Brown, the artist of the forthcoming biographical graphic novel Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, was commissioned by Paste magazine talk about video games for its monthly feature the Leaderboard. Some people write for this monthly slot, but Brown draws — and tells an existential tale of the little hero of Hyrule. Check it out:
Divergent and Snow White and the Huntsman screenwriter Evan Daugherty must have a deep affection for video games. YouTube channel Polaris has posted a short video series called The Four Players, written and directed by Daughtery and based on the four primary hero characters from Super Mario Bros.: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad. Referred to as The Fixer, The Addict, The Star and the Soldier (respectively), the videos present a much darker and realistic take on the plumber brothers and their Mushroom Kingdom compatriots.
The idea of playing as your favorite superhero in a video game world is catnip for comics fans, and the MMORPG City of Heroes was one of the earliest to offer that chance in an immersive, free-ranging world. But after eight years of continuous operations, the studio behind City of Heroes shuttered the game late last year. However, as comics fans can attest, good heroes never die — even if you don’t have the rights to them.
A group of ardent City of Heroes fans recently rallied under the name the Phoenix Project and started a Kickstarter to fund a “spiritual successor” to City of Heroes called City of Titans, hoping to raise $320,000 to create a near-identical home for themselves and other fans of comic book video games. This week, they achieved their goal and then some, raising $678,189. Now all they have to do is make the game.
LEGO and Marvel are re-teaming for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, an online series launching today on Disney.com, the Disney YouTube channel and the Roku and Xbox Live TV apps. All 10 episodes will premiere simultaneously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series finds Loki discovering “a way to put the ‘super’ in super-villain” as he assembles an army to conquer Earth, leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s most popular heroes to face old foes who suddenly possess new powers.
In what has to be one of the Dark Knight’s most bizarre crossovers, DC Comics has announced a Batman: Arkham Origins level for Puzzle & Dragons, the popular free-to-play mobile game. Puzzle & Dragons really doesn’t have anything to do with Batman or even comics; think of it as Bejeweled-Pokemon hybrid.
It’s actually one of the most popular games in Japan, and it’s beginning to gain traction in the United States, but it’s somewhat of a mystery as to how Arkham Origins is a good fit for the formula. If anything, it seems like the artistic style of the Arkham universe wouldn’t really mesh with the style of Puzzle & Dragons. Players can apparently add The Joker to their monster boxes with Batman, Robin and Catwoman available through a special in-game Egg Machine.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that it gives Batman fans a chance to jump in to Puzzle & Dragons for the added benefit of playing just DC characters, but the entire dungeon goes away Nov. 12. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what the benefit is to this promotion for DC. It doesn’t really give Arkham Origins that much more exposure, and at best, it draws people into a mobile game that’s not even run by DC or Warner Bros. Maybe someone at DC just really likes Puzzle & Dragons. It could even be a response to the debut of Marvel Puzzle Quest on iOS — a Bejeweled style game with RPG elements that follows the basic story of “Dark Reign.”
No matter what the reason for it is, the Arkham Origins-themed dungeon is available now for Puzzle & Dragons.
Ahead of the video game’s release on Tuesday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has debuted a new poster for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes that features everyone from a shield-throwing Captain America to a web-slinging Spider-Man to a gun-wielding Deadpool.
Developed by TT Games for PC, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, DS and PlayStation Vita, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes begins with the Silver Surfer is knocked out of the sky, and his surfboard shattered into “cosmic bricks” that are scattered across the globe. Because of the blocks’ immense power, Nick Fury calls upon the heroes of the Marvel Universe to find them before they can fall into the wrong hands (namely, Doctor Doom and Loki).
Playable characters range from the unusual suspects (Iron Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Storm, Wolverine, Black Widow) to the more offbeat (Stan Lee, Squirrel Girl, Groot, H.E.R.B.I.E., Howard the Duck, Rocket Raccoon).
Marvel has debuted the first look at Marvel Run Jump Smash!, the upcoming 2D-sidescroller infinite runner for mobile devices.
As the straightforward title suggests, each of the playable characters (with freakishly large heads) run, jump, smash and fly through various levels, some of which feature “iconic Marvel locations.” Users can assemble their own team of heroes, which can be changed during the game.
According to Comic Book Resources’ coverage of the “Marvel’s House of Ideas” panel at New York Comic Con, the plan is to add more characters to the game’s roster. There’s no official release date, but the word is Run Jump Smash! will be available in the United States “very, very soon.”
Actor Troy Baker (Final Fantasy XIII, BioShock Infinite) has some enormous shoes to fill as he steps into the role of The Joker — a character voiced for the past two decades by Mark Hamill — in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins. If there were any remaining doubts as to whether Baker could embody the Clown Prince of Crime, they were likely erased during the video game’s New York Comic Con panel, where Baker performed The Joker’s monologue from Batman: The Killing Joke, to the roaring approval of a cheering crowd.
Watch the video below. Batman: Arkham Origins will be released Oct. 25.
By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth! Doctor Strange is joining Marvel Pinball!
Zen Studios announced Saturday at New York Comic Con that the Master of the Mystic Arts will join the arcade pinball video-game lineup in December, pitting Strange (and his allies Clea and Wong) against his greatest enemies: “Strange’s rival sorcerer Baron Mordo has called upon the demonic forces of the Dread Dormammu and the Fear Lord, Nightmare, all part of his plot to assume the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme for himself.”
Although the timing is a little odd, considering the film was released in August, Freedom Factory and UIG Entertainment have announced the November release of the official Kick-Ass 2 video game for PC and consoles.
There are few details in the brief press release beyond that it’s “a classic beat-’em-up featuring brutal finishing moves and animations straight from the movie and comic-book” (however, there are some screenshots and character designs, which you can see below). Gamers can play as many of the main characters from the film, including Kick-Ass and Hit Girl, as they face off against The Motherfucker.
More details will follow, presumably.
Note: This post could contain SPOILERS for Marvel’s Infinity, so read at your own risk.
Marvel and Playdom’s popular Facebook game Marvel Avengers Alliance has been chugging along since early 2012, drafting new SHIELD recruits, teaming them with various Marvel characters and sending them on the hunt for SHIELD points and silver as they fight through the ranks of Marvel’s baddest villains.
In addition to the regular game, players are also treated to special operations every so often, which are sometimes based on storylines from the comics — like the recent one that drew from Dark Reign. Each special operation is typically limited to about three weeks, and if you complete all the mission objectives during that time, you unlock a new playable character — past missions have allowed you to unlock Emma Frost, Magik, Hank Pym, Vision and, most recently, Ares, among others. Occasionally they’ll also have you collect lockboxes that, through a process that’s probably long and boring to anyone who doesn’t play the game (and can be extremely frustrating for those of us who do), lets you gain a second character for your rather large team of Avengers. So far those characters have all been characters who have been both heroes and villains during their career — Magneto, Juggernaut and Elektra, for example.
There were precious few comic-book video games in the late 1990s that were actually, objectively good. (Remember Superman 64? Terrible, just terrible.) However, one decent game that got both console and PC treatment was Shadow Man, based on the Valiant comic of the same name. Released to solid reviews, the game was published by Acclaim, back when the company held the rights to the Valiant characters.
For those wishing to relive the glory days of Shadow Man and late-’90s gaming, digital game distributor gog.com has made Shadow Man available for purchase for a mere $5.99. To sweeten the deal, Valiant Entertainment has partnered with gog.com to give those who purchase by Sept. 24 a free digital copy of Shadowman #1 through comiXology, and a $5.99 discount off an upcoming Shadowman T-shirt design through Cinder Block.
The Shadow Man game centered on literature student-turned-hitman Michael LeRoi, whom players controlled to stop the villainous Legion and “The Five,” five serial killers, from bringing the apocalypse to the living world. The game slightly tied in to the Acclaim Shadowman title of the time by incorporating the Deadside concept created by Garth Ennis. The game did well enough that a sequel was released in 2002: Shadow Man: 2econd Coming.
The crime comedy Blue Estate is moving from comic books to video games with a “darkly funny” PC rail shooter developed by fledgling French indie studio HeSaw for Leap Motion. A teaser trailer for Blue Estate: The Game debuted this morning online.
Created by Viktor Kalvachev (now creative director of HeSaw), and featuring art by Kalvachev, Toby Cypress, Nathan Fox, Robert Valley and others, the 12-issue Blue Estate was published from 2011 to 2012 by Image Comics.
Players will step into the shoes of Tony Luciana, the bumbling, arrogant mob boss from the comics, “as they’re dragged greasy hair-first into a tangled web of mobster chaos and high-velocity violence. What Tony lacks in smarts he more than makes up for in gun-toting belligerence. The only thing that can keep up with his trigger finger is his penchant for sarcastic one-liners.”
“The Blue Estate comic series is a real labor of love for me, and it’s very cool to see some of the characters come to life off the page in such an amazing interactive way with Leap Motion,” Kalvachev said in a statement. “Tony Luciano is a good choice of character for the lead role with his sharp tongue and itchy trigger finger. It really is a lot of fun to play and I hope people are going to love it.”
Move aside, Captain America. Calm down, Hulk. This is a job for Stan Lee!
The legendary creator, who’s made cameo appearances in other video games, finally debuts as a playable character — with super-powers! — in the upcoming LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, alongside the likes of the X-Men, Thor, Rocket Raccoon, J. Jonah Jameson and Howard the Duck. To promote Lee’s new, expanded role, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have released a new trailer featuring the Man in LEGO and human forms.
“I think my super-power is luck,” Lee admits in the video. “I think I’m very lucky to be in this game.”
Art dealer Sal Abbinanti has revealed Alex Ross’ cover for Origins, the Zombies map included as part of the upcoming Apocalypse downloadable content package for Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
From the sound of it, Origins is pretty much what you’d imagine, with players fighting to survive wave after wave of the undead. Only in this case, it’s set during World War I, with giant mecha and the like — which you can see looming in Ross’ art, below.