Superman 64: The Worst Video Game Ever Made

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

When I was a kid, I was so ecstatic when I read that Nintendo 64 was releasing a Superman game. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and play it.

Fortunately, my friend down the street bought Superman 64 before I did. I was lucky enough to never spend a dime on the controversial game made by Titus Software.

Superman 64 begins with Lex Luther telling you “You will never find your friends in this world…” That confused me. The game isn’t set in Metropolis, it’s set in Luther’s “virtual world.” You would think that the natural setting for a game starring Superman would be Metropolis. Too many cooks in the creative kitchen at Titus Software perhaps?

The dumb, unimaginative plot of the game has you (as the Man of Steel) go through a simple maze in Lex’s “virtual world” to save Superman’s friends. All you do for most of the game is fly through an unbearable number of rings that get tedious after ten seconds. Why did anyone think that this would make for an appealing game? It has the kiss of death for a console game: it’s boring.

It’s incredibly hard to control Superman’s course of flight at times. If you have Superman at the centre of your game, you would think developers would’ve had a surplus of ideas that they could incorporate into the game to make it exceptional. The game was released in 1999; there were a lot of back issues of Superman for them to pull appealing ideas from.

At one point in Superman 64, you have to pick up a police car and carry it to the end of a street…real exciting stuff. During one mission, you have to blow random tornadoes away with your super breathe. And yes, I just wrote that sentence.

“LEX WINS.” I got so sick of “LEX WINS.” And you hear Lex do some creepy, stoner-like chuckle every time he wins. Then, in all of that excitement, you have to fly through more rings. There are no instructions for how to fly or breathe your super breath. There are moments in the game where you have a timer, and then, during other stages, there’s no timer at all. It also takes a long time for Superman to get back up when he is knocked down. That was frustrating, and nothing about Superman’s ability to take a punch should be frustrating.

There were moments during Superman 64 where you would get stuck in corners of the game and it would take a moment to find a way to fly again. When I played this frustrating game, I had no idea that Titus Software hadn’t actually finished it. I found that out much later. But just from the confusing game play and the strange, green haze in Lex’s “virtual world,” it was obvious that Titus developers had a little trouble in the developing stage of Superman 64.

If flying through rings surrounded by a green haze sounds like a fun gaming experience, you may enjoy Superman 64? As a huge Superman fan and gamer, this game was a big disappointment. Titus should have never let this game see the light of day.

 

Retro Gamer Issue 171 is Out Now!

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The latest Retro Gamer, issue 171 has hit the physical and virtual newsstands!

We are huge fans of Retro Gamer covers, but this one takes the cake – it is simply awesome! Behind this gorgeous cover you’ll find a myriad of retro gaming features to satisfy your nostalgia hunger. Still not convinced? Here is a taste of what’s inside this issue:

  • The Kings Of Donkey Kong – We quiz the high scores past and present about Nintendo’s hit arcade game.
  • Pushing The Limits: R-Type (Spectrum)
  • SNES Mini Feature
  • Making Of Saboteur II
  • Hardware Heaven: Sinclaur QL
  • Licence To Thrill: Aliens
  • Archives: Introversion Software
  • Making Of Wild Guns
  • In The Chair: Simon Phipps.
  • Ultimate Guide: Zaxxon
  • Peripheral Vision: Super Scope
  • Retro Revival: Shadowfax
  • Making Of Arch Rivals
  • Retro Revival: Super Adventure Island
  • The Unconverter: Spider-Man The Videogame
  • Lost In Translation: Enduro Racer (Master System)
  • Future Classic: Undertale
  • Retroinspection: PocketStation
  • Minoirty Report: Game Boy Advance
  • Retro Revival: Dungeon Explorer
  • Back To The Noughties: August 2000
  • Classic Moments: Mischief Makers

source: Retro Gamer

 

Atari Lynx: The Games That Never Were

The Atari Lynx was and still is a great handheld. Imagine if Atari had McWill’s LCD mod back then, they may have given the Sega Game Gear and possibly the Game Boy a run for their money (Ed: OK, perhaps not the Game Boy)!

If you were into arcade style games, then the Atari Lynx was your platform of choice. With games like Double Dragon, Klax, A.P.B., Battlezone 2000, Rygar, Hard Drivin’, Joust, Xybots, Paperboy and the awesome Rampage, Robotron and S.T.U.N. Runner, the Lynx was not short on quality action titles. Actually, we could have added a laundry list of other games, but we thought you’d get the picture with a subset of titles.

During the commercial lifespan of the Atari Lynx, there were a roster of big name titles that never saw the light of day. We could only imagine the impact these games may have had on the commercial viability of the Lynx! Just in case you were wondering, here are a few of the cancelled games from 1992 that we reckon could have catapulted the Lynx on the path to success:

Rolling Thunder

Vindicators

Geoduel

720°

Cabal

There were quite a few other cancelled games, but we thought we’d limit the list to ensure that we didn’t enrage you all. Actually, quite a few cancelled games did make it out when Hasbro, the owners of the Atari properties at the time, released the rights to develop for the system to the public domain, but that was well after the Lynx was considered dead (Ed: we did appreciate Alien vs Predator and Raiden)!

Ah, the beautiful Lynx, if only you were given a proper and fair chance by your creator!

 

Contra: Celebrating 30 Years Of Awesomeness

Contra, Gryzor or Probotector. No matter what name you know this classic Konami run and gun game by, you will definitely remember it as one tough mother of a game! Konami had an instant hit on their hands when they released the arcade machine on this day [February 20] in 1987. Happy 30th anniversary Contra, you irresistible force!

For those that have been away from Earth since early 1987, here is the lowdown on Contra:

Midnight, September 12 2631. The Marines catch sight of a small-sized meteorite that is fast approaching Earth. The meteorite plummets 20km north-east of New Zealand, at the Gal Mosquito Archipelago. The command keep watch of the meteorite.

Two years later, in December 2633, an intruder known as the Red Falcon is occupying the Gal Mosquito Archipelago and is planning the fall of mankind. Command orders confidential investigations at the enemy’s front base. The marine post orders for two “Contra” soldiers, Private First Class Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Private First Class Lance “Scorpion” Bean on a mission. The mission being: penetrate the insides of the enemy, destroy the front base and the entire centre of operation.

image source: GameFAQs

 

Metal Slug: The Complete History

metal_slug_tDo you know how many games are in the Metal Slug series? Would you believe there are over 30 ‘Slug’ games? Yeah, we are in disbelief too.

Luckily for us all, Daniel Ibbertson from Slope’s Games Room has collated all the information and produced another great ‘Complete History’ video on one of our favourite SNK gaming franchises.

Which Metal Slug game is your fave? Tell us now on Twitter or Facebook.


source: Slope’s Games Room

Cinemaware Retro: Defender of the Crown – Extended Collectors Cut

DoFTC_TitleOh how I miss the days of big boxed games. I remember walking into our local entertainment store and making a beeline to the games section to check out what was new. I loved picking up boxed games off the shelf and checking out their beautiful cover art. I would then turn the box over to check out the graphics and read the blurb. Ah, those were the days.

Alas, the good folks at Cinemaware Retro must have heard me! I had to rub my eyes to ensure this wasn’t a figment of my imagination – check out their classic big box Defender of the Crown – Extended Collectors Cut game! The different versions of the game will run on your PC and MAC, but best of all, the game will also run on your Amiga and CD32 (Ed: C64 folks don’t fret, there are disk-files of the classic game to create your own C64 disks!)! To say I am excited about all this would be a gross understatement. If you are (or were) a fan of Cinemaware’s games (Ed: there will be lots of you out there!), then this game would be right up your alley – better be quick, as there will only be a limited run of 500 units!

Cinemaware should be applauded for taking this initiative (check out their remastered Wings Amiga edition too!). If this succeeds, then hopefully Cinemaware will make other classic big box games from their awesome back catalogue! If this doesn’t tickle your nostalgic senses, then nothing will.

DoFTC_1image source: Cinemaware Retro

 

Old Games Revisited: World Games

WorldGamesGame: World Games
Genre: Sports / Events
Format: Commodore 64
Media: Tape or Disk
Year: 1986
Developer: Epyx
Publisher: Epyx

As the years roll on, there are video games that have aged well and others that have not. It is no secret that Epyx had the sporting events genre video games down pat. They had all the main seasons of the year covered in their sports games, from performing breathtaking Hot Dog Aerial manoeuvres in Winter Games, to throwing a Javelin across the field in Summer Games II. They didn’t just stop with Olympic events type games. Epyx branched out to street / sub-culture sporting events style games like California Games, which was yet another exemplary title to show off the Epyx sports games pedigree.

WG_Weightlifting

WG_CliffDiving

From all the great Epyx sports video games, one that has the most obscure and diverse events, is World Games. Don’t get me wrong, obscure does not mean it is terrible, it’s quite the opposite. The eight (8) sporting events take place across the world in their country of origin: Weightlifting – Snatch and Clean & Jerk (Russia), Slalom Skiing (France), Log Rolling (Canada), Cliff Diving (Mexico), Caber Toss (Scotland), Bull Riding (USA), Barrel Jumping (Germany) and Sumo Wrestling (Japan). Just like in previous games, World Games allows the player to compete in all events (sequentially), choosing some events or just one event. If you aren’t sure of your form, then the game does provide a practice facility. The playing mechanics may take some getting used to (pushing forward, pulling back), but persist and you will be richly rewarded.

WG_BarrelJump

WG_Slalom

The level of detail in Word Games is second to none, from the inhaling and exhaling weightlifter that grips the weight bar, to the brave cliff diver that waves at you after he nails his dive. The humorous touches when you stuff your event, like the caber hammering you into the ground, are a stroke of genius. Each event feels distinct and Epyx left no stone unturned on any of them – they are all visually impressive with well-developed play mechanics. You will experience frustration in playing some events (like the Caber Toss in Scotland and Bull Riding in the US), but as mentioned previously, persistence and timing are key to your success in obtaining a gold medal.

WG_LogRoll

WG_BullRiding

When it comes to crowning a gold medal winner, the developers at Epyx deserve the gong for creating sports games with great graphics, awesome sound and most importantly, loads of fun and playability. World Games is another title deserving of its entry in the sports games winner’s circle. Just like a fine wine, World Games has aged very well. Play on your own, or better still, grab a few mates and go for gold!

WG_CaberToss

WG_Sumoimage source: C64-Wiki