Whose side are you on? Marvel’s war of heroes is about to begin, and before the great battle royal kicks off in the comics, we’re measuring the Avengers and the X-Men’s machismo in video games. Who will dominate in the war of the consoles?
Captain America and the Avengers vs. X-Men: The Arcade Game
Classic vs. classic. Two great must-play arcade experiences, but with one having a significant advantage: Konami. In the 1990s, few game developers created better side-scrolling beat-em-ups than Japan’s arguably leading publisher. X-Men is quite possibly the definitive side-scrolling arcade experience. But Cap and the gang are not such an easily defeated stable. With fun combat and silly, yet endearing, poorly translated dialog, Captain America and the Avengers will always be a comic book video game classic, but X-Men’s polish and finesse forever shines brightest.
X-Men: 1, Avengers: 0
X-Men 3 vs. Iron Man
Sadly, at one point over the last 10 years, all our comic book video games came as a result of their movie counterparts. And as we all know about movie games, they typically suck. These two games are no different. So, in this particular war of X-Men and Avengers games, the winner is which game isn’t better, but simply sucks less. Iron Man is a great character in any medium, be it comics, film, or animation, but the idea of Tony Stark and his red and gold suit is practically a video game dream. Yet, somehow, SEGA managed to screw the entire thing up. Boring, repetitive, and confusing missions stacked one after the other made this game the ultimate “before bed game,” because it’s sure to put you to sleep.
X-Men 3, unfortunately, is much more of the same. Only this particular pile of crap offers a variety of stenches as opposed to just the one. X-Men 3 allows players the same character repetition in three’s with Wolverine, Ice Man, and Night Crawler. Though nothing about this game is particularly fun or exciting, it at least changes it up, even if only slightly.
X-Men: 2, Avengers: 0
X-Men: Legends vs. Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Both of these game do a lot of things right. Most of all, greatly expressing the true essence of the X-Men and Hulk comics. X-Men: Legends allows us to play with friends, and visit the true team dynamic that comes with every X-Men comic. Hulk offers, to this day, the most “smashing” gameplay we’ve ever seen in a Hulk video game. When the dust settles, what it all comes down to is which game is more fun. Though a great game, X-Men: Legends‘ many dungeons to explore and henchmen to beat up inevitably grow tiresome, where the sandbox city and desert environments Hulk is free to destroy rarely do.
X-Men: 2, Avengers: 1
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance vs. X-Men: Destiny
Two RPGs, one comic book universe. Sure, Ultimate Alliance isn’t really an Avengers game, but most of Marvel’s heroes have been Avengers at one point, so bear with me. Both games bring something very interesting to both X-Men and Avengers fans. On one hand, you have the freedom to unite not just Avengers and X-Men, but characters from all ends of the Marvel Universe; and on the other is the choice of building your own character and story as a new mutant at Xavier’s school. Both decent, at best, RPGs at their cores, but these two games really speak to two different kinds of fans. The hard nosed comic book geek wants to collect their favorite superheroes like so many action figures and live out a typical day in the MU, where specifically X-Men fans will enjoy visiting Mutant-kind at its height from a new, fresh perspective. For me, the bottom line here comes from the most complete Marvel experience, and few other games offer a more complete Marvel that the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series.
X-Men: 2, Avengers: 2
Marvel Pinball: Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor vs. Wolverine and X-Men
This is the absolute closest this war of allies could possibly come. Wherever the line in the sand may lie, with each team’s different pinball tables offering something unique, challenging, and fun, it’s impossible to lean one way or the other. Everyone is a winner with Marvel Pinball. This one’s a draw.
X-Men: 2, Avengers: 2
X-Men Origins: Wolverine vs. Captain America: Super Soldier
If this were a movie battle, I’d say the red, white, and blue conquers once again, but, in this video game conflict, the humble, though proud, maple leaf sings for glory. Both games represent the very best of both characters ever seen in a solo title. In Captain America we experience the thrill of shield on skull combat, the dungeon crawling in a 1940s Hydra-occupied territory, and the pride of man and country. In Wolverine, we get the raw grit of tearing through hordes of henchmen, buckets upon buckets of blood, and the pure animalistic rage within Logan. Both games are worthy of the fans, but only one shines like fresh adamantium. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, capturing the most basic and the strongest spirit of the character, along with dream-come-true boss battles, topples the Super Soldier.
X-Men: 3, Avengers: 2
Regardless of your allegiance, chances are you’re a big enough Marvel fan to enjoy any of these titles. And I think we can all agree that both teams work exceptionally well when pitted against a common foe…namely Capcom.
What are your favorite X-Men and Avengers games?
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