A Few Great Comic Book Based Video Games
This isn’t a list of the best of the best, its merely a selection of some great games based on top notch comic characters and worlds. From the comic panel to the games console, the path to adaptation isn’t always a success (hello Superman 64) with many titles falling short of a decent standard of quality. Thankfully there’s a few games that have proven to be an exception and here is just a few of them.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
One of the best games on the current generation system Arkham Asylum was a fantastic mix of brilliant combat, fantastic core gameplay and a prime example of how powerful and compelling video games can be story telling. The combat and stealth elements of the game were perfectly balanced and stalking enemies from the rafters of a building installed a genuine feeling of playing as a predatory Batman.
The game was accessible while avoiding any temptations to be dumbed down to reach a larger audience. Mastering the combat added a whole new layer to the game as players strung combos together seamlessly. Batman: Arkham Asylum also featured a number of puzzles which utilized the array of gadgets Batman had stored within his utility belt. The detective vision was seen as a bit of easy option but it didn’t take away from the overall experience. A under rated feature of the game was the collectables.
While other games use collectables as a cheap means to add extra hours of replay value, Batman: AA managed to make its collectables both fun and interesting to check out. The game is nothing short of fantastic with brilliant gameplay, a lengthy story to play through & fantastic visuals. Of course top notch voice acting from the likes of Mark Hammil and Kevin Conroy didn’t hurt things.
The classic title is still fondly remembered as a coin eating machine. Simple side scrolling beat em up action set within the X-Men universe, it was a ton of fun to play through. The gameplay was simple yet engaging and extremely satisfying. Players had the choice of 6 X-Men, all of which came with their own special attack which when used cost a bar of health (this was always a slight issue for a number of people but also a necessary mechanic to stop spamming of special attacks…and to eat your money faster).
The game featured well known X-Men villains such as Juggernaut, Mystique, Pyro and of course Magneto. The voice acting was hilariously bad as was the dialogue with the line ‘Welcome to die’ becoming a much treasured video game mistake. The game moved onto a whole new level of fun when playing with 4 players, though it should be noted that the classic arcade charm of playing with strangers/ friends in front of cabinet is much superior to playing the XBLA/PSN online. A top beat em up with plenty of fun on offer X-Men: The Arcade Game is still worthy of anyone’s time.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World:
The comic packed with video game influences that spawned a film and then of course a game…things really did go full circle. The game came out around the same time as the film and a few suspicions were raised it would be nothing more than a cheap movie tie in. These fears were quashed when the game was released. A 16 Bit look-a-like beat em up packed with humor which made the game appeal to ‘old school’ gamers while also using the films release to appeal to a new audience of gamers.
The sound track was a highlight with recreations of tracks from the film as well as original pieces. The beat em up gameplay was solid and a level of care and attention (and indeed a respect for the source material and video games of old) had gone into the game allowing it to shed any image of a cheap film tie in. Scott Pilgrim VS. The World the game is a highly enjoyable experience that satisfies both fans of the comic/film and gamer alike.
All the famous traits of Spider-Man were present in the 2000 release, web slinging, acrobatic fighting and wall crawling all featured heavily and worked well within the game.The cast of villains was fantastic with a number of well known villains appearing throughout the game. The likes of Doctor Octopus, Venom and Mysterio were all handled well and felt like they had legitimate purpose in the games story as opposed to forced cameos. The game offered a decent variation in gameplay with a number of engrossing web slinging sections that saw Spider-Man swing from building to building (showcasing the great animation of the character models).
The combat was tight and featured fluid movement that allowed players to switch from target to target with ease. Spider-Man 2( the film tie in) on the PS2 and Gamecube may be seen as the better game but Spider-Man on the PS1, Dreamcast and N64 paved the way. A great game which is still enjoyable to play to this day.