Posts tagged spiderman
What makes video games based on Comic books work
When I play a game based on a comic book character there is only one thing that I really want to get out of that game. I want to feel as if I am that character. It hardly matters who the character is just so that for the few minutes that I am playing the game I can forget who I am and pretend that I have metal claws or can swing from buildings . This is why often games where you play a single hero work better than games where you have far more choices because even when you do a great job of creating a game with twenty different heroes you have no choice but to make many of them play in similar styles. One character may be needed to make it past a certain trap or perhaps another does more damage but the controls and the feel of the characters remain the same. A great example of a game that was The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. The story of the game was OK, and I'm not that big of a fan of the hulk, but what it captured perfectly was the feeling of being the hulk. You could pick up and throw tanks, smash cars into shields, jump hundreds of feet and even run up buildings. There were no other characters and though you gained new skills they didn't truly change things. You could of course destroy buildings and cause chaos but the key was that it was fun from the beginning to the end because it felt like you were the hulk. This I suspect has been one of the problems for the Superman Games. The most important of superman's powers is that he is invulnerable, but that doesn’t make for a great game, so they tone down that power so that things hurt him, just not very much. Now though, I don't really feel like I'm playing superman. Spiderman is perhaps the most fun though. Having recently played Spiderman: Web of Shadows I discovered that there is a great deal of joy in swinging across the city, and this game does it nearly perfectly. You always feel like you are right on the edge of being out of control as you swing, and often you are only inches above the city streets. You can even swing through crowds of villains knocking them down or use the webs and your agility to make lightning quick strikes and be largely away from the fight before they know what happened. I have played many video games based on comic books in my life , some work and some don't but to me the ones that always work the best are the games that make me feel like I really am the hero because if I'm playing a game about spiderman all I really want is the experience of being spiderman. Picture from Scotty Shoemaker
Read More
Villain Spotlight: The Big Wheel
Villains come in all shapes and sizes. The ability to fight the bad fight is not one limited to only those born with superpowers or those that are brilliant. This truth is best demonstrated by the villain who's shape is round and size is big. "The Big Wheel." Jackson Weele was a businessman who grew tired of petty embezzlement and decided to take the next step. This was preceded by his attempt to hire Rocket Racer to steal the evidence of his embezzlement. The Rocket Racer made fun of the clearly unstable Weele, calling him The Big Weele. Taking his new nickname as a clue to what his superpower should be he goes to the Tinkerer who creates for him the ultimate weapon. A large wheel with guns and waldo arms. As with all villains upon getting a powerful new weapon he knew that he must attempt to destroy his archnemisis, Rocket Racer. He chased down the young skateboarder but the racer was already fighting Spiderman. This is where things fell apart for "The Big Wheel". A smart villain would have allowed Spiderman and The Rocket Racer to wear each other down. One of them may have even been beaten completely but Rocket Racer instead chose to attack. Sadly, as the wheel was new and he had not well tested it he didn't recognise its single flaw and as he was driving up a building it tipped over on its side and then fell into the river. Spiderman attempted to save the villain but was unable to save the businessman. He survived the fall and was almost immediately captured by the police on charges of embezzlement. He spent the next twenty years in jail before being released. Among the belongings returned to him as he left prison was a giant wheel. From this point on "the Big Wheel" attempted to go straight. He joined Vil-anon, an organization  designed to help villains reform.  As part of this program he teamed up with Spiderman for a day.  So far as it is known he has remained reformed.  Yet, even this reformed villain has lessons that can be useful in your life of crime. Know your equipment, have a plan, and don't name yourself after a child's toy.
Read More
Villain Spotlight: The Spot
There is something noble about someone who gives up what is clearly a billion dollar idea in order to persue a life of petty crime. And that is the story of The Spot. The Spot, Dr. Jonathan Ohnn, while working for The Kingpin created a small black spot that led him to an odd dimension where he was covered with similar spots. These spots, that he can make any size, allow instantaneous travel through this alternate dimension. So why not simply take the million dollar Nobel prize and use the spots to replace the entire airline industry? The Spot has too much integrity for that.  He understood that the true use of any world shattering technological advancement is to rob banks. The Spot defeated both Spiderman and Blackcat during his first attack on the pair, using the ability to travel instantly through dimensions to punch Spiderman in the back of the head while he was laughing at the name The Spot. By the time the two met again Spiderman had gotten past the humor of the name The Spot and though he put up a valiant battle The Spot was defeated by the web crawler. Rather than simply admitting defeat and moving on to plan b(Selling the plans for the spots to the US military for 500 billion dollars) he joined the Spiderman Revenge Squad. This group was nearly able to succeed where the sinister six had failed so many times but nearing their moment of triumph Grizzly and The Gibbon turned on the team. Things began to go badly for The Spot after that. He was forced by The Gidion Trust to open a portal to The Negative Zone so they could exploit its natural resource and even had his neck broken by Tombstone though he seemed to have healed a few months later. No matter the path that The Spot takes in the future you can rest assured that this honorable man will resist any urge to use his abilities to make an honest living. The Spot is one of a rare few who understands villainy is far more important than profit and we could all stand to learn from his example.
Read More
Villian Spotlight: The City Stealers
It is surprising how many people don't have tho follow through to go through with a plan. I can't tell you the number of times that I have suggested doing something that everyone thought was a good idea but there was just no follow through. That above all else is what impresses me about "The City Stealers". We don't know a lot about the history of the city stealers and there were some flaws in their plan, but they made their attempt. Their plan, as you might have gathered from their ingenious name, was to steal a city. Manhattan to be exact. To do this they made a deal with "They who wield power"(Clearly at this point marval had given up on naming characters) and were given power armor and destructo-rays. Using the destructo-rays to break away the stone that held the island of manhattan up began to cause earthquakes. This drew the attention of the only two superheroes who lived in New York at the time, Spiderman and Hercules. The two attacked the city stealers and were quickly defeated and chained up. This moment of morality seems almost endearing to these villians until you recognise the fact that if they were to succeed in their plot to destroy the foundations of the city of Manhattan it would have sank and killed millions. In this light the idea to not simply shoot Spiderman and Herculies in the head while they were chained up seems a little odd. They continued their attempt to create a new Atlantis but Herculie broke free but the city stealers prove to not be totally incompetent and shoot him with a blast from their gun. This again knocks him unconscious and again they choose to not kill him. Instead one of the city stealers decided that the best plan of action would be to hold spiderman over his head, assumingly because a 12 foot drop would be more effective at killing the webcrawler than the blaster rays. At this point Hercules and Spiderman once again break the metal chains and this time defeat the city stealers. Herculies claimed that they had succeded in their plot at this time and he dragged the city back to its position. This was later found to be untrue and the general assumption is that he absorbed the energy from the destructo-ray. What isn't understood is how the blaster rays from the city stealers blasters knocked him unconscious but he was strong enough to survive a destructo-ray blast. Still with the failures of their plots hte city stealers made their attempt and nearly succeeded, twice knocking unconcious herculies in the process, an impressive feat, and their allies got away in the nuclear submarine though they were not heard from again.
Read More
Villain Spotlight: The Chameleon
The Chameleon was Spiderman's very first super villain this Russian born villain has the ability to appear as anyone, quite a useful power, especially when used for theft theft of important missile defense plans. This theft in two parts was when The Chameleon first ran afoul of the webcrawler. He successfully stole the first half of the plans by appearing as one of the scientists who were working on them, but for the second half of his plan he attempted something more ambitious. His plan was to appear as Spiderman, who at the time was a wanted criminal at the time, framing him for the crime. Not only this but in one of the most confident moves of all time he ensured that both the police and Spiderman would be at the scene while he committed his crime. In retrospect this may have been a small miscalculation and his plan was foiled but this was not the end of this super villains career. Over the years he continued his attempts to ruin Spiderman's life, sacrificing his own livelihood to help the greater community of super villains by limiting his criminal activity and instead focusing on the destruction of Spiderman, but showing great restraint in doing so by not appearing as someone Spiderman would trust and simply shooting him but though much more complicated plots. One of his most important attempts to stop Spiderman came in the form of an alliance with Harry Osborn, who before his death told the Chameleon that Spiderman's identity could be found through Peter Parker. He then created two androids who looked like Peter Parker's parents. The explanation of why he needed androids when he could have looked like either of Parker's parents is not explained, except through the Psychotic breakdown he suffered during this time and the epic battle against Mary Jane when she beat him down with a baseball bat. This led to the ultimate downfall of the villain who was also overpowered by his nephew and eventually by Aunt May who defeated him with oatmeal raisin cookies, but he can not be blamed for that as oatmeal raisin has been the downfall of many villains. His final downfall can be seen below.
Read More