Saturday, September 30, 2023

5 Awesome Super Hero Games Worth Playing.

April 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent., Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( Superhero games tend to be fun—depending on who developed them. Sometimes, it takes a game or several into a series before you find that dope superhero title under a license. Other times, they hit it out of the park on the first try. Since comics and superheroes can run the gamut of all genres, this might end up being a two-part series. For now, let’s just look at five superhero games worth playing across all the consoles.

Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (SNES/Genesis – Software Creation, 1994)

Yeah, we’re starting off old-school with this one. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage dropped in 1994 for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I had the SNES version with the red cartridge—which was what drew me to the game in the first place.

In addition, I love Spider-Man, love side-scrolling beat ‘em ups, Venom is dope, and Carnage seemed like an interesting villain at the time. Nine-year-old me wasn’t too hard to impress when it came to video games. If it was on Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis, could be picked up at the 3rd Ave Video Store, and had stuff I liked in it, that’s all it took.

This game merged those four main things together into a game with decent-at-best controls and graphics. It was a cool game as a game in general but it was pretty dope for a 2D beat ‘em up. It was 1994 so you weren’t going to get any of extra frills and stuff in it but it was a bit behind for beat ‘em ups at the time.

And I’ll say, that was hard to do given that beat ‘em ups weren’t exactly reinventing the wheel in the 1990s. Some were had better graphics and were smooth control-wise but the storyline was always the same and you couldn’t advance until all enemies on the screen were beaten. It’s a textbook genre.

Infamous (PS3 – Sucker Punch Productions, 2009)

In Infamous, you play as a bike courier, Cole MacGrath, who ends up with superpowers—of the lightning persuasion—in Empire City (New York City). Now, Cole is pretty stock of a Sony protagonist. He’s not particularly interesting as a character. As a matter of fact, Cole and his name are interchangeable with most of Sony’s male protagonists but he gets involved in some wild adventures and has cool powers.

Main character aside, the first Infamous played wonderfully. The powers did a variety of things, there’s a big sprawling city to explore, the karma system was implemented very well, and enemies could be challenging.

Now, the game did get repetitive after a while but that’s a bane of superhero open world games. Hell, Spider-Man got repetitive after the base raids and main story. I mean, after those two were complete I wasn’t exactly clamoring to chase pigeons, finish the rest of the street crime missions, and do Taskmaster’s non-combat and stealth missions.

…and Taskmaster’s my favorite Marvel character.

In the case of Infamous, it was the minor extra things that you just couldn’t be bothered to complete. Much like gathering the feathers in Assassin’s Creed games. Still, overall, the original Infamous is a dope game.

Freedom Force (PC – Irrational Games, 2002)

For a series that was widely touted for being one the best games in its genre, it sure died a quiet death after two games. Freedom Force is a game franchise that should be going strong now. It’s a tactical RPG where you control a team of Golden Age-type superheroes in protecting Patriot City from various types of villainy.

In execution, the game’s controls are easy to get the hang of. Most of it is using the mouse with a few keys for shortcuts. The real bread and butter here are the Golden Age artwork and storytelling for each hero’s origin and the missions. A modding community exists which provided more missions and extra goodies for dedicated fans of Freedom Force.

This is a great superhero game to play if you want something different from action beat ‘em ups. In this particular topic, Freedom Force is one of the most unique of superhero games.

X-Men: Children of the Atom (Arcade/PC/PSX/Saturn – Capcom, 1994)

Comics and fighting games are a great mix and right up there with beat ‘em ups and comics. X-Men: Children of the Atom is one of those Capcom fighting games where the art style became awesome and the graphics reflected it. Just imagine Street Fighter Alpha or Darkstalkers looking like Super Street Fighter II.

I love Super Street Fighter II but artistically Capcom was trailing behind what SNK had been doing for some time. That aside, it plays like a Capcom fighting game. Nothing really special here. It’s a really tight fighting game based around the X-Men part of the Marvel Universe.

You’ll probably have more fun if you can find this in an arcade somewhere but it plays very well on anything but the original PlayStation and PC. Which isn’t surprising since Sega was the go-to console for fighting games if you weren’t interested in Tekken or Soul Edge.

Spider-Man (PS4 – Insomniac Games, 2018)

What to say about Spider-Man that hasn’t already been said? It reinvented the wheel for superhero games graphically and story-wise. As far as gameplay, Spider-Man had some incredibly tight controls but it was expected for two reasons. First, you need S-rank controls for a Spidey game just for the web slinging and second, it’s an open world action game so the controls have to be at least A-rank.

Controls-wise, Insomniac had a challenge ahead of them to give the most authentic Spider-Man experience on a console. When I first heard Sony would be doing Spidey game I figured Sucker Punch would handle it. That studio has a ton of experience doing similar games via the Infamous series.

In the end, Insomniac was the best choice and it delivered some of its best work of the decade. That’s hard praise since Insomniac was consistent throughout the 2010s!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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