Superman (1999)

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"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!"

Angry Video Game Nerd
Superman
20071228 n64superman64 jpg by fuckshiru-d8kaqks.jpg
"Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a terrible video game flying through rings!"
Protagonist: Superman
Genre: Action
Adventure
Platforms: Nintendo 64AGW
Sony PlayStationAGW (cancelled)
Release Date: NA: May 31, 1999
EU: July 23, 1999
Developer: Titus Interactive
Publisher: Titus Interactive
Franchise: Superman


Superman (commonly known as Superman 64, and on the back cover as Superman: The New Adventures) is an action-adventure video game for the Nintendo 64 based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name and the animated series titled Superman: The Animated Series. It was developed and published by Titus Interactive and released in 1999. The game is often considered to be the worst game on the Nintendo 64 and even one of the worst games of all time.

Plot

Lex Luthor creates a virtual Metropolis and traps Lois Lane, Professor Emil Hamilton and Jimmy Olsen inside. He then forces Superman to face the challenges of the virtual world to save them.

Gameplay

There game is divided in two types of levels: Flying and Mazes, each involve clearing objectives and puzzles with 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 fight an enemy. In Maze levels Superman must complete a specific set of puzzles, usually searching for key times, killing enemies, escort missions, ect.

Development

The game was originally a lot more polished in its prototype form, with tighter controls, a variety of objectives spelt out clear to the player at the start of each level and can be read at any time by pausing, no flying through rings, a much more forgiving time limit, Superman starting each level with nearly all of his powers and plans to implement a multiplayer mode with up to 4 players. The reason for virtually all the released game's problems was due to interference and demands from Warner Bros and DC Comics for "political reasons", including not allowing Superman to fight real people and having to pick up icons to use his powers. This forced Titus to throw out almost two whole years worth of development and reprogram almost the entire game from scratch just months/weeks before release. The game's negative reception as well as the license expired later ended up being a factor in the PlayStation version of Superman that Titus was also working on (intended to be a completely different game rather than a port) being cancelled.

Why It Sucks

  1. The game originally came bundled with a comic book intended to explain the plot, but the comic itself is just as bad.
  2. 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.
  3. The practice mode is also flying through rings, except without the time limit.
  4. Very short draw distance, due to hardware limitations. The game says 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.
  5. Collision detection is so bad that Superman can get stuck on buildings he's several feet away from and he can easily become out-of-bounds in the indoor levels. When trying to go too far in outdoor levels, Lex will say "You're trapped in my world, Superman".
  6. Bad and inconsistent framerate.
  7. Laughable and bad voice acting, despite having the cast from The Animated Series.
  8. Awful graphics nearly on par with Bubsy 3D. It was 1999, and there was no need for the graphics to be that bad by then. The character models don't look much better, either.
  9. Half of the levels in the game have the player "solve [Lex Luthor's] maze", which amounts almost to flying through rings and picking up cars. Players spend most of the game doing these tasks.
  10. The other half of the levels involve solving overly complicated mazes, followed by more rings to fly through.
  11. Awkward attacks where Superman randomly flails his arms to attack. The enemies besides the bosses are random black figures, with some of them shooting projectiles that can damage Superman.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Players have to repeat the previous ring-flying segment on 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.
  15. Metropolis has very poor detail; smaller buildings in the city are literally depicted as flat textures on the ground, which the developers seem to have tried to justify as the game being set in a "Virtual Metropolis" that Lex Luthor created.
  16. Superman only gets one life to clear the Maze levels (not the flying levels which Lex Luthor declares the sequence of rings as a maze) and there are no checkpoints. Failing (quite likely because of the bad controls) sends the player back to the beginning of the Maze level.
  17. Puzzles are overly cryptic and there are very few useful hints.
  18. Horrible and cringe-inducing sound effects.
  19. The gameplay is mind-numbingly repetitive and boring.
  20. No replay value.
  21. 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 of the cartoon series instead.)
  22. Broken enemy AI. The final boss doesn't even try to attack Superman, as he has literally no AI at all.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. The final level in the game is almost unbeatable because of a glitch that causes Superman to suddenly die for no reason at all. Even using external cheats like the Game Shark Pro to give him infinite health doesn't prevent the glitch from occurring.
  26. In the demo, Superman gives up on flying through rings and starts flying against a building.
  27. The ending is even worse than the "You're Winner!" endings from certain NES games, with Lex Luthor literally mocking the player.
  28. The camera cannot be adjusted, causing major difficulties when flying.
  29. Superman has to pick up special icons in order to use his powers, like his heat vision, super breath and etc, which is extremely stupid as they can also be hard to get due to the aforementioned controls, and the powers having limited uses.
  30. The game's credits don't list any testers, proving and/or suggesting the game wasn't even playtested when rushing it out for release.
  31. It is possible to find an X-Ray Vision power-up in the sixth level, but all it does is reveal 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, it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.
  32. Several issues relating to the multiplayer:
    • 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, however, 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.
    • The second mode, called Race, does not explain how it must be played and uses the rings mentioned before.
    • Superman is not playable in any of the modes.
  33. Beta builds were discovered that were actually more playable than the finished product, and an unreleased PlayStation 1 version beta was revealed to be far more technically competent despite being incomplete.
  34. 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 jailcell, which would make no sense as Darkseid would just simply break out of it with his godly powers.

Reception

The game holds a 22.90% at GameRankings. Matt Casamassina of IGN rated Superman 3.4 out of 10, speculating that the developer had not "put forth any priorities for this title other than to finish it" and commenting that the game has a "rushed, careless feel." Casamassina states that this feel "overflows into its visuals," criticizing the inconsistent frame rate, excessive use of distance fog, and frequent clipping seen in the game's environments and objects. He also criticized the game's poor collision detection, abundance of glitches, and poor enemy AI. Casamassina concluded the review with Superman is executed so poorly that it actually serves to butcher the reputation of the prominent action hero."

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 did a review of the game and questioned about 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.

Videos

Trivia

  • There was going to be a PlayStation version, but due to Titus Interactive's Superman license expiring, it was never released.

Comments


avatar

EnnardTrap1987

18 months ago
Score 7
I remember being so obsessed with bashing on this game. Good times.
avatar

Se

18 months ago
Score 7
NAY TO RUSHED GAMES
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DmitriLeon2000

14 months ago
Score 4
We'd rather play Superman: Shadow of Apokolips than this garbage.
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ThePCGamer

13 months ago
Score 5
Game's New Name: Stupidman 00
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score 2
lol
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TriNguyen12348

6 months ago
Score 0
XD
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ItDoesNotMeanAnythingAtAll

4 months ago
Score 3
How about this: Superidiot 666
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Lg 754 luca

12 months ago
Score -2
superman, he fly through the rings, I am going to play something else.
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Lg 754 luca

11 months ago
Score -2
when You can't find kryptonite, use this. it works better.
avatar

HammerBro101

10 months ago
Score 2
This game is so bad that it doesn't even have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Also, it shouldn't even be considered a game.
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Gustavomendez2002

9 months ago
Score 2
So true. What would you consider it as?
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HammerBro101

7 months ago
Score 1
I would consider it an irredeemable pile of garbage. This makes Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric look like a masterpiece.
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HammerBro101

7 months ago
Score 1
Heck, even Sonic 06 is a masterpiece compared to Superman 64.
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HammerBro101

7 months ago
Score 1
In fact, I'd rather play Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and/or Sonic 06 over Superman 64.
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HammerBro101

10 months ago
Score 4
Superman 64? More like Stuporman 666.
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SSJ2 Gohan

9 months ago
Score 1
What kind of game company name is Titus?
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LA2002

9 months ago
Score 1
This game is simply a massive blemish on Superman's otherwise excellent reputation. Even the Man of Steel himself would destroy this abomination with his laser vision.
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Hayden B.

8 months ago
Score 1
LEX WINS
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DarkMatterMan4500

5 months ago
Score 0
This game barely has any of those redeeming qualities.
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DarkMatterMan4500

4 months ago
Score 1
Besides, Superman 64 is on par with other shitty games, like Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, Sonic 06, Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis, some shitty Scooby-Doo games, etc.
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Zeephare

4 months ago
Score 1

@TheBuzzOnMaggieYes CaillouNo "Decent framerate" - excuse me, what? "You are capable of using Superman's powers" is not a redeeming quality, even on films and comics this superhero uses these powers.

@DarkMatterMan4500 You must hate Sonic and Scooby-Doo that such games are on par with Superman. In my opinion, there are even worse games that are on a par with this abomination, such as Action 52, Ride to Hell: Retribution, Big (Motherfucking) Rigs or The Town with No Name. Although these games are better than CrazyBus, Plumbers Don't Wear Ties or Custer's Revenge.
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DarkMatterMan4500

4 months ago
Score 0
@Zeephare I don't really hate Sonic games, but it's just that Sonic The Hedgehog 2006, Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and other worst video games out there really have nothing to offer. I've played Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis on an emulator, and boy, the game has SO many problems that doesn't make it better than the original game.
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Zeephare

4 months ago
Score 1
@DarkMatterMan4500 Okay, that was just my hunch. I saw that GBA Sonic port and what a monstrous crap it is. A port that matches the level of Ark: Survival Evolved for the Nintendo Switch.
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Fomantisboy35

5 months ago
Score 2
If toxic Nintendo 64 fanbrats (Looking at you, Mario Kart 64) are butthurt about not all N64 titles are on modern consoles, show them this. This and Busby 3D are basically the only things Nostalgiatards go livid.
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HammerBro101

5 months ago
Score 1
So many people are destroying this game to put it out of its misery. Should I destroy a copy of Superman 64, or should I sell the game?
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ThePCGamer

4 months ago
Score 2
Sell
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Mr. Monty Mole

4 months ago
Score 1
There's no time to waste on this piece of garbage. This makes the CD-i Zelda games look good.
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DarkMatterMan4500

3 months ago
Score 0
It even makes Hotel Mario look like a legend in comparison.
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Edbert0987654321

4 months ago
Score 1
For some reason i want this game to be remade for the GameCube with better controls.
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DarkMatterMan4500

3 months ago
Score 0
The GameCube was discontinued in 2007.
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NeedsMoreJPEG

4 months ago
Score 1

The final ring level. But it's the worst of them all!

- AVGN
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RyMann37

3 months ago
Score 2
Note: This game along with its rings are more hazardous to Superman than Kryptonite.
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DarkMatterMan4500

3 months ago
Score 0
I just linked my video to this article. https://www....=edd0OvXaxSM
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Zeephare

3 months ago
Score 1
This game should be added as the biggest torture in the worst prison.
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NeedsMoreJPEG

2 months ago
Score 0
LEX WINS
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BobRocks20

2 months ago
Score 0
I didn't know there was a comic about one of the worst N64 games yet, now I want to read it
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SuperStreetKombat

2 months ago
Score 1
It's probably just about him flying through rings. 馃ぃ
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Yoshi and Tails Fanboy 130

18 days ago
Score 0
Is there ANYTHING good that can be said about this game? Or are we just gonna leave it in the pile of trash and say there's nothing good about it.
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SonicFanatic2009

13 days ago
Score 0
I hate this game cause it's boring
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Kringe

11 days ago
Score 0

Man, reading the development history and I feel that this could've been a better game.

Shame on you WB.
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CompactFlash

8 days ago
Score 0
Fun fact: On all sides of the box for this game, it says "The New Superman Aventures" instead of "Adventures", lol
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CompactFlash

4 days ago
Score 0
Well, with the front being an exception.
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BlakeIsHere458

7 days ago
Score 0
There are 34 WIS reasons, should it be featured?

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