tried to do it since has caused him to get attacked by an enemy.
- Dodging attacks is very difficult to do.
- The framerate sometimes drops to about half for a few minutes slowing down the game.
- The constant camera movement can make players feel seasick without being anywhere near water.
- Despite how huge this game looks, there are invisible walls that don't allow players to explore the lifeless environment.
- On the screen before the game starts, they show a character other than Aquaman, which we don't know who that is.
- The game has a tendency to crash; in JonTron's review, after the mission to sank Leviathan is completed, the screen goes black and nothing shows up after that.
- Good soundtrack.
- Four decent "flying" levels piloting a submarine, albeit with sloppy controls.
This was the inspiration for the Golden Mullet Awards on X-Play, which was an award given to the worst games of the year.
During James and Mike Mondays, James and Mike described the traveling as "Superman 64 without the rings."
JonTron states that this game is frighteningly similar to Superman 64 and playing Mortal Kombat underwater.
The game was ranked number 46 of the Tats top 100 shittiest games.
Ryan Davis of GameSpot stated in both versions that "even the most hard-core Aquaman devotees will likely find little use for this short, shallow, problematic ramshackle game".