Wow, Marvel sure did announce a lot of movies yesterday! But we’re a games site, so we don’t write about movies.
However! We do write about video games. Or, in this case, the world's continuing lack of awesome comic book movie tie-ins. Seems like a no-brainer, right? And yet here we are, still starving for a perfect knock-out of a video game based around the world's hottest entertainment property.
Well, Disney and Marvel, and all you dudes who pay millions to license their properties: Now is the time. The next cinematic phase (which in Marvel speak means "set of movies leading up to an Avengers sequel") is the chance for Hollywood to finally get it all right. And we have the perfect ideas for you. Trust us, we’re experts.
Nintendogs + Cats: Marvel Version
I’m baffled that Marvel is planning to create an Inhumans movie, because Marvel Films doesn’t have the movie rights to Fantastic Four. And Inhumans without the Fantastic Four is an empty lie! The deep bond of friendship between Lockjaw and Ben Grimm is one of the cornerstones of the classic Lee/Kirby Marvel universe. Without comics’ first family around, who can Lockjaw turn to for companionship? Dogs may be man’s best friend, but who will be this dog’s best friend?
The answer: We all will. Lockjaw would be perfect as the premiere “dog" “breed" in Nintendo’s next Nintendogs title, Nintendogs + Cats: Marvel Version. Think the Nintendogs franchise is getting a little long in the tooth? Well, imagine if your pet could teleport across the galaxy at will! Imagine if it occasionally did battle with Skrulls pretending to be cats! Imagine playing Frisbee with this dog in the low gravity of the Blue Area of the moon!
Other notable dogs and cats would include Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair (wait, she's actually a werewolf who would beat you up for treating her like an animal); Hawkeye’s dog Arrow, who communicates entirely in pictograms; and… um, actually, I’m having a hard time thinking of many Marvel Comics dogs and cats. I guess we can expand the species available and bring in Squirrel Girl's Monkey Joe? Sure, he’s a squirrel, but how many squirrels can be said to have played a part in defeating both Doctor Doom and Thanos?
Actually, I think I just want a game about Monkey Joe.
Forza Horizon 2: Marvel Version
We just haven't had enough Spider-Man movies of late, so I think a nice crossover between the webbed wonder, and the top-notch Xbox One open world racing game would be perfect. How so? Well, Peter Parker is a photographer right? And Forza Horizon 2 has a photography assignment mode, so there is my rock solid tenuous link between ol' Spidey and my current favorite racer.
Think of a top-class plot where Spidey is sent to Southern France to take pictures for The Daily Bugle, which for you younger readers is a thing called a "newspaper." It's just like the Internet, only it's delivered on paper, and only you can write asinine comments on its stories (using something called a "pen," and scrawled on said paper). Anyway. Parker goes on assignment to France, and is having a great time, when suddenly Doctor Doom comes along and gets all pissed off and such about the noise being made by all the Forza Horizon festivals in the area. He deploys his Sonic Silencer, and lo. Suddenly the Forza party is well and truly rained upon. And oh no. The kids are all, like, sad and stuff.
Fortunately, with Parker being in the area, he can swing into action immediately and set about destroying Doctor Doom's machines and making everything all good and ravey again. However, Parker might have trouble swinging into action, since there aren't many skyscrapers to swing from, but I reckon he could scamper about pretty well, punching Doc Doom's face repeatedly as he does. That is, once he's mashed Doc Doom's army of robots that he'd no doubt summon.
There would have to be a finale where a wormhole opens and lots of crap flies out, because that happens in every Marvel movie, but once Spidey has smashed up all the flying wormhole robots on jet bikes, the day will be saved, and we can watch the credits and hope there's some cool teaser to the next inevitable Marvel movie.
And that movie would be...
The Movies: Howard the Duck Edition
I don't really keep up with superhero stuff, but I don't begrudge those who do--I just have too many damned hobbies and interests to consider adding yet another one to the pile. So my entry involves something I do have a passion for: bad movies. And, if you look outside of low-budget nightmares like The Room, Troll 2, and Birdemic, it's hard to think of a big-budget special effects extravaganza with a worse reputation than 1986's Howard the Duck. And, after making a five-seconds-long appearance at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, the Howard the Duck zeitgeist has never been zeitgeistier.
So I'd like to bring back Peter Molyneux's The Movies, but with a box office bomb twist: Make Howard the Duck a good movie — even a barely tolerable one! Essentially, that would make this new creation the Dark Souls of movie-making sims, but that's perfectly fine. With the power of interactive entertainment, you can possess the keen insight into filmmaking director Willard Huyck lacked. Was America ready for full-frontal duck nudity in 1986? No, and we probably aren't in 2014, but now you can leave that scene on the cutting room floor, or perhaps buried several feet beneath it.
Does the prospect of sex between Lea Thompson and a humanoid duck disgust you? Well, it should, and now you can replace any inkling of human/fowl sexual tension with space battles or swearing puppets or whatever the kids are into these days. Or win the easy way by simply burning the entire studio to the ground! It may result in an instant game over, but future generations will thank you.
I'm the resident Marvel nerd around here, so I'm actually going to do this right. Does anyone remember X-Men: Destiny? That was supposed to be the X-Men game to beat. Silicon Knights promised a deep, Mass Effect-style RPG where you were a new mutant who had to choose between the X-Men and the Brotherhood. You were supposed to be able to choose between a variety of powers and enhance those power over the course of your game. Instead, we got an uninspired action-RPG with few meaningful choices.
If Marvel's going to replace mutants with Inhumans, then we should get a do-over on X-Men Destiny. Inhumans are like mutants, in that anyone can become one, but they gain their powers through Terrigenesis, a process involving a catalyst called the Terrigen Mist. The current Inhuman status quo has their king, Black Bolt, releasing the Terrigen Mist worldwide. That means there's a whole host of new Inhumans, all of whom need leadership. It's X-Men + Game of Thrones + the modern world.
Imagine a game that places you in the shoes of a new Inhuman. You choose your base power and you upgrade it over time. In addition, your new powers mark you as someone the entire Inhuman nation should watch, so now the leaders of specific factions want you on their side. Think of an Infamous-style open-world action game with the story-based choices of a Bioware RPG. I'd buy that on day one, and I don't even care about the Inhumans that much.
Super Robot Infinity Wars
Iron Man is sort of a mech, right? I mean, he's basically a Tekkaman, and Banpresto had no trouble whatsover throwing that series into Super Robot Wars W. So what's I'm proposing is the Avengers/Super Robot Wars crossover to end all crossovers: Voltron flying flying wing with Iron Man, Bright Noa taking Captain America under his wing, and Gurren Laggann chucking stars at Hulk. The battle for the Infinity Gems would also be a perfect fit with The Spheres—a set of 12 macguffins capable of channeling enormous power that have been the subject of four games and counting in the Super Robot Wars Z subseries.
If you want to know the truth, I'm kind of shocked that it hasn't happened yet. Marvel's sprawling continuity, both retconned and canonical, is ripe for integration into the Super Robot Wars universe, which has made an artform of merging the likes of Mobile Suit Gundam with Mazinger. Given the galaxy-spanning sweep of the Marvel universe, integrating it into the Super Robot Wars continuity would be comparative child's play. Hell, Iron Man and a number of other characters have already appeared in an anime.
So do what you need to do, Bandai Namco. Japanese kids love the Avengers every bit as much as American kids, and mixing them with giant robots ought to be just what mecha needs to stay relevant in Japan's ever-changing pop culture landscape. Pay whatever you need to pay to get the license and get them into Super Robot Wars. Do it. Do it.