Take 5: Best Comic-book Beat’em up videogames.

Comics translate so easily into the fighting game genre due to the vast array of cool and colorful characters that have been created over time. DC and Marvel in particular have their rosters full of classic characters and storylines that thrive in the video game market. Most of the time. There have been some duds (and ill be honest one has snuck its way on to this list for reasons elaborated in the list), but c’mon, who doesnt want to pull off a combo with Batman or land a super that takes up half the screen with Cyclops. Its just too much fun.

Marvel vs Capcom 2

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First up is not only one of the best comic book games ever, but arguably one of the best beat em’ ups in general. With so many marvel characters to choose from, including Spider-man, Iron-man and pretty much all the mainstay 90’s era X-men, it really gives a broad taste of what the Marvel Universe can offer in terms of a deep roster. Even with so many comic characters in the game, Marvel Vs Capcom 2 also adds an equal amount of Capcom characters so the overall amount to play with is just crazy. One gripe though is Capcom’s weird obsession with the extremely obscure Doctor Strange villan Shuma Gorath. I mean Doctor Strange isnt even in the game so Gorath’s inclusion is just odd. -He’s just an eye and tentacles for pity’s sake.

X-Men Mutant Academy 2

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Probably the least well known of all on the list, due to age and not that much hype at the time of its release but boy, did i have a lot of fun playing this back in 2001. It perfectly captured the tone of the 90s animated t.v show by using all the original voice actors as far as I can tell. It was also full of cool unlockable characters and costumes such as the (at the time) upcoming first movie suits, a bunch of cool comic accurate late 90s duds and the to be honest, the quite weirdly out of place pool party collection. No one wants to see Magneto in his swim trunks, or maybe they do? People be weird. Aside from all the attire extras, the gameplay was pretty sweet as it focused on stringing together crazy high combos and screen filling super moves. I really wish they’d port this over to the current gen of consoles. my inner 11 year old would be most grateful.

 

Mortal Kombat vs DC

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So here is the dud I mentioned earlier. Mortal Kombat vs DC is not a good game in the slightest, it just happens to be better than a lot of the other terrible comic-book fighters before it. Barely. Made before Midway games collapsed and was reborn as NetherRealm studios, an offshoot of WB games, which lead to the great reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise. A far cry from this strange ass concept (Or should I say Koncept?…Nah it’s never caught on) which mushes Mortal Kombat’s old fight engine with the characters of the Dc Universe such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Joker. It never really blends well enough to make any sense and the Mortal Kombat side of the game suffers due to the watered down violence. What this game did do though, was pave the way for the next games on the list….

Injustice: Gods Among us….

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…and Injustice 2

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So these two games need to be taken together. The storyline is so immersive and new in terms of the handling of Superman that it arguably is best Superman tale. Ok maybe thats a bit strong of a statement, but seeing what Superman would do if he was pushed over the brink by none other than Batman’s arch enemy the Joker, really makes for an awesome, if simple concept. After the crapfest that was Mortal Kombat vs DC, Netherealm Studios identified that the DC universe was begging to be incorporated into a beat ’em up with the same polish that was lent to its resurgent Mortal Kombat franchise. Injustice released late on the Xbox 360 and PS3’s run and was a triumph. While adding and tweaking things that differentiate it from other fighters such as a super power button instead of just another punch, and carrying over an awesome story mode style from Mortal Kombat 9 it still was easily accessible to old fighting game fans . After Injustice’s second release on the current Gen of consoles, and after putting out Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm studios were ready to release Injustice 2. If the Game was judged solely on content and value for money, Injustice 2 might be considered the best fighter bar none. Its a shame that the story that follows Superman’s tyrannical reign over the world an his defeat by Batman isn’t as cool. Brainiac just isn’t that scary a threat as someone like Darksied. Still, the novel character customisation and strong voice acting throughout the game, from the Story mode to the little bit of fan service had in the interactions between characters, is absolutely superb. Injustice 2 currently eats up all of my gaming time, it’s that good.

Disagree? Nod your head to every point made? Either way any comments are greatly appreciated.

 

 

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