Games That Make You Go ARGHHH!! Volume 2: Super Hero Edition

GamesThatMakeYouGoArgh-Volume2Remember the golden days of buying something you thought was a golden goose, but ends up being an ugly duckling? In this volume - Games That Make You Go ARGHHH!! – we tackle the worst Superhero video games ever released.

Before the internet provided us with reviews for video games, gamers relied on two things: box art, and magazine reviews. While many magazines sugar-coated or ignored bad games, it was up to the player to roll the dice and hope for the best. These are some of the games that left us bankrupt in more ways than just money: These are the super hero games of yesterday that make you go “Argh!”

Superman 64 – (Nintendo 64)

You’d think being stationary in a living room would make it near impossible to get motion sickness. Then came Superman 64. Released in 1999 in an effort to destroy the world before the Y2K bug, Superman 64, also known by it’s proper title of Superman: The New Adventures, makes you wonder how bad his old adventures were. If we judge most video game efforts prior to this title, I think we can all agree that pretending to be Superman in your backyard with friends is more fun than any part of this wretched title.

The developers were either too lazy or too unfamiliar with the Nintendo 64’s graphics chipset. Developer Titus decided “Kryptonite fog” was the best way to explain the entire in-game world of clouds thicker than a vat full of cotton candy. This was actually done to hide the developer’s ability to create proper draw distance, where levels load as you reach a certain point. Many would say this would be more of a limitation of hardware and those people have clearly never played other games on the same system made by companies who actually cared about learning how to create levels properly. The game further punishes players by having them do everything that makes a Superman game dull, including: flying through rings, picking up cars, and solving puzzles. Just like in the comics. You know, the ones that don’t exist because that’d be a horrible idea? Yeah, those comics. It’s a shame this game didn’t take the hint during development and disappear like the terrible draw distance.

Combined with a horrible frame rate, abysmal controls and lacking game play, the game fails in almost every category. If it was a student, the grade would be so low—we’d just have to expel it from the school. The nickname Superman 64 comes from the 64 reasons anyone can think of to not play this game. But wait, there’s more! Act now and you can try out the multiplayer mode to make three of your other friends hate you even more than they do already. Enjoy!

Wolverine: Adamantium Rage (Super NES)

Can I just say, I’m a huge Wolverine fan? Cause I am. On top of that, Super Nintendo is one of my favourite systems ever. When LJN decided to create a Super NES game dedicated to the Ol’ Canuckle Head, well, let’s just say it was the equivalent of an evil clown making you pee your own pants at a birthday party: it’s rude, crude and probably will smell after a while.

Poor Logan can’t catch a break in this game. Between awful controls and lousy hit detection, the game’s main purpose—combat—is the weakest part of the entire game. Couple that with music which sounds like a chainsaw raping the 1990s and you’ve got a title that sounds and plays like a child’s broken heart.

Wolverine is equipped with attacks that have huge delays to match his turning mechanics, so not only does he show up late to parties, he can’t fight worth a damn. Graphically, this game is a bit of an eyesore as well, with colours practically reaching out of the television to try and make your eyes bleed. Don’t believe me? Check out the review I did for the game (in the video above) and you’ll see why you need to stay far, far away from Adamantium Rage.

Aquaman (Gamecube, Xbox)

Any video game where you can call on sea life to help you attack is already lame enough; but toss in a bland combat system and lifeless environment and Aquaman’s video game may have you scrambling to the surface to gasp for air. Ironically enough, in this game, not even Aquaman can do that thanks to a barrier preventing him from swimming too high. It’s the developers egging you on to try and escape this polluted release.

In addition to tossing good ol’ Aquaman into a graphically ugly, bland game, the audio work either sounds too muted or non-existent, with complimentary murky music to really make the palette of your senses scream for death. “Battle for Atlantis” hardly feels like a battle when the same attacks are used consistently. If you thought beat-em-ups were repetitive, take out all the fun and reward out of your average Final Fight clone and toss in Aquaman. Bon Appetite. When this game released, it launched at about half the price of a normal title; but with the awful graphics, gameplay and story you’d think you were back in the previous generation. Sony Playstation 2 fans were thankful this never made it over to their gaming shores.

Batman (PC Engine)

Batman’s actually had a pretty fantastic history when it comes to video games. He’s also had some missteps along the way, such as the absolutely dreadful Batman: Dark Tomorrow, and has recently seen a resurgence in stellar video games such as the Arkham games. However, before many Batman video game titles featured a direct link to the animated universe, there was a Batman title released in conjunction with the Tim Burton classic, Batman. With it’s release, companies like Sunsoft flocked to produce some fantastic Batman video games for various arcades, computers and consoles. One title made it’s way to the PC Engine with lacklustre results.

There’s nothing wrong with Batman for the PC Engine (a.k.a. Turbo Grafx-16.) Controls were tight, music was top notch and your character certainly resembles the Caped Crusader. Despite the game’s graphics feeling a bit dated, nothing compares to the style the developers chose for gameplay. Top-down mechanics involving hunting items really doesn’t scream “I’M BATMAN” and neither will you when playing this game.

Batman’s given weapons to fight generic clown enemies over and over while grabbing a bunch of items before progressing. The game lacks any real sort of defensive engine for the bad guys, causing the A.I. to spawn and then die. Thankfully the game has a great soundtrack that tries to drown out the cookie cutter level design and repetitive whack-a-mole/Pac-Man hybrid. It’s not the worst Batman game ever, yet certainly not a shining example for the man in the cape and cowl.

Well, that’s it for now. Try to get out there and play some decent super hero video games while you’re avoiding these at all costs. Let us know what you think of these games in the comments below! Do YOU have a least favourite super hero video game? Tell us what you think!

Last Updated ( 28 August 2013 )  

Michael "Miketendo" Levy

Raised on an NES, Saturday AM cartoons and sugary cereal, Michael Levy was your average 80's kid growing up. Despite having odd obsessions with bears, peanut butter, zombies and Tifa Lockhart, 'Miketendo' is also the creator of the YouTube review series: D.Y.H.P.T.G?! (Dude, You Haven't Played This Game?!)

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