Welcome to the longest weekly running episodic column here at Diehard GameFAN, “Hi-Technical Knockout”Â, in which two DHGF staffers or IP alums will engage in virtual fisticuffs in a battle of wits!
Today’s contest will be a comic challenge, or rather a comics challenge. Comics, as many of you know, are combinations of words and pictures juxtaposed in such a way as to tell a story. Very often these stories are about over-people who wear impossibly tight clothes and solve a variety of problems by punching very hard.
Such things, known as “super-hero comics” have been around for over 70 years. Recently, they have developed radical new approaches to the comics medium, such that eight panels worth of story can now take over one year to tell. Also, now one can see a variety of seams in the impossibly tight clothes of the over-people.
Truly this is a remarkable time to be alive.
Feel free to suggest a future discussion topic by emailing WBXylo@gmail.com, subject: H-TKO! .
Topic #6: Video-Game Villainy
Super-heroes get all the games. Nuts to that. I want to be a super-villain.
Which comic book super-villain would make for the best video game?
Our first contestant on Hi-Technical Knockout is Robert Capra. Robert Capra was born in a log cabin in 1809. Mostly self educated, he became a lawyer and skillfully navigated the Trent affair of 1861 preventing the British from officially recognizing the Confederacy.
Despite being a “furrie”, Mr. Capra is not known to “yiff”.
Oh man, geek-brain overload… so many ideas! My go-to guy, Doctor Doom, would make a great Valkyria Chronicles kind of game where he starts as a young, oppressed gypsy and grows to rule Latveria (and the World, obviously). But as great a game as it was, VC had limited commercial appeal. A Mister Sinister game in the Pokemon style could be fun; collecting mutants and making them fight while splicing their DNA together to create new mutants. But I pretty much explored all of that in once sentence, so I think I need something more in-depth. Taskmaster would go well in a God of War style game, killing off his opponents and gaining their skills (For that matter, you could replace him with Amazo (or Ultra-OMAC-No-I’m-Really-Not-Amazo-Because-I-Only-Have-One-Eye-And-A-Head-Fin), MODOK could do well just about anywhere (I see an indy style 2D side-scroller), and Conquest (from Invincible) would be great fun, but repetitive. None of them seem to have that je ne sais quoi that makes for a great game.
I want something with story, something epic. The first idea that comes to mind is Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Gems (re-written by Abnett and Lanning, obviously), but coding the in-game abilities of all the gems would be difficult at best. No, we need someone a bit more down to earth, but with a sprawling story. Which is why I’d have to go with Apocalypse.
You’d start off as a young En Sabah Nur alone in the desert, adopted by nomads and taught that you must be strong to survive (Basically, the tutorial level). You’d continue to gain power in different locations and times and leveling up until discovering the Celestial’s ship. At that point, the game really takes off.
I envision it as taking place in several different eras. Each time period would be a sandbox where you would track down mutants and test (fight) them. If you deemed them worthy, you could turn them into one of your four horsemen, otherwise the punishment would be death. As you gather horsemen, the game would allow you to swap out between characters at any time and play in a squad-like fashion. And if you find a new character you think would make a better horseman, you could have the two fight it out one on one to see who’s stronger.
The ability to choose horsemen would really be the highlight. Think Colossus would make a good War? Go for it. Maybe try and see if you could overpower Magneto to make him Death? Give it a shot. And it wouldn’t stop at just X-Men characters, all of the Marvel Universe would be fair game. Captain America would make a great horseman, and for some reason, I just see Squirrel Girl as making an excellent Famine.
At the end of each era you’d claim part of the globe as yours, slowly building your way up to the full fledged Age of Apocalypse. Because, really, what good is a villain game if you don’t end up ruling the world?
Next up, we have one Pulse Glazer. In the old days, whenever you would want to cover your Aaron in a thin shiny coating, you would take him to an Pulse Glazer. Nowadays, of course, such things aren’t necessary.
Aaron is a senior editor at Pulse Wrestling where he often writes about large, muscular men in tight spandex. He is also a reviewer at Comics Nexus where he often writes about large, muscular men in tight spandex.
I believe his girlfriend lives in Canada.
Being a comic book villain in a video game isn’t a new concept – it is, after all, entirely possible to ignore mission in a Grand Theft Auto series and essentially turn into the Joker on a rampage. Unfortunately, though, most villains are so tied to their heroes, the games would get incredibly tired. Being Doom wouldn’t be right without the Reed Richards obsession (which, in essence, means you get 4-stages, one for each of the Fantastic ones), and the same is true for Lex Luthor, although, admittedly, the business mogul parts of the game and constructing of death traps would be quite fun. Deathstroke the Terminator offers an awful lot of fun hand-to-hand goodness, but is, essentially, light on plot. Magneto so rarely engages in battle as to really end up being a bit of a letdown. So, since solo villains are disappointing for this exercise, how about a team?
The team to be, the team to beat, so to speak, for this game, would be the Dark Avengers. Norman Osborne as both the Green Goblin and Iron Patriot, Ares, Sentry, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Venom as Spider-Man, Daken as Dark Wolverine, and Noh-Varr. The game would give you the opportunity to play through missions with each of these characters, but to end up choosing whether to stick with Norman and his Dark Avengers or to turn and work with the heroes trying to overthrow him. The potential for branching gameplay paths would be immense, as would the different playability options – you have the agile wall crawler Venom, the hack and slashing Daken, the Tank in Sentry, Ares as a mix between the last two, Ms. Marvel as a ranged flier, Hawkeye as a ranged martial artist, and Noh Voarr as a jack of all trades. If you stay evil, you could unlock Iron Patriot/Green Goblin and, as either Nick Fury or Captain America if you choose to become a hero.
The plot practically writes itself. Start off as the villainous Thunderbolts during the Secret Invasion and take out the Skrull Queen to take over, then go on a variety of villainous quests to consolidate power against various heroes from Spider-Man and Wolverine to Daredevil and Hercules. As these levels progress, you could choose to stay or stray with orders, setting up the final battle with the entire Avengers roster and fighting the real or Dark Avengers with your chosen character at the Siege of Asgard.
The story and characters should allow a ton of customization options and a fun, free flowing game, if one that’s more structured than a sandbox game. The villains learning to use their powers the way the heroic counterparts do gives an excellent reason for them to level up and learn new tricks, while the Avengers tag, especially as the movie comes out and the title remains Marvel’s best seller, makes damn sure that this is a quality title that will sell.
I never really cared for Apocalypse, but Capra proposes a game that sounds intriguing. In my mind, it would play like Shining Force: A Legacy of Bad Intentions.
*100 points awarded to Capra.
Glazer’s game sounds a lot like something that would actually get made.
*110 points awarded To Glazer.
But it would turn into a cash grab re-hash of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. The main difference would be that MUA2 was based off of the terrible “Civil War” storyline, whereas this would be based off the terrible “Secret Invasion” and “Siege” storylines.
*50 points deducted from Glazer.
Plus, many of the fans would feel cheated in that they are playing as ersatz Avengers in lieu of the real things.
*37 points awarded. Fuck those guys.
Despite this being about characters from comics, nobody mentions Swamp Thing. Don’t they know that Swamp Thing is rad?
*10 points deducted from both sides.
Capra does propose a Taskmaster game.
*30 points awarded for talking about Taskmaster.
*15 points awarded for nihilism.
Glazer puts Bullseye in his game. Bullseye was the first character I thought about when I thought up this question.
*42 points awarded.
Capra wants Squirrel Girl to be a horsemen of Apocalypse.
*27 points. This needs to happen.
Robert Capra’s Total Score: 162 points
Pulse Glazer’s Total Score: 122 points
Winner: Robert Capra!