Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
The 'Man of Steel' has Finally found his way to Nintendo's 64-bit powerhouse after multiple delays and development turnarounds; but lets not start the review out with any negative vibes. The game is not meant for adults...period. Before the title was completely revamped in the latter part of '98, Superman was rearing up to be a title for everyone, but once new code was written, the big 'S' became a game for those 14 and under. Watch Superman; go through 14 different levels, both outside (weaving in and out of Metropolis' skyscrapers) and inside (in buildings such as the Daily Planet, Star Labs, and LexCorp).
Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen have disappeared- they've been kidnapped by the malevolent powers of Lex Luthor and Brainiac, who have brought them into a virtual reality version of Metropolis. Superman must come to the rescue. The Man of Steel must work through this through this virtual dimension and find a way to conquer the evil masterminds that created it.
Superman Features some nifty powers, as you should expect: Experience Flight, heat vision, freezing breath, super-strength and x-ray vision. Did you notice the exclusion of super speed (hmmm)? Despite that you can pick up and use any object as a weapon. Take your Battles to Land, Water and in the sky against Metallo, The Parasite, Darkseed and Lex Luthor's minions. There are fourteen alternating indoor/outdoor levels (this gets really old quick). Up to 4 players simultaneous/ 2 multiplayer modes.
If you are expecting a control wonder, you have the wrong game. It all begins with the innate flying control. For a control stick there is not accurate response to input. Another, gripe is it's easier to fly than walk on the ground. Now last time I checked super man was able to move faster than a speeding bullet. How in the hell do you forget that in a Superman Game, I'm stuck on stupid. Despite the obvious gripes you do get super powers (x-ray vision, freezing breath, and heat vision, super strength). Unfortunately, using these powers becomes cumbersome. Some missions require you to shoot or blow enemies away. Just flying through them does the trick, and it becomes more evident flying is the most efficient method. As for the multiplayer method, it really doesn't do enough to save the game. The Multi or team fight is ok, but there should be more stages to play in. As for the Multi Race, it's just not fun. Chasing a player's rings, while he shoots you dead. Doesn't make sense. Another subject to cover the game is hard. For a kiddie game, I suspected a nice easy path to the end. But Instead I was treated to some wicked flying trough hoops, combined with some hard ass power missions. By what I mean by power missions for example (blow three tornadoes away from Innocents with freezing breath, pick up breath icon before trying) this mission is a great example of "Insanely difficult". One more gripe is the restart one miss push of the button and you'll begin the mission all over. There should be a save option as you pass each subsection of the mission. I still haven't reached a save yet, stuck at that friggan tornado section.
Don't Expect a graphic miracle, you won't get one here. The overall graphics, involving level design, colors, characters, are average. You are treated to Fog, Cool Underwater effects, and Nice looking Tornadoes (hehe). But that's not enough, the Animated scenes are cool, it ends there. More on Superman's model, its not bad, but experiencing the occasional clipping turned me off. Plus the shadowman models are limited. It looks like their stuck to the ground. Only slightly aiming up to shoot at you. I understand that the levels are supposed to Virtual Reality, but nowadays virtual is near realistic. Meaning more could have been done color wise in the level design. The buildings and environment as a whole look bland. The super powers look nice, to bad you don't need to use them much.
Ouch, tough section the sound is just as bad as every thing else. I almost had Turok 2 flashbacks from the first mission's track. Which repeated over, and over again. Driving me to an insane frenzy, which resulted in a damaged surround sound stereo (kidding, I don't condone physical abuse of stereo equipment). Of course you have your regular blips and bloops, these are ok by gaming standards. That's being generous really.
Unfortunately, I can't say anything nice about this game. I am beginning to wonder what is going to happen to the Nu64. With the constant release of bad games, I hope not to see a Saturn flashback. But In all fairness this review is about Superman not Nu64. The bottom line is the game fails in all categories. Even though the game was geared for kids, you have to know that older fans of superman are going to play. But this is not the problem at all. The problem lies in poor controls, average graphics, absentee plot, and bad, bad sound. So much more could have been done. What's wrong with using the full memory to design a game? Zelda 64 did it successfully. The biggest thing to mention is the price. For 60-70 bucks, I'd have to advise to rent first. That's if you are remotely interested in playing Superman. I do believe that kids may still enjoy the game.