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.

 

Unofficial Super Mario 64 Maker Released for the N64

Just in case you were visiting Mars and just came back to Earth, there is now an unofficial Super Mario 64 Maker for Nintendo’s 64-bit beast! The brainchild of this awesomeness is Kaze Emanuar, the coder extraordinaire!

For those gamers itching to let loose with their Super Mario 3D level creativity on the N64, you better grab your trusty Nintendo 64 controller and get busy! For instructions on how to do all this stuff, go here (and click on show more).

Don’t believe us? Then you better take a gander at this!


source: Kaze Emanuar

 

Our N64 Classic Mini Games Wishlist

Dear Nintendo,

You gave us the NES Classic Mini and now, the SNES Classic Mini. We are all eagerly awaiting your inevitable N64 joining the Classic Mini ranks. With that said, could we please have the following 21 classic games installed on the upcoming N64 Mini  – thank you:

Super Mario 64 – we are 100% certain this gem will make it!

  • Mario Kart 64
  • Wave Race 64
  • GoldenEye 007
  • Star Fox 64
  • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
  • International Superstar Soccer 64
  • Donkey Kong 64

F-Zero X

  • 1080 Snowboarding
  • Diddy Kong Racking
  • Blast Corps
  • Bomberman 64
  • Rayman 2
  • Mario Tennis

Star Wars Rogue Squadron

  • Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • Perfect Dark
  • Yoshi’s Story

And I guess we would have to have a Zelda game on the list, not for us, for your Zelda loving fans, so let’s go with Ocarina of Time, but that’s it, no other Zelda games, please! Oh yeah, please no Super Smash Bros.!

Thank you,

Alex Boz
Editor-In-Chief @ ausretrogamer


GoldenEra: An Intriguing Documentary

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Why did former Beatle and rock legend George Harrison give the British comedy troupe Monty Python $4 million dollars to go off and make Monty Python’s Life of Brian? Because he wanted to see it. Eric Idol, of Monty Python, said,” It’s still the most anyone has ever paid for a cinema ticket.”

While listening to a sports radio show, I heard that a film company in Australia was crowdfunding for a documentary about the Nintendo 64 classic game GoldenEye 007, called GoldenEra. I thought to myself, I’d really like to see that.

I have never participated in a crowdfunding project, but there was something about a documentary centred on the phenomenon and legacy of GoldenEye 007 that changed my mind. Also, it being the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking first-person shooter (FPS) game, made contributing money to the project even more alluring.

I went onto the Indiegogo campaign page and became a backer. For my first time, it was kind of exciting.

In high school, my friends and I would play GoldenEye 007 constantly. We called it Bond for short. There’s no telling how many times, after classes, my friends would say, “Let’s play some Bond.” It was a bonding experience for all of us, and it came in handy when we were broke on weekends.

Once, when two of my best friends almost got in a fistfight over something foolish, I made them settle it over a game of Bond. I deterred violence with some fake, simulated violence. And after some split screen multi-player action, they had forgotten what they were upset about. My girlfriend, during my freshman year of college, was better at Bond than I was. She had her own N64 console back home and she really schooled me at times.

I have so many fond memories of playing Goldeneye in high school and college. Sure, we were sitting on our rumps playing a video game for hours, but playing Bond was something that we shared that brought out our competitiveness; and it was a nice relief from stressing about your grades and other teen pressures.

Who ended up beating who didn’t matter and the scores were quickly forgotten, but having something fun that we all enjoyed doing together was rare and ultimately important; even if we weren’t aware of it at the time.

I’ve never played any of the other popular first-person shooter games that followed GoldenEye. I have never played any of the Halo games. I think if I ever played one of the many versions of Halo, I would be comparing it to GoldenEye the whole time. GoldenEye made that much of an impact on my gaming.

I hope the project reaches its crowdfunding goal. The filmmakers are aiming for a 2017 release. If it makes it a more entertaining documentary, perhaps they should wait to release it when they think it’s perfect.

source: GoldenEra on IndieGoGo

 

GoldenEra: The Untold Story Behind The N64’s GoldenEye 007

Hands up those of you that haven’t played GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64. If you have put your hand up, then we strongly urge you to rectify the situation and play this game at this instant – it is that damn good!

For the rest of you, we all know how awesome and revolutionary Rare’s game was on the N64. GoldenEye 007 was so good, that it created the template for all First-Person Shooter (FPS)  games that proceeded it, even till this day!

We would love to know more about the team and what went on in making this landmark game, but we all know how secretive Rare is, especially its enigmatic founding brothers, Tim and Chris Stamper. But, we are happy to report that our prayers have been answered!

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of GoldenEye 007, Melbourne based, Roller Coaster Productions is aiming to create a documentary on this influential console shooter, with the aim of exploring the untold story behind the game. The film, aptly titled GoldenEra, will examine how a young and inexperienced team were trusted to work on such a huge licence, how the game continued in spite of its cancellation, and most importantly, how they motivated each other to surpass all expectations and create a game that would shape the genre and delight players for years to come. GoldenEra will also delve into personal anecdotes from the game’s developers, critics, fans and celebrities – discussing how it shaped them and their lives. This documentary will celebrate the game that revolutionised the way we play together, in our lounge rooms and bedrooms with friends and family around the world. GoldenEra’s crowdfunding campaign and teaser trailer have already launched on IndieGoGo, so go and take a look and back it if you can!

GoldenEra – The untold story behind the game from Drew Roller on Vimeo.

We are quite confident in the pedigree of the GoldenEra filmmakers, Drew Roller and Narayan Pattison, with both having extensive content creation and film making experience, so this documentary is in very good and experienced hands. We’ll eagerly watch this IndieGoGo campaign!

source: GoldenEra Documentary

 

Top 5 Games Charts: February 2000

As the second month of the new millennium rolled around, we realised that the doomsday Y2K bug was a furphy and we pumped up the volume to All Saints‘ ‘Pure Shores’!

By February 2000 the PlayStation was showing its age, but it was still host to many great games – hello Crash Team Racing! If you were in the Nintendo or Sega camps, February 2000 was a good one, as their respective consoles, the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, were definitely not short of ace games.

So let’s put on some Christina Aguilera and take a look back at what games made the top 5 charts on the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast in February 2000. See any you like?

PSX_150x150 1) Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Eidos)
2) FIFA 2000 (EA)
3) Crash Team Racing (Sony)
4) Tomorrow Never Dies (EA)
5) This Is Football (Sony)

 

N64_150x150 1) Donkey Kong 64 (Nintendo)
2) WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (THQ)
3) Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo)
4) Rainbow Six (Take 2)
5) Rayman 2 (Ubisoft)

 

1) Virtua Striker 2 (Sega)
2) Shadowman (Acclaim)
3) SoulCalibur (Namco)
4) Jimmy White’s 2: Cueball (Virgin)
5) UEFA Striker (Infogrames)

 

 

Grade 2A’s Museum of Gaming

We were blown away when we saw this tweet (thanks to Dan Donahoo) – a museum of gaming put together by primary school kids, wow!

The tweet that piqued our interest
mog-tweet

We just had to get in touch with teacher Tamryn Kingsley from Aitken Creek Primary School to find out more about Grade 2A’s Museum of Gaming.

Grade 2A’s Museum of Gaming
mog-11

Tamryn was originally a Merchandise Planner, but she has now found her calling as a teacher. She’s been at Aitken Creek Primary School for two years and is passionate about integrating technology into her classroom.

AUSRETROGAMER [ARG]: How did the museum come about?
Tamryn Kingsley [TK]: At our school we engage students in an inquiry process through ‘Challenge Based Learning’. Challenge based learning revolves around students being set a challenge and working towards finding a solution for the challenge. The ‘Big Idea’ this term is ‘Change’ and the challenge is ‘Inform society of the changes in gaming’. In discussions with students (Grade 2) none of them had ever heard of the Atari! I knew that my mum still had our old Atari’s from when we were kids so I began to raid her garage which opened up a can of worms… I thought, what better way to engage students with their learning than having the physical items to explore.

To learn about ‘Change’, Grade 2A accepted the challenge to ‘Inform society of the changes in gaming’
mog-9

ARG: Is the museum a regular part of the curriculum – or is this the first time you’ve done it?
TK: This was something that only my class participated in and it was the first time I had done it. It is something I would definitely do again as the children were so engaged in the learning that was going along with it, as well as developing fundamental skills.

Last year my Grade 2s developed their own games using the program Scratch and we are currently working with the whole Grade 2 cohort this year to do the same thing. This is a huge inquiry process into gaming which results in students creating games and then showcasing their games through a game convention.

We have a new Digital Technologies curriculum that has been rolled out across Victoria this year. Wherever I can, I integrate tech and gaming into my curriculum. For example, making game controllers using Makey Makey invention kits.

Controller designs for the Makey Makey project
makey-makey-controllers(photo source)

ARG: What was the aim of the museum?
TK: As well as relating to the ‘Challenge Based Learning’ challenge, the museum also linked with Literacy and Numeracy curriculum areas. During Reading and Writing lessons we explored the purpose of informative texts. It was then that I introduced the gaming consoles to the students, from there they worked in groups to explore and find out information about their console. Their aim at this stage was to find out everything they could about it. We created timelines of when the consoles were released comparing consoles in years.

Kids worked in groups to find out about the consoles
research

During discussions we talked about where would we find these kinds of ‘artefacts’. From this the kids came up with wanting to open their very own ‘Gaming Museum’, which brought up a lot of questions: Who works in a museum? How do they run? Who is in charge of what? How do they make displays? In order to run an effective museum we began to explore different jobs required in the museum and the skills that each job brought with them. Students began to assess the skills they could each bring and chose the jobs that they thought they could provide the most to.

The class created timelines of when the consoles were released and chose jobs
mog-10

With the jobs allocated, it was time for everyone to take on their role and prepare the museum.

The Directors and Public Relations team organised an open day for parents and other students to come in and explore the museum.

The Registrars took lists of the artefacts we had at the museum to make sure we did not loose anything!

The Educators reviewed all the research so when they took ‘tours’ they were able to answer questions.

Graphic Designers were busy designing the ‘look’ of the artefact labels, choosing fonts, colours, size and typing up all the information. We had been to Melbourne Museum and ACMI this year, so they looked back at photos and used their knowledge of the labelling to help them.

Designing the artefact labels
mog-6-2

The Exhibit Designers were trying to work out how they could make glass cases… They decided to use their knowledge of 3D shapes to make cases using PlayDoh and skewers. Unfortunately as the artefacts were bigger their structures began to collapse – they got 10 points for effort though…

ARG: What consoles and games did you have in the museum?
TK:

  • Raise the Devil Electronic Pinball
  • Tomytronics Tennis
  • Mario Cement Factory
  • Xbox 360
  • PlayStation 2
  • Atari 2600 Jr
  • PSP
  • Pokemon Nintendo 64

All the lovely consoles and games
mog-5

ARG: Where did the consoles and games come from – are they yours?
TK: Some of the consoles were ones my mum had hidden in her garage. Most of them were actually my brother’s when he was younger, which I fondly remember playing. She had the Atari, Mario Cement Factory, and the Tennis and Pinball games. The rest were from my sister and her husband, who are big fans of gaming. I was warned not to damage or lose them!

ARG: Are you a fan of video games, and classic games in particular?
TK: I do love playing games occasionally, but I am not a huge gamer. What I love about games is the connections that you can make with kids though gaming and the types of learning that takes place. Making these real world and authentic connections with students creates more powerful learning.

ARG: What did the kids think of the museum?

  • ‘Magnificent!’ – Ronan
  • ‘Our museum was good because we added lots of information’ – Jaylen
  • ‘It was like a mini ACMI’ – Jessica
  • ‘I liked it because it was ordered from oldest to newest’ – Zain
  • ‘I thought it was amazing, because we put a lot of effort into it’ – Talia
  • ‘I think it was very good because a lot of people commented on how good it was. We really liked it too and we were really proud of ourselves’ – Abaan

The awesome kids of Grade 2A – great work guys!
mog-1

The museum opened for business and parents and other students came to enjoy it and learnmog-3

mog-4

So, that’s the story of Grade 2A’s Museum of Gaming – an awesome example of Challenge Based Learning. We can’t wait to see what Tamryn and the kids and staff of Aitken Creek Primary School do next!

Photos from Tamryn Kingsley (unless otherwise stated)

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter