This coming Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of Nintendo’s most recent handheld console in North America. Since then, there have been five comic book themed games released for the system. Here is the breakdown for fans of comic book games that are both old and new comers alike. [NOTE: I’m going to get it out of the way now that 3-D adds nothing to these games, and all should be played with the slider all the way down]
5: Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters
The only DC Comics game for the system also happens to be the least recommendable for the system. The game looks bland and suffers from slow and boring level and combat design, which is a shame as this comes from Griptonite, the makers of the excellent Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions for the Nintendo DS. In SD, Griptonite successfully married the Metroid-Vania style exploration with the Spider-Man license, and try to do so here as well by having certain areas locked off until Green Lantern gets the proper construct to proceed. Whereas games like Metroid and Symphony of the Night made extra exploration ultimately up to the player to a point, ROTMH actually forces you to replay each of the stages you just replayed. This one can be missed.
4: Captain America: Super Solider
A port of a pretty good Wii game, Super Solider doesn’t handle the transition to the 3DS very well. The Wii version was built with the pointer in mind and this version handles that mechanic awkwardly on the touch screen, which is a huge problem especially in boss fights. The game also suffers from various bugs that will force the player to restart entire areas should they save and comeback at mid-level check points.
3: Spider-Man: Edge of Time
This game can be commended for squeezing the entire PS3/360 game, cut-scenes and voicework and all, albeit with some sacrifices onto a 3DS cart. The graphics themselves are a little soft, with colours like red feeling muted (a big problem in a Spider-Man game), and the enemies also seems to be missing a few frames of animation and move rather awkwardly. In a post circle-pad pro world, this game also suffers from what I like to call PSP-syndrome where movement is handled by the circle pad and camera control is mapped to the d-pad, making moving where you want to efficiently a little bit difficult. Nevertheless, this is a solid 3-D action game that will satisfy those looking for some web-slinging action on the 3DS as long as you keep your expectations in check.
2: Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet
Griptonite redeems themselves in the number two slot on the list with this charming all age’s dungeon crawler. Using the basic story from last years console game, the squaddies have to team up to clear various dungeon areas to collect the infinity stones. Gameplay is from the overhead perspective and the player has access to a wide range of heroes to solve puzzles within the levels (Hulk can lift blocks, Iron Man can hack computers, etc) and there is even a full level composed of nothing but villains, a first for the series. For those who can get over the intended for young audiences design, you’ll have a lot of fun with this title.
1: Thor: God of Thunder
Much like Captain America, Thor is a port of the Wii version. Unlike Captain America however, Thor plays pretty well on the 3DS. The game is a well designed 3D brawler action game with light platforming and features voicework from both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. The game is more generous when it comes to giving checkpoints than the current gen console, which makes the game a little more fair and enjoyable. Adding to the package are unlockables such as new costumes and a full episode of the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series, and that adds up to the best comic book game for the 3DS.