I didn’t grow up as your typical girl. Thanks to reading comic books I found myself running around the house wearing a towel for a cape and jumping off the second floor balcony in hopes of flying. Luckily, before I could get seriously injured playing a make-believe superhero, I discovered the joys of videogames.
Whether I was at the arcade or at home, videogames allowed me to become my favorite character and kick some serious bad guy butt! Of all the comic-based videogames, only a few were able to keep me entertained. There are even some that made me feel connected to the character in ways reading the comic book could never do.
Below is my top 10 list of those unforgettable comic-based videogames:
10. Captain America & The Avengers
I’m a big fan of those 90s arcade beat ‘em up style games and this was one of them. Up to four people could get in on the fun and play together as Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, or Hawkeye. The game looked like a comic book come to life, flashing action words like “KRAK”, “KABOOM”, “TWACK”, and “WHAM”! You even had the ability to pick up rocks, benches, cans, and other objects to throw at the enemy.
9. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
After the disappointing RPG gameplay in X-Men Legends, I was happy to see Raven Software finally get it right with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. This game features a cast of classic Marvel characters and the ability to unlock more. With countless characters at your disposal, creating your own dream team of Marvel superheroes makes this game worth playing!
8. Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe
I hadn’t played Mortal Kombat since the 90s and I was never crazy about the DC Universe, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself sucked into this game. Play one out of twenty-two combatants who are ready to duke it out in either arcade or story mode. With a rather impressive storyline explaining how these two worlds came together, the classic Mortal Kombat characters felt equally matched against the incredible superpowers of the DC Universe. After several hours of game play I ended up with a nice blister on the palm of my hand.
7. Marvel Super Heroes
How can I not love a game where I get to play my favorite female X-Man, Psylocke? Set in the Marvel Universe, it features some obscure characters like Blackheart and Shuma-Gorath. Unfortunately, the game’s premise, based on the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, makes for a weak objective. The object is to collect the Infinity Gems from your opponents, using them in battle, and then on to defeat the last boss, Thanos. (Thanos then steals all the gems you have collected up to that point!) If it wasn’t for the weak plot, this game would’ve ranked better on my list.
6. X-Men: The Arcade Game
Similar to Capt. America & The Avengers, this beat ‘em up allowed not four, but a whopping six, simultaneous players! The X-Men team included six playable A-list characters: Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Dazzler, and Cyclops. Most amusing of all was the ability to kick or hit an already fallen opponent, preventing them from getting back up. People say you should never kick a man when he’s down, but in this game, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
For a scrawny 8-bit Nintendo game, it looked and sounded just like its arcade counterpart. There are some obvious differences, like two simultaneous players instead of four, two added levels, and two new bosses. Having two players didn’t make beating the game any easier. After countless hours, days, weeks, and months I was able to beat the game, with help from my twin sister, of course!
4. X-Men: Children Of The Atom
This was the first in a long line of Capcom fighting games to feature characters from Marvel Comics. There are a total of ten playable characters (six X-Men and four X-Villains) to choose from. Each character has his/her own special powers or “X-Ability”. Magneto is the big boss in this one. Colorful, cartoonish, and with true comic book style, Capcom could do no wrong with X-Men: Children Of The Atom.
3. Marvel Vs. Capcom
Two is always better than one, which is why Marvel Vs. Capcom comes in atnumber three. Choose to play Capcom or Marvel’s characters in a two-against-two battle of the best. A new feature to the game was the Duo Team Attack, allowing you to control two characters at once. Finding the perfect Duo Team was half the fun for me, finally settling on Wolverine and Gambit. Special moves, secret characters, and summoning off-screen assistance makes this game far from boring.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This is not the same as number five on my list because this is the coin-operated arcade version. In my opinion, it is the crème de le crème of those 90s arcade beat ‘em ups. Up to four players were allowed to play, each one choosing between Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. $20 worth of quarters would finally bring me victory against Shredder. Voice and sound clips from the cartoon can be heard throughout the game shouting catchphrases like “Cowabunga” and “Pizza Time”. Having played it so much, I bet the last thing I hear before I die will be Shredder saying, “Tonight, I dine on turtle soup!”
1. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
This is what fighting games are all about! Select three combatants from among the roster of Capcom and Marvel characters. With a total of fifty-six characters to choose from you’ll never grow tired of playing. I’ve even bruised the palm of my left hand from holding the joystick too tight. I’m so addicted to the game that I find myself, for no apparent reason, randomly shouting game phrases like “Tornado Claw!” or “Psy-blade!”. If I had this coin-op game in my house, I would never leave and no one would ever see me again…