In honour of Comic-Con 2012, on right now in San Diego, Mat Langford counts down his five favourite comic book video games. Find out what they are after the jump!
5. Comix Zone:
This game was one of my favourite games when I was growing up. It was basically a live comic book. All the cut scenes took place in comic format, and you fought your way through scenes one after the next. This game wasn’t about any specific comic, but rather all comics, it played on all of the typical ideas and formats that the genre is known for. Not only was it an interesting concept, but the controls were a pleasure, making it a great platformer and one of the better all-around games out at the time. One of the coolest parts about this game was that the main character, Sketch – yup, Sketch – is fully aware that he is in a comic book. He can tear pages out and use them as weapons and hunt for secrets behind those pages. If you haven’t played it before, do yourself a favor…find an emulator and try it!
4. All the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games:
Any gamer worth anything knows these games. The series out as a ridiculously difficult platformer, and worked its way into arcade style beat-em-ups. The best of all of these had to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade. This was an arcade game at it’s best, with endless action in a side-scrolling format. You fought through endless waves of foot soldiers, and faced off against legendary foes like Krang, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady and even the always loudly buzzing Baxter Stockman. It was tough as hell, you would die multiple times at EVERY boss and it became clear immediately that this game was designed to eat your quarters in the arcade. When it was released on consoles, it became a little easier with continues not costing anything, making the game that much more fun and addictive. Definitely play this one if you have a chance!
3. Sam and Max Series:
This cartoon-style action adventure would seem to be aimed at kids at first glance. Trust me it’s not. This game is full of adult humor, complete with pop culture references, one-liners and tons of jokes. It’s a point and click adventure that takes place in the 1950’s, complimented perfectly by it’s jazzy soundtrack. You control the two main characters, a detective dog named Sam, and a naked bunny detective named Max. The two are tasked with solving a crime that gets way out of hand, and the adventure they take while doing so is epic. It’s an inventory based game, where you go around collecting items for use in different areas, but it doesn’t get boring because of the witty banter and awesome characters you constantly run into. This game basically redefined the point-and-click genre and if you can get a hold of a copy, you should definitely give it a whirl.
2. Spider Man 2:
Hands down the best Spider game ever made, and one of the most impressive open-world games as well. While the story and characters were good, what set this game apart from the rest of the pack was it’s open-world gameplay and web swinging. Swinging around the city is an absolute pleasure, and I’d often find myself just swinging for 10-20 minutes at a time, completely oblivious to what was going on in the story. It was beautifully rendered and the city looked as great from the sky as it did from the ground. You can just climb buildings to get a great view, or explore to find hidden objects. I’d often climb as high as I could just to jump off and start swinging again… really it’s that addictive. It was really the first game that made the player feel as though they WERE Spider-Man. Complement that with great controls and a good combat system and you’ve got one of the best comic-based games of all-time.
1. Batman: Arkham City:
What can I say about this game that hasn’t already been said. Not only is it one of the greatest comic-based games of all time, it’s one of the greatest games of all time. Everything about this game is near perfect. The combat is fluid and easy to control – the counter attacks are a fantastic way of dispatching enemies – and the timing based fight sequences are second to none. You’re facing off against a veritable who’s who of the Batman universe, Joker, Freeze, Harley Quinn, Zsaz, Penguin…there are SO many awesome characters. The game is set in a great looking city, and getting around is awesome with your grappling hook and cape glide. There are tons of secrets hidden everywhere as well as a mountain of collectibles to find. Batman’s gadgets steal the show as you have everything from remote-control batarangs to long-range zip-lines. The characters and models all look great with hyper-sexualized versions of Harley and others. And really, what else do you need when you’ve got the legendary Mark Hamill as the Joker?
If you haven’t tried these, get out and do it, you won’t be disappointed! And as always, let us know what you think!