X men: the official game

x men the offical game

I have a weird pet peeve when it comes to franchises. I hate when a series begins in one medium but has installments in other mediums to fill in the gaps. X men the offical game is one such game, existing to connect the gaps between X2: X men United and X Men: The Last Stand . The game is divided into three campaigns: Wolverine, Iceman, and Nightcrawler leading into where they are in the third film.

The game isn’t a marvel (yes, pun intended) by any means. As Wolverine, you go straight up hack n slash which never really feels special. Nightcrawler you teleport around trying for more stealth attacks; the teleporting can be funky and like many stealth characters, you take a lot of damage super quick. Iceman you slide around on streams of ice and blast stuff with ice projectiles; his part was my favorite of the three and ran the smoothest. There is a comic book style to the cut scenes which doesn’t really fit that great. Graphics are fine and the voices are fine. In the end, the game is meh but doesn’t really try to be anything super special even to a hard core fan. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

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Spider-man 2: the game

spidey 2 ps2

Spider- man 2 is one of my all time favorite superhero movies and strangely  has probably the best movie tie  in game I’ve ever played. The story follows the main story of the movie while adding a Black Cat thread through most of the game, ending with a rematch against Shocker after the events of Spider-man (Ps2 era) as well as facing off against Rhino and Mysterio- which has a hilarious end.

Unlike most reviews , I’m going to start with the negatives rather than bad to good. The worst aspect of the game is the voice acting which, with the exception of Bruce Campbell as the narrator again, sounds dry and tired. The game otherwise is damn near perfect. Web swinging is fantastic; Spider-man moves with a lot of cool acrobatics and feels fast and realistic. Combat is fun, almost a precursor to the Arkham game. There is a flaw with the combat in that once you master the game’s mechanics, you no longer need the instinct mode and the game becomes too easy- there is only one difficulty. There are races, civilians to save, pizzas to deliver, petty crimes to stop, and secrets to find to pass the time which is fun. In the end, the game is far behind it’s time and deserves a fun play through. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Spider-man (Ps2 era)

spider-man ps2

Since I’ve been on a kick lately talking about movie tie games such as Fantastic 4 (2005) the game and Superman returns: the game and well, they pretty much in a nutshell sucked. But, here’s a prime of a Spider-man movie tie game that’s pretty cool, based off of Spider-man from Sam Rami with the voice talents of Tobey Mcquire, Willem Dafoe, and Bruce Campbell returning for the game. As for the story, we begin hunting down Uncle Ben’s killer and becoming Spider-man facing off against villains like Shocker, Vulture, Scorpion, Kraven ( X Box only), and of course the Green Goblin. The villians are actually pretty well done, each given multiple chapters to flush them out and while some are easier than others, none of them ever feel weak and they have an epic mystique to them; I really like how Goblin goes out of his way to do more, and none of it feels like filler and I admit I wish they included some of his parts in the movie.

The game, a decade and a half after release, holds up pretty well. The combat is pretty fun with web moves and combos you unlock after finding golden spiders throughout the chapters. Web swinging is automatic which comes off kinda lazy but is passable; web zipping is pretty awesome and pretty damn acute- master it well before Shocker’s final chapter. The graphics are pretty good for early PS2 era. I really liked the music, which gives a darker tone for certain parts and is cool. After the story, there are fun challenges in training, including swing bowling which is fun as hell. In the end, this an example of a good movie tie in game and it’s worth looking into. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Hulk (2003) game

hulk 2003 game

Damn, thinking back on it I played a lot of movie tie in games. This particular game is meant to be a sequel to Hulk from 2003; the Hulk movie with Eric Bana that no one liked. So how does it hold up? Well the plot is simple, Bruce Banner is on the run once again from the military and searching for a cure. He trusts a rival, disabled scientist named  Crawford who betrays you , becomes a Hulk-like creature named Ravage who allies  Himself with the Leader, a gamma being with a enlarged brain that wants to take over the world using Hulk’s DNA, after creating his own band of freaks to attack the brute…

The game is divided into two completely different gameplay styles: smashing through guys as the Hulk and stealth as Banner. First and foremost, the Banner parts suck. It’s really easy to get caught and you die really quick. The Hulk parts are way better but simple. You wreak stuff; there are cool super moves like thunder clap as well as being able to pick up stuff as weapons. It’s standard beat em up but it’s fun enough. I seriously recommend getting the cheat codes so you can be invulnerable, have unlimited energy and unlock all levels and skip the Banner shit. The graphics are bright and mediocre and the voice acting is blah. If you want an alright beat,em up game, it’s worth a shot but make sure to get the cheat codes for a pretty sweet Hulk experience. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ultimate Spider-man game

ultimate spider-man

I don’t really talk about Ultimate Marvel that much. I enjoyed Ultimate Fantastic 4: Fantastic / Doom and the The Ultimates but that’s where most of my fuzzy feelings end on the matter. This game opened my eyes…

So it begins with a really quick run through of Ultimate Spider-man lore and immediately a boss fight, Venom chasing down Parker at a rained out football game. Through the game we switch perspectives as Spider-man and Venom as S.H.I.E.L.D, OsCorp hunt you down but it all comes down to the grudge match between the two.

Some of Ultimate’s general story choices always bothered the shit out of me like the Black Suit not being a alien, Green Goblin being lime green HellBoy that throws fireballs, and Peter Parker being Carnage. How Venom is portrayed as more of a mindless brute that just hungers is enough to piss off any true old school Spidey fan. That being said the story isn’t great but passable.

The game’s graphics go for a bright comic book aesthetic which fits. Playing as Spider-man is a serious down grade from the awesome Spider-man 2 game. There’s no real combat combos, the web swinging feels clunky by comparison, and instead of the previous game’s cool dodge mechanics, you  just jump out of the way. As for Venom, you brawl with your fists and tentacles as well as a hell of a super jump. The problem is your health bar dwindles and you have to feed- a lot. Venom’s chase sections are a pain in the ass compared to Spidey’s. The villain roster is nice with the likes of Shocker, Electro, Goblin, Beetle, Rhino, Silver Sable and Carnage. Would I recommend it- not unless you are a fan of the Ultimate comics honestly. Before this game and after, there are better Spider-man games out there. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Fantastic 4 (2005) the game

f4 game

I fell for the onslaught of movie games pre- MCU and it all boils to being just a kid. I was pretty disappointed with Fantastic 4 (2005) and I was praying for a better experience. Well, it’s a game…pretty much the story follows the movie loosely, only with added villains like Mole Man, Dragon Man, El Diablo, and Puppet Master with Dr Doom as the main bad guy.

We get to play as each member of the Four: Mr Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing. The game doesn’t do bad with most of the characters but Human Torch felt the least under powered of the group and Invisible Woman felt almost OP with her stealth take downs and the push beam from force field. Level design was simple- straight beat em up with some cut scenes and QTEs thrown in for good measure and with the exception of the Torch levels it’s not a bad game, just repetitive. Everyone gets a solo level, then boss and repeat. Graphics are meh and the voice acting ain’t great. It’s an Ok game but nothing fantastic- pun intended. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Superman returns: the game

superman returns the game

There is a lot of movie tie-in games out there. Not so much these days, but when I was a kid every movie seemed to have a damn video game counterpart. Superman Returns stuck with me after all these years because there were some ideas that could have been awesome, and maybe if done now could have been astounding.

The story of the game for Superman Returns doesn’t really follow the movie- at all. The fact Superman comes back to Earth and Lex Luthor is doing something naughty is pretty much where the similarities end. Somehow he finds himself in a Colosseum in space in a fight with Mongul , which is weirdly the tutorial. You escape and go to Earth where you fight Bizzaro, Metallo, and that little creepy  inter-dimensional guy no one but a true comic geek can even pronounce let a lone spell while Luthor does build up stuff to a create a bunch of evil tornadoes…this is the story in a nutshell.

Playing as Superman in a open world isn’t perfect but I have to give the game credit, it works remarkably damn well. You get heat vision, super breath, freeze breath, super speed, flight, and strength and for the most part, they work really well. I like how you really can’t die but you can get weakened but the closer you get to sun, the stronger you get. What does have a health bar is Metropolis itself, which is a fair idea but damn it’s a pain in the ass to maintain. The fights you get into cause a lot of collateral damage. Actual fighting I think sucks. Your vision powers aren’t really effective against enemies on there own and the combos you can do aren’t great but alright. The game never feels fluid, it feels clunky and that hurts the Bizarro fight for example. The final boss is a huge letdown. There is fun here but after a few hours it gets old and repetitive fast. May the gaming gods bring you glory.