Hello everyone. My awesome co-host RazzaTazz got together with some CV users to talk video games. The conversation has been posted here for you guys to see, read and enjoy. After the "enjoy" step of this process, be sure to comment below where you can submit your own opinions after reading ours. Even if you disagree with us, we like comments. Also, go back and read our past conversations (Here) and share your thoughts...
The mediums of comics and video games compliment each other. The topics covered in many video games include many of those covered in comics - fantastical worlds, people with powers beyond the ordinary and battling some great evil. The overlap of comics into movies has been quite successful as of late, but how about comics and video games? Here to help us find out are Trodorne, Edward Windsor and Jorgevy. Hello all!
EW: Hi I am Edward Windsor , yeah its me again.
Tro: Hey all, its Trodorne. Coming back to blow your mind with truth and misinformation.... *Shark stare*
Jor: Hi everyone! It's me, Jorgevy, here with you to talk about games! YAY
What video games have you been playing recently?
EW: Recently I have been playing Far Cry 3, Okami HD and Lego Lord of the Rings. Its a mix I admit but in a time where there are more first person shooters than anything else you have to mix and match. Okami is a classic and still awesome and beautiful in equal measure to this day (You guys have played this right? what do you mean no). Lord of the Rings is really quirky and fun with the Lego twist. Far Cry is just so I can run around hunting things with a bow especially bad people.
Tro: What free time I have outside of writing and work, I have been playing Toe Jam and Earl 2, Rune Factory Frontier, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex, and Minecraft.
Jor: Well, this week I've been playing Mass Effect 3. and I can tell you this started with me getting Mass Effect 1 to try it out, you know, to see what was all the fuss about and DAMN! I totally got hooked, finished ME1, ME2 plus some DLCS and now I got Mass Effect 3 and I just started it, but I'm enjoying it as much as the others (except maybe the first one, the whole mechanics of the game were so awesome, I'm kinda sad they tweeked with them so much for the sequels). Other games I've played recently but not so recently (college consumes a lot of time) are: Minecraft, COD:MW3, Dragonball Budokai 3 (best DBZ game ever), Fifa 13, NFS MW(the new one sucks compared to the older one), Tekken, Killzone, Mount & Blade (also the Star Wars mod for MB), Yu-gi-oh Duelist of Roses, Pokémon Black and probably a few others. these are just the ones of the last month or so.
What is your all time favorite video game?
EW: The game I have probably played the most was Perfect Dark on (N64) so that's definitetly up there but Resident Evil 2 (PS2) is one of my favs along with Dark Souls from the current generation (PS3). Picking between your favorites is always hard. It is a hard choice to go for the one you played the most, the one you liked the design and style of most or just the one you have the best memories of. If I could only take one desert island discs style, I guess it would have to be Perfect Dark though I guess since it has more options to play on it.
Tro: Oooooo..... that is a hard one to say. if we are basing it on genre's of games... then I could pick out one from each, but Minecraft and Final Fantasy 5 are my top ones. Minecraft is just a fun game especially when you can be creative and just build up or destroy the world around you. and Final Fantasy 5 was the more real immersive rpg that I really loved.
Jor: My all time favorite is a tough one. If you asked for a franchise it would be pretty easy, Pokémon obviously. Freaking love the whole world and the game are fantastic, they get better and better. Maybe my all time favorite would be Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, because my first Poké games were Gold/Silver/Crystal, so the nostalgic feel plus the new functions of the DSi and the new stuff in the world of Pokémon thanks to the two generations that followed after Gold/Silver, made the game even more awesome than the originals were. I'm waiting patiently but anxiously as well for the new games Pokémon X and Y for the 3DS!!! OMG Pokémon in 3D in a handheld MUAHAHAHA new pokémon and a new region AHAHAH Im super syked
What is your all time favorite video game based on comics?
EW: I am gonna come from left field on this. I imagine to see a lot of Batman Arkham 1+2 mentions here but that's not my choice. I would like to make a case for Marvel ultimate alliance 1 ( NOT 2). The reason I think one is the better game is because while its graphically not as good and the roster isn't as well updated, the story is better. The game has a really funny post credits addition to where depending on your success with side missions little story flashes reveal the consequences to the world. For example I remember completing the story as thus saving the world but by not doing a side mission Galactus devoured the world anyways which made me really laugh. Plus the ability to mix and match your characters is always fun, I used to love running Ghost Rider, Blade, Spidey ( Ben Riley Scarlet Spider costume) and War Machine ( Ironman suit option). Basically creating my own bad ass team but with a better story . Shame that the civil war story wasn't as cool in my eyes since the game had some of my favorite characters with Gambit, Deadpool and Green Goblin ( the inclusion of villains was a nice twist especially when the expansion brought Magneto Juggernaut and Venom.)
Tro: Spider-Man 2 or 3. That was the only game the was really true in terms of gameplay style. Superman was good but its hard to pull off when the man can go so fast in get to the other side of the city in a blink of an eye.
Jor: Extremely hard one. On one hand you have the recent Batman Arkham City which is FANTASTIC. but on the other hand you have the classic Marvel Ultimate Alliance! THAT GAME GOT ME HOOKED FOR HOURS AND HOURS. so good... both have great gameplay and are action packed. Batman has lots of cameos and a rich universe while Marvel Ultimate Alliance is filled with heroes to use and has a great plot. BAC also has a great plot although it is in a different tone. I really can't decide which is one the better one, but I know most people will say Batman so i'll go with MUA!!!
Also, I see that my fellow RT colleague EdwardWindsor also chose MUA and he does bring up good arguments, so listen to us people! go play MUA if you haven't! (only the first one though)
Is there a video game based on comics that has changed your perception of a character or group of characters?
Tro: In the long term yes. I would have to say games like Spider-Man and X-Men Legends really opened my eyes to other cool characters who I previously ignored. Like Cyclops and Mysterio. Who just have some amazing abilities. And with games like DC universe online where you make your own super hero / villain and you are mentored by your favorite characters like Flash or Lex Luthor (Mine).
Jor: Not really, no. First, there aren't that many comic book games or at least known ones. From the ones I've played, like Spider-man and Superman for PS2, or Batman Arkham series or MUA, it did help enrich the world of the character/s but I already knew most of them, with the exception of MUA and Arkham series, in which there really was a lot of more underground comic stuff being brought up. So unless you count manga, it hasn't happened yet. It did happen with One Piece, if manga/anime counts, which I barely knew anything about and after playing some One Piece games I felt a huge urge to know more about the manga/anime
Just a note, it doesn't have to be a positive change in perception, it could be a negative one.
Jor: I know Razz, but I’m a type of person that doesn't really get negatively influenced on certain things, specially characters, by just one instance.
But my hatred for Namor did increase after the Atlantis mission in MUA
EW: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 sort of changed my view on Ghost Rider. His attacks were unlike anything else on the game and seeing a guy rocking a flaming chain and having the penance stare as a special was all kinds of cool. Having not seen much of him previously except a couple appearances in the 90's Spider-Man cartoon it certainly widened my view of the character. Johnny Blaze is a badass and his look as the rider is really different. Without playing that game I probably wouldn't have chased up some back issues and novels to explored the character more. Though Nic Cage has drastically lowered the tone of the character for me with the film franchise. The rider parts are good the rest not so much.
Does playing a game based on a character allow you a better connection to that character in the comics? Or to put that in another way do you get a vicarious escapism of thinking that you really are Batman or Spider-Man by directly controlling their actions?
EW: Really depends on the accuracy of the portrayal and if the view point is first person or third person. If your playing a game through the eyes of a hero the immersion is much better and a connection is formed even if its only partial. In terms of escapism I don't really feel most comic games have achieved that. Most being you controlling the hero but seeing the action from the third person view so you're not the hero but a sort-of ghostly puppeteer. There is a connection because you can make them dance to your tune by pressing buttons, but its not as deep as being the hero looking on the world from the first person view.
Jor: It does help me get more attached and connected to a character but I never go full escapism and actually think of them as me or me as them. I always see them as the characters I read about, which are my friends, I guess. and when I'm playing with them I just kinda imagine what they must be thinking, feeling, what they want to do and how they would act. Although I do get it if someone else does it; we would all love to be heroes, but I'd rather be my own than to get inside someone else's shoes.
Tro: I don't know if better connects me to that character maybe if the gameplay matches the power set that they have then maybe.
There are many different formats of games (first person shooter, side scrolling, RPG, fighter - I don't know very much about games, but you get the point.) Is there any format that you think is best suited to video games based on comic characters? And a worst format?
EW: I personally think the best comic games are either open world platform/action like the recent Batman and Spider man games since you can wander their world and do as they would do or just see the sights and mess around. In terms of worst I have to go with fighting games. Injustice for example looks good but its not really true to characters, is it?. Would Catwoman even think about entering a fight with Wonder Woman Doomsday or Superman? Would Batman and Robin really fight to the death?. These games are basically fan service but have no real connection to continuity or really fit the characters in some cases in my personal view. Remember Dc vs Mortal Kombat ? A gory fight game where you could pull a mans brain out his skull yet because you add Superman that no longer makes sense.
Jor: I certainly think it depends on the character/comic. Most beat'em ups and fighter games dont really fit IMO with most super heroes, mainly because you need to tweek the super heroes a lot to make it balanced. First person should only be for certain very specific heroes because it takes away to much focus from your character and it is usually connected to shooters, and not that many heroes are primarily shooters. I think two of the best genres are easily RPGs and adventure platforms. RPGs mainly because you are role playing as the hero; you can increase his levels, go further beyond, equip him how you want, just like how he would in certain situations. also the strategy behind the gameplay of a RPG is very close to what actually happens in comics, at least when it comes to tactics etc... adventure platforms are perfect because it allows you much movement and freedom, specially if it's mixed with a type of sandbox gameplay. Go anywhere, do whatever, rescue people here and there, follow the map, explore, fly, jump, DO IT ALL!
The freedom both of these genres give, plus the spectacular action they can conjure in these types of games, makes them really good for such a specific media like comics. but I think the perfect combination is obviously, both of them. You get the psychological and physical freedom that only the actual hero would and it connects you to the character and his cause much more than some random beat'em up or a first person shooter game or a RTS(real time strategy) or a TBS(turn based strategy).
Tro: It really depends on the character. Superman in a fighting game is just a bad idea. For things like Batman and Spider-Man you practically need a city to get the scope spanning platform to really get into the characters.
With characters like Superman its hard to do any format because his powers are WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY beyond that of any character in comics. He is so powerful you would have to have something that limits him. if they were to do a proper game of Superman they would have to have quite a few city maps in which people could fly too and fight crime in several different cities across the world.
There are lots of games which have been targeted at comic fans that are not very good. As was just mentioned games based on Superman are always not true to the comic because it is hard to replicate his powers, but do you ever get the feel that video game developers use this restriction as an excuse to make an inferior game with a comic name on it that will sell?
EW: For a really long time the term "comic game" was a black mark on the gaming industry. Games based on the material where both lackluster and poorly made. Hell you could argue that the first "good" comic games didn't truly start being made to the late 90's early 2000'2. PS2 had Spider man games, first marvel ultimate alliance and x men academy. All of which had problems but compared to Superman N64 they are truly brilliant games.
The main problem with us comic readers as an audience is that we want it all. With such in depth back stories and libraries of side plots and characters to use it makes a game based in pretty much any comic verse a mammoth task. Take the recent Batman games for example they excel because of the vast open true to the source world with nods to the fans hidden as Easter eggs. These games where not possible back when Comic games started being made and hence for a long time we got games that were well meaning but poorly executed because the tech needed to make the games wasn't there. The simple old comic games like X-Men arcade for example was pretty much streets of rage which had different texture pack . It was a great because they kept it simple. The biggest crime most comic games have had is simply trying to do either to much or not enough.
Jor: As our RT colleague said, for a long time it was just not possible to meet the criteria comic fans demanded, because the technology could not match the amazing richness of the source.
I think that until recently developers did use that as kind of an excuse, not explicitly, but I guess that it was there and they were like "uh, can't really do much more, sorry, you guys understand" but we the recent games, I think that's changing. Mainly because of the push of the companies behind, who obviously want to get the costumers and they know how to do it easily in this case; get them everything, like it is. That's one of the reasons I'm eager for a specific video game coming out who stars a certain character, and why I'm excited to see where the Arkham series will go next. Developers can no longer use the technology as an excuse and that will make sure that unless they want to get their butts kicked out of the door with a loud "YOU'RE FIRED" behind it, they will try to stay true to the source and try to make it appealing to fans and non fans alike, so it will sell despite the name, and maybe even get some non fans into a previously unknown character (win win situation)
So where do you see the future of comic book video games going or what would you like to see?
EW: Personally I think the future will continue to be a mixed bag We will no doubt get a bunch of movie merc games which will probably be not so great. But we also see new titles that are good. Deadpool looks kinda promising as does Marvel heroes. But I would like to see more niche titles see some newer or even their first video game transfer. A game based around Sandman and the endless could be excellent if they can merge the dream and in game worlds well, another/better spawn title maybe or perhaps someone like Jonah Hex or even a game based on a villain for once.
I think in general the comic games market is definitively getting better for us fans, we just need more quality and different options. Everybody loves Batman but we have two great Batman games, have we ever had a truly great X-Men game or noteworthy games for the more niche markets?. That's all I ask really different heroes and villains and well made.
Jor: I’m quite optimistic. Not only are comics getting more well known and present outside their area, (mainly through movie but not only) the gaming industry is also getting stronger and more advanced. there's a vanguard that is trying to make video games what in my opinion (and several other opinions) are; art - and the use of already established but not exactly accepted art like comics into video games could prove to be a great alliance for both in terms of their future. I think they are realizing this and hopefully they will do something about it.
The new Deadpool game seems awesome; the rumors about the next Arkham seem very interesting and we see the companies trying to expand on video games. on the other hand several video games are starting to have their universes expanded through comics. Only the gods know of their future, but for me, VGs and comics are gonna rock the world
That's it everyone, as usual I forgot to ask people to say goodbye, but they would have liked to if given the opportunity. A big thank you to all of my colleagues for joining me in this discussion (and to various others like the Poet). Please feel free to comment below. Share your favorites or your least favorites.
Special thanks to The Poet for helping edit all this, and, of course, thanks to Razz who did an amazing job hosting this RT. Share your thoughts down below.
-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey