|Its summertime and all the kids are out of school with
nothing to do but beat the heat and play some video games. Surprisingly, its not a
great time for new releases (well have to wait until fall for the most anticipated
titles), but a few new games have managed to hit the shelves. The crop for the Nintendo 64
is particularly bare (A Bugs Life, Star Wars: Racer, Hybrid Heaven, and a few others).
Finding a game to review was more work then usual.
All this week Ive been hanging out with my brother and sister in Idaho Falls with nothing much to do but play video games. After too many hours of Mario Kart 64 to count, we knew it was time for a new game. We decided to try out Tituss Superman for the Nintendo 64. My brother wanted it last Christmas when it was originally slated to be released, 6 months later he finally had his chance to try it out. We were not impressed. How could a game about the man of steel go so horribly wrong?
Maybe its me, but I never really understood the plot of the game. Lex Luthor (with the help of his evil friends Brainiac and the rest) has kidnapped Supermans friends Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Emil Hamilton and transported them to Virtual Metropolis where Superman must save them. But on his way to save his friends Superman has to fly through rings, save innocents and do miscellaneous good deeds. The first level has him stopping a leaky dam threatening to destroy the city. Now this is what I dont getwhy would Superman need to do good deeds in Lexs virtual world? Its not real; and who cares if a virtual dam breaks and floods Lexs virtual city (wouldnt that be his problem?)
On the first "level" Superman has to fly through some rings -- the most annoying aspect of the game. Lex calls it a maze, but theres nothing remotely maze-like about it. We were hoping it was some sort of flight training and wouldnt appear again in the game,but its always there in the first part of each level. Really, why would Lex want Superman to fly through rings? I also was very disappointed that we didnt get to see Clark Kent, but then again all of the cut scenes were short and poorly done.
The worst part of the game had to be the control. My sister and I gave up on it after a few tries. My brother managed it, but he was still far from graceful. I was excited to see a 3-D flying adventure game, but Superman fails to deliver. Another thing that bothered me was Supermans power icons. Everyone knows Superman always has his powers. I could understand that if he over-used a power it might take time to recharge, but I think its almost embarrassing to see Superman running around trying to find his freeze breath.
We were hoping to see a Superman that looked more like the one in the cartoon. Instead we had to look at his ugly, blocky head (his cape and boots look all right, though). Virtual Metropolis wasnt much to look at either. It repeated the same building types over and over, and the whole city was covered in a thick blanket of fog (this wasnt even remedied by the memory expansion). There were also plenty of glitches (my sister got caught in the ceiling of the dam), clipping, and the whole thing froze up a couple times. We were pretty unimpressed with the overall visual quality. The water sucked and the bad guys were laughable.
Its too bad that Superman is such a shoddy venture; it could have made an excellent adventure game. Even die-hard Superman fans will be disappointed in how Titus has dealt with their object of affection. This game is aimed toward the younger set, but manages to alienate them with its unmasterable control and boring story line. My advice is to avoid this super flop at all costs.