Critical darlings like Marvel's Spider-Man and Batman: Arkham Asylum might be the norm for video games based on superheroes at the moment, but that definitely wasn't always the case. In fact, for a very long time, the industry was inundated with terrible titles based on some of the greatest heroes of all-time, including the infamous Superman 64. Despite the game's poor quality, gamer Zachary Pligge has completed the game once a month since 2004. In December, Pligge completed the game for the 300th time. Pligge is well aware of the game's quality, but he keeps on playing for one, simple reason: he lost a bet.
In an interview with Game Informer magazine (issue 323), Pligge revealed the details of the bet. As a high school sophomore, Pligge and a friend made a bet about an upcoming cross country race between their two schools. Pligge had defeated his opponent several times throughout the year, and the two decided that the loser of the bet would have to complete a game (chosen by the winner) every month until the loser gave up video games as a hobby. Pligge, a lifelong Superman fan, was stuck with Superman 64, a game he hated.
Pligge's friend passed away in 2009, but Pligge continues to honor the bet, after all these years. According to the gamer, he has never missed completing the game in a month, and can now clear it in just over two hours. While Pligge's opinion of the game hasn't improved, what it means to him has clearly changed.
Today marks my 300th completion of Superman 64 since I started playing it at least once a month in 2005 due to losing a terrible bet. I don't know how I feel about this. But I can navigate this game in my sleep.— Zachary Pligge (@PliggeTheFallen) December 28, 2019
What's truly amazing about Pligge's monthly accomplishment is that it serves as a reminder of how video games can help develop bonds between the people that play them. More than fifteen years after the bet, Pligge continues to honor his friend's memory by playing Superman 64 to completion. Some might consider it an exercise in masochism, but there really is a sweetness to the ritual. No matter how bad a game might be, there's a good chance it means something special to someone. Even if it is Superman 64.
Are there any bad games that hold a special place in your heart? What bad game do you keep coming back to? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!