Four Fantastic Comic Book-Based Video Games

Four Fantastic Comic Book-Based Video Games

A fore-note: this isn’t a list of the best of the best; instead it’s merely a selection of some great games based on interesting comic book characters and worlds. From the comic panel to the game’s 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 are a few games that have proven to be an exception and here is just a few of them.

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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One of the best games on the last-gen systems, 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 whilst still excelling at storytelling. The combat and stealth elements of the game were perfectly balanced, and stalking enemies from the rafters of a building instilled a genuine sense of playing as a predatory Batman.

On top of that, 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 seamlessly strung combos together. 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 an easy option, but it didn’t take away from the overall experience. Also, while other games use collectibles as a cheap means to add extra hours of replay value, Batman: AA managed to make its collectibles both fun and interesting to check out.

The game is nothing short of fantastic, with brilliant gameplay, a lengthy story to play through, and fantastic visuals. Of course, top-notch voice acting from the likes of Mark Hammil and Kevin Conroy didn’t hurt things.

 

 

X-Men

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This classic title is still fondly remembered as a coin-eating machine. Simple side-scrolling beat-em-up action set within the X-Men universe, the game 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 enjoyment is further enhanced 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 version 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

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The comic itself was packed with video game influences that eventually spawned a film and then of course a game. In short, things really did go full circle. The game came out around the same time as the film, and a few suspicions were raised that 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, it made the game appeal to old-school gamers while also using the film’s release to appeal to a new audience of gamers.

The soundtrack was also a highlight, with recreations of tracks from the film as well as original pieces.

In all, 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 game alike.

 

Spider-Man

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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 game’s story as opposed to forced cameos.

The game also 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.

Sean Halliday


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