Superheroes, this isn't a game... but it can be.

    Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I trust you enjoyed my first blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Anyway onto, shall we say, more pressing matters. For my own amusement I have recently been contemplating the games that have been released based upon superheroes/anti-heroes/villains etc. It's not so much the stories that interest me in terms of Marvel and DC, but the gameplay. Let me put this out there right now, although neither are related to the big two, I must express my appreciation for the Prototype and InFamous series, both of which I give great acclaim. 
    Prototype gives the wielder powers beyond anything that has appeared in a third person game before from my knowledge, and they can play master of destruction or keeper of peace, although the story isn't based upon good or evil acts, and is slightly lacking, but not so much as to be detrimental to the game, or my loving of it. InFamous 1 and 2 both offer exceptionally written stories, I do love the whole discovery of powers and training scenarios in which the protagonist/antagonist heighten their newfound craft, it reminds me of the montage from Batman Begins, to each his own I suppose. And the gameplay from the second and its predecessor are top notch.  
    Now we move onto Marvel's efforts, of which I must confess to only playing a few. I remember playing Spiderman and Spiderman 2: Enter Electro on the playstation one platform, and in my eyes they were very good for their time, exciting with entertaining stories and a plethora of characters also (always good in a superhero game to have some variety without it seeming like they've been shoe-horned in for the purpose of displaying other large comic names besides the title role).  
    Apart from the new Batman: Arkham franchise and Lego Batman, (great game but not really apllicable in this discussion) I cannot think of many DC games from the nineties or early 2000s except The Superman Returns movie game, which unfortunately I never played so have nothing further to add on that subject. 
    One game I must say has been seared into my memory simply because of its excellence and comical nature while carrying a true shooter style is Time Splitters: Future Perfect, "They're coming out of the walls, they're coming out the god damn walls!" But that's neither here nor there, I digress, my apologies.
    The more up-to-date games are slowly coming into view at this point, we progress one notch on the preverbial ladder to a superior platform in the playstation 2 (sorry xbox for never having experienced thee) and what I immediately recognise as brilliant many have eschewed as poorly made, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, how refreshing it is to see a game with original characters taylored for such an event, I speak of course about the Imperfects themselves (Johnny Ohm, Brigade, Solara, Hazmat, Paragon, Fault Zone and the Wink), interesting powers and abilities and well produced, if not a little over simplified back stories. We have a game on our hands people! Not to mention the groups of heroes taking the fight to Niles Van Roekel, megalomanically inclined as per usual, my favourite type of villain by the way, I'll elaborate more in my next installment. I do believe the Imperfects would fit into the Marvel Universe, preferably 616, but alas this will seemingly never be the case.
    Onwards and upwards now to Marvel Ultimate alliance 2, sorry folks I never played the first one. This was my first game for PS3 and boy is it a treat. Do not mistake me for an unquestioningly obedient fan of Marvel, I have many criticisms of their games and stories, DC also, but in this article I prefer to focus on the positive and leave the negative for yourselves to conjure. This game is particularly enjoyable for me due to the high concentration of playable characters, I will point out the minimalistic approach with only applying four moves for each, oh well we can't have it all. This game is most fun when played with a group of friends, and although the cut scenes are a little weak, the graphics as a whole are great. I only wish they'd make another.
    Iron Man 2 the video game. On this I have nothing to say, let down, are the only words that spring to mind, insufficient as they may be, I suppose it's my fault for not realising movie to game adaptations seldom exceed one's expectations, if ever. 
    Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, now we're getting somewhere! I do not wish to sound repetitive, so if you think if you think if you think I'm saying the same thing again and again and again, simply attribute this to my writing skills. This for me, is a truly amazing game, the split dimensions giving you control over four different spiderman all of whom have different abilities and statistics is a stroke of genius, the different styles for each universe really seperates the gameplay and all four feel like different games almost. One thing I must commend above the rest in this game, however, is the voice acting for our four heroes, they're all great. The game is shorter than I wanted but it's replay value is second to none so that abates the need for an extended story. And Spiderman: Edge of time is released soon, this looks just like a similarly produced Shattered dimensions-esque game. In summary, I love old webhead and his adventures appear to stem Marvel's best games. 
    Let us not forget Arkham City which is also released this year, will most definately be picking that up.
    Ok, my judgement. Having indulged in such awesomeness for so long, I have come to the personal realisation that the best suited style of game for the superhero genre is without question third person, while allowing the gamer all kinds of powers/abilities and so on. Blatently apparent is Prototype and InFamous' success. I just wish more second stream characters could appear in these games, or that Marvel and DC would go the route of Sucker Punch and Radical Entertainment in focusing on giving the gaming a massive array of powers and stuff. Yes STUFF the most ambiguously important. With these new Spidey and Batman games it would appear they've taken the hint, but this will not satiate my hunger for powerhouses to appear as playable characters. One in particular that I love, who I think would be great, and I am somehow going to force into every blog post I write, The Sentry. 
    Phew, now that's all said and done I need to recuperate, kudos to you if you managed to read this far. Until the next time.

10 Comments
10 Comments
Edited by inkBot

First off, I agree with you on Prototype and InFamous 1/2. Currently, it doesn't get much more superheroic than those two. One of the big reasons for this (aside from the fact that they are really good games) in my opinion is that they are NOT in fact based on a pre-existing character/superhero. With those characters comes expectations, often ones that simply cannot be met which results in disappointment. Exceptions excist like Arkham Asylum and Shattered Dimensions (which I have yet to play, even though I'm a Spidey-fan), but they are sadly few and far between.
 
I want to point this out though, Third Person Perspective is not a style. It's a visual delivery method. In character centric games you can divide them all into two groups. First Person and Third Person. A 2D side-scroller is technically a third person perspective game, as is any game where you view the character from the outside. Take Mario and God of War. Two wildly different games, both use third person perspective. What you probably thought of is that games like InFamous and Prototype are essentially sandbox games. Giving the player a large environment to explore and play with the games powers and abilities. That is a type of game which is, indeed, very well suited to the superhero genre. 
 
You'll probably want to split your texts up into paragraphs in the future, that'll make your posts much more inviting to read. 

Posted by LordRequiem
@inkBot: Thank you for pointing that out. I didn't mean sandbox, although that seems the best type. I meant the way in which the character is viewed, style was incorrect, so what you said - visual delivery method of the third person variety succeeds with superheros! Thankyou also for the constructive criticism, although, indentations represent new paragraphs, but this isn't a book, so I understand the aesthetic appeal requirement.
Posted by MonsterObsessor
@LordRequiem: What do you think about Prototype 2? Relate this topic to James Heller, why don't you.
Posted by LordRequiem

I think thus far it looks a treat, just as the first one. I have a few apprehensions about it, nothing major, but I don't want his powers to be exaclty the same, sure keep the devastators, and the armour and the blade, but I would like to see some new stuff. As much as I loved InFamous 2, one thing was that the powers were all too familiar (except the fire and ice). I also don't agree with the story, I loved Alex Mercer,("murderer, terrorist.... I'm all these things") and the fact he wasn't a straight cut hero, he had a malevolent side, I wish they'd have kept the same main character rather than make him the antagonist so he'll be unplayable and rarely seen (this is something I can only assume, I could be wrong). Plus Mercer tried to contain the virus, not spread it, why would he suddenly go polar opposite (no doubt all will be revealed)? I find the dead family and wanting revenge story a little cliche I must admit. These really are minor things though, I'm still very excited and hope it will be just as good as the first!

Posted by Loki9876

I loved infamous 1 and 2 but didn't like prototype (yes i played it) for this time the gamedevelopers should probably make games of not too strong characters (like batman, moon knight, daredevil) because powers like flying is hard too make it work in a game. I mean imagine iron man flying that's cool right but then you fly against a building and where you should be crashing trough the building you just bounce of the wall lame right? that's just one example.

Posted by LordRequiem
@Loki9876: That's a very good point.
Posted by MonsterObsessor
@LordRequiem: Well, I'm hoping Prototype 2 would be more exciting with Heller trying to get revenge on Mercer. I wish the latter could be playable.
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

One game that's really good but got overlooked because its an adaptation of a film (and that film sucked) is X-Men Origins: Wolverine 

Posted by LordRequiem
@spiderbat87: I had heard promising things about that game, but as you say, I discarded it due to the film's, less than convincing, performance and portrayal.
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@LordRequiem said:
@spiderbat87: I had heard promising things about that game, but as you say, I discarded it due to the film's, less than convincing, performance and portrayal.