Comic books have always been a source of content for other forums of media. One source that has benefited has been the video game industry. By cultivating strong lores and unique characters, comics have “usually” translated well to the video game genre. Here are Bit Cultures’ Top 10 Comic Based Games.
10. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is one of those games that is really weird to play within the context of the past ten years. The game itself is more or less a Marvel team-up event comic as a game, centering around the heroes of the Marvel Universe banding together to take down Doctor Doom and his Masters of Evil. You make your own team of heroes from across the Marvel Universe, using their varied abilities to solve puzzles and tear your way into an onslaught of disposable enemy types. It wasn’t especially complex, but there was something fun about seeing how the different heroes interact, which hadn’t been done up to that point outside of fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom. Licensing issues and inter-company conflicts make this kind of game a near-impossibility nowadays, and most modern superhero games stick solely to their own casts and storylines. Luckily, the game and its sequel have been remastered for Steam (though not without problems), so fans and newcomers alike can once more assemble their very own dream team of Avengers.
9. X-Men (Arcade)
At one point in time, Konami ruled arcades with hit after hit. The Simpsons, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games were some of the finest beat-em-ups you could play with your friends, but in 1992 there was also the game simply known as X-Men. If you’re a fan of Marvel’s mutant teams, there was nothing cooler than seeing Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Cyclops taking on (welcome to die) Magneto and his horde of sentinels. Renowned for making use of 2 arcade cabinets side by side in order to display a widescreen experience that was breathtaking, X-Men Arcade and its character designs are based on the 1989 X-Men pilot episode X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men.
8. The Wolf Among Us
Fairy tales have a tendency to be depicted as children’s stories that usually end with a happy ending for the protagonist. The universe of Fables though is a very gray world where there is not good or bad, just survival. Author Bill Willingham created quite an interesting world where the Big Bad Wolf is depicted as the the lovable loser of a hero while a character like Prince Charming is revealed to be a womanizing, con artist. Telltale Games was faced with a large task when it came to bringing that world to the gaming scene and they did an incredible job when it came to translating Fabletown into a vividly designed and dark world that the player inhabits as Bigby Wolf. Solving the mystery that plagues Bigby in Wolf Among Us is a unique journey that every comic fan should take a chance to experience.
7. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was always very video game-themed, with characters exploding into coins upon being defeated and gaming references for days (Sex Bob-Omb, anyone?). Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game takes this up to eleven. Players can take control of four characters from the comic (Scott, Ramona, Kim, and Stephen) plus as they traverse through seven unique side-scrolling levels (one for each of Ramona Flower’s Evil Exes). Scott Pilgrim is a massive throwback to old arcade classics like The Simpsons Arcade and Turtles in Time, with special moves and beat-em-up mechanics taking center stage. Like its source material, Pilgrim wears its classic gaming inspirations on its sleeve. This ranges from its Super Mario Bros. 2-styled character select and overworld to its super-deformed (yet comic-accurate) art style. With a blood-pumping soundtrack by the chiptune band Anamanaguchi, a quirky and bright art style that looks like it leapt straight off the comic’s pages, and some addictively simple gameplay, vs. The World: The Game is a fun, playable glimpse into Scott Pilgrim’s precious little life.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
A lot of people forget that the ninja turtles made their first appearance in comics, which would then lead the anthropomorphic heroes to rule a majority of the 80’s with cartoon shows, live action movies, and of course, video games. Turtles in Time was first released in arcades before being ported to the SNES, and to this day there has never been a better TMNT game. Turtles in Time is your typical side scrolling beat-em-up, but the replayability here is fantastic. The sprites are lively, the soundtrack is a classic, and the TMNT baddies are all here. Pick up a copy if you’re able to find it, just steer away from the 2009 remake “Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled ” which is decent enough, but nowhere near the quality of the original.