Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis
Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis is a 2003 action-adventure video game developed by Lucky Chicken Games and published by TDK Mediactive for the Nintendo GameCube and Xbox. 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.
PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance versions were planned, but were cancelled due to poor sales from the GameCube and Xbox versions. The Xbox version was also scheduled to be released in Europe, but was cancelled for the previously stated reason.
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, Aquaman's brother.
- Despite the game itself setting up the villain to be a mystery, the back of the game cover flat-out spoils Ocean Master being the true main villain.
- False advertising: despite what the box art shows, this game is not intense in the slightest.
- The front of the box art shows Aquaman holding a trident, which sugest that Aquaman will fight enemies with a trident... but in-game, Aquaman never uses the trident: instead, his hand is replaced with a hook-shaped stump.
- Poorly instrumented cutscenes. The idea of using comic book-styled cutscenes was cool, but 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 a fifth generation 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, including the way you pick things up and the time limit to complete the missions.
- The controls are sluggish and hard to use. This is worsened as the whole game takes place underwater with underwater controls; there's not a single segment you can play on dry land.
- There is little to no variety in the game as all you do is swim, defuse bombs, and fight. Some levels have you fight in ether a time limit or perform an escort mission were you protect a palace from enemies, while occasionally fighting a boss at the end of a level.
- The camera sometimes jerks around randomly in combat mode.
- Bland power ups.
- Some of the power ups can not be picked up. Was the game even finished?
- Despite how huge this game looks, there are invisible walls that don't allow players to explore the lifeless environment, just like Charlie's Angels.
- On that topic, despite this game taking place in Atlantis, there is barely anybody there aside from the occasional Mermen. By the way, for some strange reason, Mermen are the only people you save. There's not a single Mermaid in this entire game.
- Very poor lighting: sometimes the game can get way too dark for the Player to see anything.
- Horrible draw distance.
- The constant camera movement can make players feel seasick without being anywhere near water.
- The framerate sometimes drops to about half for a few minutes slowing down the game.
- Very, very broken combat.
- 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. Indeed, 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 the A button.
- Very limited enemy variety: there are only three types of enemies in the whole game, and all of them have the same strategy.
- Unfair and cheap difficulty due to unbalanced combat mechanics. Aquaman can only attack one person at a time, even if he sometimes has to fight multiple enemies 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, even seven to nine enemies ganging up on him. You can dodge and block enemy attacks, but the former is very difficult to do, and the latter is pointless as the enemy can grab you through the block and damage you.
- You can also grab enemies through their block... but it somehow causes them to grab you, and their grab moves override your grab.
- 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.
- In one of the combos, the player preforms a kick that paralyzes an enemy. If you toss that enemy into another enemy, that enemy becomes paralyze. Thus, you can littery spam that combo until the end. It even works on some bosses.
- In the game, Aquaman can call in underwater animals to aid him in battle like he can in both the comics and the show, but the problem is that only sharks and dolphins are called, and they're used to defeat only one enemy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bland and uninspiring bosses, all of them having the exact same strategy as the regular enemies have, albeit with a few new attacks and more health.
- Adding in to that, this game has very little bosses, only having three bosses (five if counting the giant Battle Ship and the Sea Dragon) in total.
- 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.
Ryan Davis of GameSpot gave both versions a 2.3/10, stating that it's "the kind of game that happens when a developer has a license and not much else" and "even the most hard-core Aquaman devotees will likely find little use for this short, shallow, problematic ramshackle game".
The game was ranked at number 46 in the Tats top 100 shittiest games.
The GameCube version was ranked at number 7 in Peanut Butter Gamer's top 10 worst GameCube games.