Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The 10 Best Marvel Games Ever

They’ve been making games based on Marvel characters for decades now, but like most comic book-based games…there is a lot of crap out there. A lot of it is just cheap tie-ins to make a quick buck from a movie, leaving the gems few and far between. But like with Batman and the DC characters, there are occasionally Marvel games that rise above the rest to become true classics. Not just for being based on Marvel characters, but for being pretty great games as well. Here are the ten best:

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
The original Marvel vs. Capcom really established the “Vs” series for Capcom. Its sequel really raised the bar and became a true classic and one of the big selling points for owning a Sega Dreamcast. After the Marvel license changed hands so many times, people worried we’d never get a third game but that all changed just a couple of years ago and the wait was definitely worth it. The Ultimate version of the game expanded the roster even further by adding characters such as Hawkeye and Ghost Rider to the Marvel side and despite a bit of button mashing cheese, it really is the Ultimate Marvel game you can play right now.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance built on the X-Men Legacy games of being a four-player Diablo-style action-RPG starring Marvel characters. It had a huge cast and actually handled playing Daredevil in a really cool way. While Civil War is now poorly looked back upon due to how Marvel retconned many of the universe-changing events and how it demonized Iron Man, MUA2 built its story around that major Marvel event and outdid the previous games in the series in almost every way.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
No game before or after managed to capture the pure visceral joy of being the Hulk and smashing the hell out of everything in your path more than this game. Sega made and Incredible Hulk movie tie-in game a few years later, and all it did was make people wish for either a HD remake of this game or a true sequel. The Banner bits were handled very well, and whenever you became the Hulk it was hard to not have a huge smile on your face as you destroyed everything on the screen.

Spider-Man 2 (Movie Tie-In)
Of all the Spider-Man games we’ve been bombarded with over the years, and especially after the first Raimi movie; none are looked back on as fondly as the one based on Spider-Man 2. No game before or after managed to capture the web swinging mechanics quite as well as this one. It controlled and felt so right you could spend hours just swinging around the open game world and forget about advancing through the missions.
X-Men (Arcade)
Finally released on current-gen consoles and mobile devices, Konami’s six-player beat-em-up featuring the X-Men is simply the best game ever made to solely focus on the Mutants. It was released in 1992 and based on the great Pryde of the X-Men animated pilot episode that had animation done by the same Japanese studio that produced GI Joe and Transformers, which made that episode look much better than the Fox series that followed. The game follows the plot of the episode and culminates with Magneto kidnapping Kitty and the X-Men having to defeat him in a crazy boss fight.
The Punisher
If The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction perfectly captured what it was like to be the Hulk, this does the same for entering the psychotic mind of Frank Castle. What made this game great where the special interrogations and kills that The Punisher had to dish out in order to proceed through the game. They were gory and brutal and made this Punisher fan giggle at how twisted they were.
Spider-Man (Sega CD)
In the 90′s, Sega produced a Spider-Man game for the Genesis that until then was the best version of the Webslinger you could play in a video game. When the Sega CD was released, they re-made the game with new collectibles in the form of comic cover reproductions and additional levels and bosses. It was a classic 2D sidescroller, but Spidey’s ability to climb on walls and ceilings made it more interesting to play than most other platformers.

Captain America and The Avengers
Before Konami released their X-Men arcade game in 1992, Data East produced a four-player Avengers beat-em-up with Captain America, Iron Man, The Vision, and Hawkeye as playable characters. Compared to the larger sprites in the X-Men game, this one may feel even more dated, but for Marvel fans hearing Cap yell “Avengers Assemble” out of arcade speakers was enough to get them to pop the quarters into this machine.
X-Men: Children of the Atom
Before Marvel and Capcom started to pit their rosters against each other, Capcom produced a couple of Marvel-based fighting games drawing from the CPS2 arcade platform and cashing in on the popularity of the Street Fighter Alpha games at the time. X-Men was the first, and it was followed by a Marvel Super Heroes fighter. I can remember very well switch-modding my Saturn just to import the Japanese release of the game with the RAM cart in order to have an arcade perfect port at home.
X-Men Mutant Apocalypse/Marvel Super Heroes War of the Gems
Prior to Capcom’s Marvel fighting games, they made a couple of Marvel side-scrollers for the SNES. Both games shared sprites between the two, and if you play the Wolverine levels and are familiar with how Wolverine animated in the 2D fighting games, you’ll definitely see some similarities. The origin of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom lies in these two 16-bit games.

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