Last week I went on a rant about how superhero games based on movies (especially games published by SEGA) seriously need to improve. I refuse to spend $60 on a mediocre game, which is why I didn’t have a Thor: God of Thunder review last week. I did, however, get a chance to try the game for a few hours earlier this week, and just as I expected, it’s nothing special.
But before that, I sat down with another Thor video game that had me stuck in front of my computer for nearly most of my day. That game was a side-scrolling flash game titled Thor: Bring the Thunder, and not only is it fun, it’s absolutely free on Marvel.com!
The game is four levels, and looks and plays like an SNES game with a heavy influence from Super Mario World. It’s a relatively simple game with a few challenging boss battles, but it’s still plenty more worthwhile than the overpriced God of Thunder. The old school graphics and music are charming, and drip with nostalgia. This is the kind of game (if it were longer) I would gladly give my money away to download onto my Xbox 360…since downloading it on my PS3 would be impossible right now.
Thor: Bring the Thunder isn’t the only new free superhero game with a movie behind it. Green Lantern has gone viral with some new online materiel backing up the film, one of which is Green Lantern Boot Camp. It’s a turn based combat game where you play as the newly recruited Hal Jordan, and take on other GLs in a sparring match.
You have a variety of construct options to make with your ring, gaining more options as you advance in the game. There’s also a Sinestro Mode where you play as Sinestro and take on a gauntlet of GLs until you fall. Green Lantern Boot Camp is not nearly as engaging or entertaining as Thor: Bring the Thunder, but hell, it’s free, and it’s not the worst way to kill a few minutes of boredom.
Moving from video games based on movies to comic books based on video games…the countdown to Batman: Arkham City has begun!
Batman: Arkham City (the comic) bridges the gap between the games Batman: Arkham Asylum and this fall’s Batman: Arkham City. Paul Dini (legendary Batman creator and writer of both video games) is behind the wheel of this series with Carlos D’anda (who provided beautiful character art for Arkham Asylum) taking pencil duty.
***WARNING! Spoilers ahead!***
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Carlos D’anda
Taking place one year after the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, we visit a sickly Clown Prince of Crime recalling his epic showdown with the Dark Knight so many months ago. In another cell is the beautiful and coconuts Harley Quinn, who overhears what sounds like a plot to finally put an end to the Joker’s madness, and Harley vows to protect her beloved puddin’.
Back in Gotham, Quincey Sharp — former warden of Arkham Asylum, and now Mayor of Gotham — begins his campaign to restore his city, and end all crime in it once and for all, but not without the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist. All the while, Batman confronts a beaten and battered Two-Face, which leads him to a battle with two Titan fueled street thugs, and discovers a conspiracy in the Mayor’s office revolving around the Arkham City plan.
So far there is plenty of fun, mystery, and action in the five issue mini-series, though, if you’re keeping up with the Batman: Arkham City video game trailers, the mastermind pulling Quincey Sharp’s strings may be all too obvious.
I’m excited to see where Paul Dini takes Harley and her pledge to aid the Joker. Some disembodied speech bubbles let us in on a potential assassination of her favorite obsession from what would seem to be some vigilante Arkham guards, but is there a bigger picture that has yet to be revealed?
And what exactly is it that is wrong with the Joker? We know the Titan has somehow poisoned his body, but to what extent? How has/will the Joker’s body be changed throughout this series and the game? And is it for better or worse? On the subject of beaten up supervillains, what happened to Two-Face to put him in a wheelchair?
This is just me speculating, but with Mark Hamill stating that his role as Joker in Arkham City will be the last performance as the character, would Paul Dini perhaps give Batman’s arch nemesis his swan song? Considering that this version of Batman exists in its own universe outside of comic book continuity, anything can happen.
Aside from an exciting story with that classic Batman feel that Paul Dini always presents, Carlos D’anda’s art was impeccable, and Gabe Eltaeb’s color pallet really made the pencils pop.
Even if you aren’t into video games, you don’t need much insight into the Batman: Arkham Asylum game to be able to enjoy Batman: Arkham City the comic. I’m ecstatic to see what twists, turns, and bumps the road to Batman: Arkham City the game has in store.
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