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Wash Before Use
by SundaySmash

Those of us who have been gamers for awhile have suffered through some pretty bad games during our slavish devotion to our hobby. When 3D on home consoles first began to appear regularly, this was especially true. Many consoles, while capable of 3D graphics, were not able to pull this off with the polish consoles today have, and as a result the occasional video game related death would occur. The truth is, I do believe video games will make people violent if the game is so frustrating that it inspires acts of violence in real life. In this case, who is the criminal? The murderer or the game developer?

Among the bad video games, one N64 game stands tall to represent all the other bad games from all the ages. I only know of it by rumors and hushed, frightened whispers from gamers too terrified to speak the name, lest they only increase it’s potency. Brothers and sisters, I will break this silence and in the process obliterate the game’s fel power.

Superman 64.

As I said, I only know of this game through friends. I never played it myself because I skipped the N64 generation of video games. In order to truly understand just how bad this game was, I interviewed our good friend Marc. These are his words.

Kevin: So. Superman 64. I hear it’s bad.

Marc: Yes. Superman 64 is to video games what colonoscopies are to routine medical procedures.

Kevin: Perhaps you would care to elaborate on that? What kind of nefarious devices are being used in this routine medical procedure intended for men over 50?

Marc: Let’s start with the horrible visuals. Granted this was the N64, but the first thing you’ll notice is how blocky and awkward the Man of Steel is. He has chubby legs and he sometimes appears as if he’s trying to swim through the sky. Then there’s the pathetically short draw distance and notorious fog. At least 50% of the game is flying, but you can hardly see where you’re going.

Kevin: On the subject of the poor visuals, would you compare the game to rubbing sandpaper, dry wall, or scouring pads against your eyes?

Marc: Dry wall is far too soothing, so I’d have to say sandpaper. They aren’t quite scouring pad bad. They’re sadly the best part of the game.

Kevin: Would you say the short draw distance has any use to it? For example, could it be used at alcohol awareness events to allow people to realize what driving under the influence is like?

Marc: I’ve never really thought about it, but I’m sure this game is being used somewhere as either what you speak or as a terrorist interrogation device. I can hear them screaming, “Not the rings AGAIN! My eyes!”

Kevin: Okay, so describe the gameplay for me a little bit. If you were to compare it to a sexually transmitted disease, which one would you compare it to? AIDS is not an option.

Marc: As hard as it may be to believe, I don’t have a lot of experience with STD’s. Some, yes, but not enough to give a real honest answer here. I can safely say, however, that it’s anything with open sores and festering boils. But in all seriousness, the controls kill the game. The flying is so unresponsive that you actually lean with the game to try to alter gravity and pull him in the right direction. But then he turns too far and you’re forced to do a wider turn than a buick to get back to the infamous rings.

Kevin: Are you required to perform these tasks within a time limit?

Marc: Yes. Evil, evil time limits. Rings upon rings upon rings for hours on end.
I have a feeling that the game was planned for something more, but the developers became rushed. What should have been training levels turned into an entire friggin’ game.

Kevin: So what do you think are the significance of the rings? Are the Metropolis police force out of donuts and Superman is doing his civic duty and getting the boys in blue fresh oversized pastries?

Marc: No, supposedly they are Lex Luthor’s doing. I can’t recall exactly, but I believe he makes you fly through them in order to save your friends and the city.

Kevin: So I guess we should talk about the story.

Marc: That’s the story. My memory is hazy, but as bad as the game is, I’m sure there couldn’t have been a very well thought-out plot.

Kevin: The story is Lex Luthor runs on Dunkin?

Marc: In this particular version of the Superman universe, perhaps. There was no product placement that I can recall.

Kevin: What kind of person would someone have to be to enjoy this game?

Marc: Superman fanboy, Nintendo64 fanboy, remedial class president, sadist, Fox News enthusiast, high school football coach, or Gollum.

Kevin: Interesting. Why would Gollum enjoy Superman 64?

Marc: Because of all the rings, obviously.