DAR Games: 7 Superhero Games

By @TrueGodImmortal

With comic book superhero movies being so popular and a surefire success at the theaters, one would assume that the video gaming audience would also be fond of games that were inspired by those same characters, and for the most part, that was correct. Over the years, fans have been given the best (and the worst) in terms of games based on superheroes and comic books. While I haven't played every single game that was released that would fit into this genre, I did want to take the time to reflect on 7 games that I have played and personally enjoyed or played enough to actually form a solid and knowledgeable opinion. Which 7 games make my list and which are the best? Read on to find out. Let's get into it.

*Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

-My personal favorite of all the games on this list and a close second in terms of what I think is the best superhero game of all time. Honestly, this could possibly take the top spot for the best, but objectively speaking, I think there were features on the 2nd game in this series that puts it slightly above this one. Still, that takes nothing away from this game, as we are treated to a reworking of the Joker vs Batman rivalry, with the Joker looking like the Joker we knew and loved (it's funny that this game was released shortly after the Heath Ledger performance of the Joker, which was different from this version of Joker) from before. The story starts with Joker concocting a plot to seize the asylum and trap Batman inside with many of his own enemies. Essentially, Batman is forced to fight his way out of the asylum and that's pretty much the basis of the game. It works very well however, as Eidos and Rocksteady managed to get Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, and others to reprise their vocal roles for DC, and that adds yet another element to it. The gameplay itself is fun, from the third person perspective, and you can use various tactics to help Batman on his journey to free himself and conquer the Joker once again (who allows himself to be captured to bring his plot to life). The villains you face make this game such fun to play, as you have to go through Poison Ivy, Bane, Killer Croc, and more to finish the game. The Titan formula adds an extra spark to this game and the way this game ends leads us into what would be a sequel, as Two-Face is wrecking havoc in the world and some of the Titan formula that was floating in the ocean is captured. The way this game was executed is absolutely amazing and it will likely be my favorite superhero game.... for years and years to come. It's THAT good.

*X-Men (1992)

-While this didn't start out solely o  this still deserves a mention because this was the first actual superhero game that I played. Credit has to be given to Konami, who went out of their way to craft something special with this gem. There was nothing more fun than going to the local spot and getting on this game, and I was usually selecting Wolverine as my character of choice. You would be given six options to choose from, and those were as follows: Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Dazzler, and Colossus. Together, you fight to stop Magneto and along the way, you might encounter some troubles. You were given a joystick to direct yourself, an attack button, a jump button, as well as a button that would bring out your mutant powers. You didn't want to use the mutant powers too much, because it exerted a lot of energy, so mostly attack and jump were used. The villains you encounter on your quest to fight Magneto in the final battle included Reavers, mutant crocodiles, Sentinels, Juggernaut, Mystique, and many more. This was a saga of epic proportions, and honestly, this is still one of my personal favorite superhero games to play. They have an older arcade about 45 minutes away from me that has this game still, and I would actually make a trip back out there for nostalgia purposes. This game is THAT much fun. It was available on the PSN at one point and on Xbox Live, but I'm not sure if they are still available. Still, this game is a classic and should be championed as such.

*Deadpool (2013)

-I remember hearing that a movie was coming about Deadpool, and though I was never the biggest fan of the sarcastic superhero, I still was interested from the jump. Some years prior however, there would be a video game that meshed comedy together with the action you expected and it was done mostly well. There were a few issues with the game, as there always are with these type of games, but for the most part, this was an enjoyable game to play. This was more of a third person hack and slash style game, allowing you to unload weaponry and violence upon enemies with jokes infused throughout. I'll be honest though, the writing and the comedy do play a big role in this game being seen favorable, because the gameplay itself can get a little repetitive at times. Overall, this was a decent game, and I didn't mind playing it.

*Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes (2002)

-For many, this game holds a special place in their heart and rightfully so, as it was an enjoyable gaming experience. It was the fourth installment in the series, and it expanded on a few things from previous editions of the game. Whether you played the single player or multiplayer modes, you were due to utilize one of your favorite characters or two of them against another two. The element of character based endings however did make the game a little less fun, as the ending never changes in the Arcade Mode (previous games had this), but overall, there's not much you can say bad about a game that gives you 56 playable characters and allows you to utilize The Avengers, X-Men, Street Fighter, Mega Man, and other classic characters and brands. In terms of character strength, of course, Marvel had the edge here, but for the most part, this game has enough firepower in the gameplay and enough characters that you didn't get bored or exhausted playing this. There are other Marvel vs Capcom games that are notable, but this is one that really stuck out for me in the series.

*Spiderman (2002)

-I remember this game like yesterday. When it came out, I was skeptical, for a few reasons. One, it was based exactly on the movie, and while there were a few elements that differed from the actual film, for the most part, you were literally just playing the movie out in gaming form. Some would point to the 2nd Spiderman game as a better choice, and while I would agree, the fact remains that this was the original and it started with the beginning of the Spiderman craze in the theater. You watch the story of Spiderman/Peter Parker play out, starting with a tutorial that is narrated by Bruce Campbell. After wrestling a match as Spiderman early on, you are cheated by the promoter and soon, you experience the final moments of your Uncle Ben's life, and then... the real fun begins. You get to fight both Shocker and Vulture, but the best part of this game comes with facing the Green Goblin. After the Green Goblin kidnaps Mary Jane, Spiderman has one final battle, but I'll be honest, the most fun came for me during the other battles that led up to that point. If you've seen the movie, you already know what to expect, but watching it all play out and that final scene was good enough for me. Sure, the second Spiderman game was slightly better, but this was still fun, and honestly, it restored some faith in video games based around movies..... though that didn't last long at all.

*Injustice 2 (2017)

-The most recent of all these games on the list, Injustice 2 is a fun play. It's not exactly what I expected it to be personally, but it is enjoyable and honestly, it boasts the right characters and the gameplay is engaging enough. I won't speak too much about this game, as I don't really think enough time has passed to reflect on it in the manner that I have with some of the older ones. Still, the fact remains, if you're looking for a game that will let you match Batman against Superman, Gorilla Grood against The Joker, Aquaman against Bane, this is for you. It is much better than the first Injustice, and the gameplay is much more fluid, and of course, the Multiverse mode is a highlight. The DLC also gave us some interesting characters to add to the already entertaining roster, as playing in the game as Sub-Zero, Raiden, Hellboy, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really added an extra element of fun. All in all, Injustice 2 is a solid game that hasn't really lost its luster yet.

*Batman: Arkham City (2011)

-I think personally, this is the best of all the superhero games in general. However, I would personally say I enjoyed Arkham Asylum more due to the villain and the story behind it. However, this game managed to expand on what we loved about the first game and Rocksteady continued to excel in this genre. Making their return in this game are central characters like Harley Quinn, Joker, Bane, and more, while the inclusion of important figures like Hugo Strange, Two-Face, Robin, Catwoman, and Penguin among others make the game more intriguing than Arkham Asylum, if only a little bit. The premise is similar to that game, as Batman is captured and placed inside another form of prison that is called Arkham City. Within the confines of this prison, he faces off with Two-Face, saves Catwoman, and learns that Joker is slowly dying apparently. The way this story plays out is almost Oscar worthy in the writing and twists and turns that it takes, as we learn of the roles that Hugo Strange, Clayface, Taila, Mr. Freeze, and others really play. The final sequence is honestly the most interesting, as the twists come full circle and it all comes down to whether or not the Joker will be saved by the antidote. The moral decision that Batman would have made says a lot, and the decision that Joker makes that ultimately causes his downfall is a perfect ending to the game. In many ways, this game gave us the greatest possible ending to the Batman vs Joker saga in video game form. For me, Arkham City is my second personal favorite, but I can't deny that it is the best, if only barely. This Arkham series in general is classic and a great example of how to really do a superhero game.



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