Tag Archives: superheroes

Making Superheroes Work In Videogames: Implementations

Last column, I discussed superhero videogames, why they often don't work, and the two elements that would come together to make them work, or at least not suck.

Those two elements? The “thematic" elements (look, story, writing, acting) and the “mechanical” elements of gameplay and game system.

I've come to the conclusion that the big problem superhero games is that the mechanical elements are often done wrong, poorly, or use inappropriate elements from common gaming systems and tropes. Thematic element problems can usually be cured with the right graphics, writer, and self-respect. Mechanical elements on the other hand, seem to be harder.

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Making Superheroes Work In Videogames: The Two Elements

So there I was, checking my Twitter feeds, when someone simply stated “no one can make a Superman videogame.”

I immediately took this simple statement is a challenge. It let me to speculate on superheroes, their use in video games, their more epic mismade video games, and what makes a good superhero videogame. It was a fascinating mental journey (and for the record, I do think a good Superman videogame is possible, but that is coming later in this series of columns).

Speculating on video games and superheroes is interesting, because the record of superhero videogames being good is highly inconsistent. There are games there praised quite rightfully, such as Arkham Asylum. There are games that are lambasted quite properly, such as . . . Okay, a lot of them, but Superman on Nintendo 64 does come to mind as kind of the iconic bad superhero videogame. Why such an erratic, and at times incredibly shameful and stupid record?

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Superheroes and Sex Appeal

A friend of mine recently discussed the new Green Lantern trailer.  Sure he was enthused about the movie, the effects, the scope, but he was also enthused about Ryan Reynolds.  The enthusiasm my friend felt for Ryan Reynolds was an admixture; he felt Reynolds was both charming and looked great in his underwear.  My friend is not the only person to comment on a level of sex appeal in the Green Lantern Trailer, leaving me to the conclusions that this is both intentional and that Mr. Reynolds is someone who will make more of us feel inadequate in our underwear in the years to come.

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