Walking Dead continues to be a tour de force at what it's doing and staying true to the tone of the comics while Fall Of Cybertron was a mostly average, but amusing third person shooter. What made me come back to it was just how lovingly it handled the Transformers license. Especially considering how it has been thoroughly shat upon by Michael Bay the last few years. Everything from the design of The Ark to Slag's entrance during Grimlock's stage harkened back to great moments of the G1 universe I grew up with. Hell, their previous game War For Cybertron even had the universal greeting!
It used to be back in previous console generations when a licensed game was an easy way to offload it to LJN or the like and just make a standard fare 2D shooter or beat em up with little regard for the source material hoping to cash in on a recognizable name.
But experiencing how much care was put into Fall Of Cybertron made me recognize other games of this generation which even though may not have been able to blend the reverence for the source material with what we'd consider Triple A gameplay the likes of the Batman: Arkham Asylum/City, still are more than worthy of attention and praise by fans of it.
Take Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which was mostly average third person shooter, but which had so much love for and input from the original creators that you almost felt like this was the third Ghostbusters movie we never got. Hearing Winston, Egon, Ray and Venkman #crackinwise by your side gave my nostalgiaboner a nice massage. The fact that they manage to weave a lot of the lore that they had previously hinted to and other easter eggs like Louis Tully's overflowing desk and Vigo berating you made an average experience rather magical. I still kinda wanna give the Wii version a whirl since it seems to take after the excellent cartoon series a lot as well.
Relic have managed to encapsulate the tone of the Warhammer 40K universe amazingly with their stellar Dawn Of War games, but it was still with much trepidation I approached Space Marine. Much to my delight they'd manage to make a thoroughly enjoyable game which paid homage to the insanity of the Space British and the cockney Orks. If you even have a passing familiarity with how things end up in the 40k universe, you knew where things were heading, but you loved every bit of it.
I mightily enjoyed the game released for The Amazing Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man has had an especially rocky past in licensed games (I still shudder at enduring the likes of Arcade's Revenge on the SNES and the first Spider-Man game on the Game Boy as a kid), but I thought Activision took a brave and bold step with Shattered Dimensions (Only too take a step back again withe Edge Of Time) letting me enjoy my friendly neighborhood Spider-Man properly for the first time since Spider-Man 2 (And to some degree Ultimate Spider-Man) on the GameCube. They managed to cram in a lot of clever references to the comic book history even with it being a movie tie-in, but more importantly nailed the feeling of BEING Spidey while web-slinging across Manhattan. If they use that as a template, tighten up the combat and populate the world some truly interesting villains from ol' Web-Heads comic book rogues gallery, I think they can actually reach the plateu of a Triple A licensed game that wouldn't just appeal to fans of Peter Parker's trials and tribulations.
Of course we are far from out of the woods, licenses are still used to lazily develop bad games with absolutely no respect for the source material, but it does make your inner fanboy happy seeing something you probably know way too much be treated the way you want it to and not be served Superman 64
Any other licensed game you'd give a shout-out too? I know next to nothing about Naruto for example, but after playing and loving Asura's Wrath I picked up Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 on a whim for a song and a dance since it's from CyberConnect2 and the trailers made it look like a percursor to the cinematic craziness they showered me with in Asura's Wrath. Gorgeous game, but I've yet to really get into it.