#1 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

Last week I played through the latest episode of Walking Dead got all the single player achievements in Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron.

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.

Games like Ducktales, GoldenEye, Tie-Fighter and Sword Of The Berserk were far and apart.

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.

#2 Posted by Brodehouse (9587 posts) -

That Fist of the North Star game apparently had the original creators heavily involved. I didn't play it, because i figure the only gameplay would be standing there for 7 minutes saying and doing nothing while some asshole jumps around and taunts you, and then he tries to punch you and you make him explode.

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#3 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

Oh yeah, shout another shout out to WWE All-Stars, sure the WWE(annual number) games strive for a more "realistic" take on wrestling, All-Stars was just a fantastic love letter to the history of the business.

Amazing video packages, great voiceacting/mo-cap and just silly, but fun over the top gameplay which made you think back to when you saw wrestlers as these larger than life, real life super heroes doing ungodly human feats while clad in colorful spandex.

It's a disgrace how THQ tried to slide under the radar how they disbanded the development team during E3. Between that and his stupid Crescente interview (Though that was mostly Crsecente's fault for being a hack), I still ahve a bad taste in my mouth concerning teh new head of THQ.

#4 Posted by Delsaber (198 posts) -

I still really, really like that old Star Trek game on the Genesis, Echoes from the Past. Bluffing your way around combat with Picardspeak dialogue options was pretty ingenious, as was the damage control resource management stuff for when you did pew-pew too much. Great music, too.

Just avoid the SNES version.

#5 Posted by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -
#6 Edited by SomeDeliCook (2224 posts) -

I pressed Ctrl + F and searched for Riddick and no results were found. Whaaaaat? *edit* This post was written before QuestisTrepe's post

That game got more attention than any of the movies did. It introduced me to the Riddick universe, and if anything, thats the only reason I watched the films.

People have opinions about Bethesda and Fallout 3, but they were still such big fans of Fallout that they bought the ip and made a game based in it, and it also got way more fans into Fallout and exposed everyone to it.

Ditto on WWE All-Stars too. Obviously they couldn't put in all the legends because of time and in some cases rights (like the rights to Flair, Angle, Owen Hart, etc etc) but they still made a very good game with all the right touches to make it feel authentic... which is weird to say. It also got me back into wrestling, whether thats a good or bad thing.

#7 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

One of the pre-Michael Bay-movies-era PS2 Transformers games was the shit! It was better looking than Halo, had proper car transformations, lush and beautiful open worlds, tight gameplay, and some of the biggest and baddest bosses in videogame history.

The current slew of hovercraft transformers bullshit can suck it.

Check out the fight against Tidal Wave...

#8 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@QuistisTrepe: @SomeDeliCook: I still have the re-release of Escape from Butcher Bay with Dark Athena in my backlog pile. Been meaning to play that.

#9 Edited by DarthOrange (3851 posts) -

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was really underrated and it really remains the best Spider-Man game currently available. Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman 2 were also faithful to both Lego and their protagonists. Wanted: Weapons of Fate was an amazing third person shooter with the ability to curve bullets just like the movie. That games only problem was that it was way to short. Some of the most criminally under appreciated licensed games that really jump out at me personally though are X-Men: The Official Game on the Game Boy Advance, Marvel Super Hero Squad on the DS, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet on PS3/360 and Speed Racer on the Wii.

X-Men: The Official Game on the GBA was a classic side scroller that let you play as one of six (I think it was six?) X-Men and go around platforming and beating people up. Seriously, this game is awesome, just read all one of their raving amazon reviews. Marvel Super Hero Squad on the DS was also a side scroller like X-Men but it turned into a fantastic party prawler (or Smash Brothers rip off if your one of those assholes who thinks that they are the only ones allowed to make a game in the genre) and it had a big cast of characters with alternate costumes to unlock. The followup to that game was actually better on consoles, and it remains THE BEST Marvel game on the market today. Cute character models aside, it is a great game with tons of fan service. This came before Marvel vs Capcom 3 and The Avengers and it still featured then unknown characters like Nova and Thanos. Finally Speed Racer, I would argue, is the best game on the Wii. The gameplay felt perfect, using the racing wheel that came with Mario Kart made it even better, and flicking the remote up to flip or sideways to side swipe felt natural. Plus, you could do other ticks such as using turbo and then flipping sideways to do a corkscrew and other neat things of the sort. The soundtrack is awesome and the game is actually voiced by the same actors from the movie. Fuck Saints Row The Third, seriously, you should go play Speed Racer on Wii (it's less then 20 bucks on amazon and worth every penny).

#10 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@DarthOrange: I really should get a copy of Web Of Shadows. It sounds really interesting.

#11 Posted by FriedConsole (53 posts) -

@Seppli said:

One of the pre-Michael Bay-movies-era PS2 Transformers games was the shit! It was better looking than Halo, had proper car transformations, lush and beautiful open worlds, tight gameplay, and some of the biggest and baddest bosses in videogame history.

That game would have been better if it wasn't so difficult. Easy mode kicked my ass. Flying was really hard. Kinda weird that it was so difficult for a game based on toys for kids.

Activision Bond games are awesome. 007 Legends looks awesome. EA Bond games were shit.

#12 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

Marvel ultimate alliance had that big super hero feel to it.

#13 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@FriedConsole said:

@Seppli said:

One of the pre-Michael Bay-movies-era PS2 Transformers games was the shit! It was better looking than Halo, had proper car transformations, lush and beautiful open worlds, tight gameplay, and some of the biggest and baddest bosses in videogame history.

That game would have been better if it wasn't so difficult. Easy mode kicked my ass. Flying was really hard. Kinda weird that it was so difficult for a game based on toys for kids.

Activision Bond games are awesome. 007 Legends looks awesome. EA Bond games were shit.

I'm into hard games. It wasn't unfair, just an earnest challenge. I take games more seriously, if they take me seriously too. Games need to push me into at least rudimentary mastery of its mechanics - lest all of its depth is wasted.

There wasn't any proper flying in there, it was more like gliding - if I remember correctly.

#14 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@SlightConfuse said:

Marvel ultimate alliance had that big super hero feel to it.

The first MUA was such a love letter to the entire Marvel universe, no matter how silly it could be. I loved that game, hence why I was so disappointed with MUA2. It seemed to me like it had lost so much of the charm of the first game even though they did a good job on "staying topical" what with the Civil War.

I ended up abandoning the game and then on a whim picking it off my shelf and giving it a whirl almost three years later and ended up having a blast. I even replayed it on a higher difficulty. Really strange, but after getting over the initial disappointment I ended up digging the game a lot. And it was still chockful of Marvel easter eggs to revel in.

#15 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -
@TeflonBilly that amount of fan service on that is insane
#16 Posted by crusader8463 (14412 posts) -

Off the top of my head I would say the KOTOR games and the original Dawn of War games.

#17 Posted by Dixavd (1305 posts) -

The two Matrix games, Enter the Matrix and Path of Neo, were surprisingly good at the time (and the same thing with X-Men Legends). Those games weren't fantastic but they held up pretty well for PS2 games which generally as the peak of really bad Licensed games. Yu-Gi-Oh had some pretty good games as well (some, like Capsule Monster Coliseum, even took minor games from the series and fleshed them out to nearly the same degree as the card game has been). Yu-Gi-Oh also made a couple games set in completely different settings not mentioned in the Manga or series to branch off from the idea that the two main protagonists (Yugi and Kaiba) were the last in a long line of two people who had fought at different key times in History (the one focused on by the show was Ancient Egyptian time). Duellists of the Roses for instance, set them in the Tudor period as the two sides of the British civil war (now referred to as the 'War of the Roses', hence the title of the game). It was pretty great at not only mentioning some big characters from the series and giving them counterparts in that time period; but also side characters such as the Paradox Brothers were present.

Those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

#18 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@Dixavd: I always wanted to give Path Of Neo a try, I caught a YouTube clip of their end boss and thought it was a pretty clever and funny way of going about it. For all the problems surrounding the Matrix sequels, I commend Enter The Matrix for how well integrated it was with what happened in those movies and how true to the Wachowski's vision it was (Even though said vision was terrible in my opinion). Hell even for how The Matrix Online eventually failed and was the franchise's last exasperated breath, it was an interesting concept to continue the canonical story of that world in the MMO

#19 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

A real honorable mention would be The Beatles: Rock Band. Now I personally am not a huge fan of the Beatles, but I have to respect the care Harmonix took into creating a just amazingly throrough tribute to the bands career. From the character models to the venues to the absolutely gorgeous intro.

It truly put all of Activisions Guitar Hero games dedicated to Aerosmith, Metallica, Van Halen etc. to shame. It was obviously a labour of love for the development team. The only true complaint you could have is that they didn't include it all on the disc and still tried to eek out some more money by holding some songs off for DLC. I haven't played Green Day: Rock Band so I don't know how comprehensive it is, but I doubt we'll see a band get the care that this game had for it by the developers.

#20 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Bladerunner by Westwood.

#21 Posted by ThePaleKing (613 posts) -
#22 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -
#23 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2224 posts) -

I forgot to mention The Warriors. One of my favorite games of all time and probably the best brawler there is if only because of how big the fights can get.

The levels themselves are also a bit open world, so the fighting never gets repetitive because you're doing plenty of other stuff.

#24 Edited by Godlyawesomeguy (6386 posts) -

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was gruesome, goofy fun.

#25 Posted by believer258 (11637 posts) -

Dragonball Z Budokai 3 was actually a pretty good fighting game. Whatever happened to that team or why they went back to crap, I do now know, but it was pretty good and a fourth iteration could have been even better.

#26 Posted by GunstarRed (5030 posts) -

Aliens Infestation, A lot of the Lego games, Turtles Tournament Fighters... maybe not the last one.

#27 Edited by Daneian (1207 posts) -
#28 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -
#29 Edited by BisonHero (6172 posts) -

I nominate Freedom Force. No, they didn't technically have the Marvel or DC license, but the game shows such a great knowledge of the kind of ham, absurdity, and freedom of ideas that the Silver Age of comics had, and most of the heroes are pretty obvious stand-ins for Marvel superheroes anyways. Seriously, the only way the writing could've been any more on-point in that game is if they had gotten Stan Lee to narrate it. It goes in some weird directions, but the way it is broken into different issues of a comic book and the overall tone of the game is just superb. And the music might as well be straight out of the 60s Spider-Man cartoon, which is AWESOME.

@TeflonBilly said:

A real honorable mention would be The Beatles: Rock Band.

100% agreed. I cried a little during the ending cinematic. Shut up, it was goddamn beautiful.

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#30 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I thought The Chronicles of Riddick was fantastic. It was actually much improved over that damn movie. It had great production value, great voice acting, and fan-fucking-tastic combat. I bought my Xbox in 2004, and it (along with KOTOR) was the first game I purchased for the system.

#31 Posted by AjayRaz (12418 posts) -

@SomeDeliCook said:

I forgot to mention The Warriors. One of my favorite games of all time and probably the best brawler there is if only because of how big the fights can get.

The levels themselves are also a bit open world, so the fighting never gets repetitive because you're doing plenty of other stuff.

yes. yesss. The Warriors is stellar, especially in co-op.

#32 Posted by Hailinel (23901 posts) -

Say what you will about the movie, but the DS game based on Revenge of the Sith was actually really fun. Side-scrolling beat'em up action with Force powers? Hell yes.

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#33 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

Sam and Max.

#34 Edited by Serpentenema (216 posts) -

If we count Def Jam, Def Jam: Fight For New York sits as one of my favorite games ever. With its mix and match fighting styles that was more than just wrestling, and its brutal looking combat. I can always go back to it and have a fun time. Also the story is fucking ridiculous. You fight Fat Joe in a steel cage and you are a tag team with either Giant Bomb favorite: Ice T or Omar Epps from house. @AjayRaz said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

I forgot to mention The Warriors. One of my favorite games of all time and probably the best brawler there is if only because of how big the fights can get.

The levels themselves are also a bit open world, so the fighting never gets repetitive because you're doing plenty of other stuff.

yes. yesss. The Warriors is stellar, especially in co-op.

This too

#35 Posted by pantzing_nome (583 posts) -
#36 Posted by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb did a really good job of catching the feel of the source material. It had a really fun and interesting combat system that did a great job at balancing gunplay and melee combat. Just the feeling of knocking a gun out of an enemy's hand and grabbing it before they can is so much fun. They even made it so your hat could get knocked off during combat and you would have to pick it up.

#37 Posted by awesomeusername (4154 posts) -
  • Spiderman 2
  • The Godfather: The Game
  • Kingdom Heart's 1 & 2
  • Lego Star Wars
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2
#38 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was gruesome, goofy fun.

That game was oodles better than the horrid movie it's based on and they had some nice references to the comic books in the levels from the game that didn't really appear in the movie. A fun little tie-in.

And the Hugh Jackman character model was very impressive

#39 Posted by Lazyaza (2167 posts) -

Personally I think only the cybertron games and arkham games have done justice to their respective licenses. Maybe some ok disney platformers back in the snes days but besides them ehhh.

It's a real shame because I am so deep in to Marvel stuff right now between my eager anticipation for the next wave of films and watching every episode of the god damn awesome EMH animated series I would love to buy any Marvel universe game that wasn't either just ok or mediocre at best.

#40 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@Lazyaza said:

Personally I think only the cybertron games and arkham games have done justice to their respective licenses. Maybe some ok disney platformers back in the snes days but besides them ehhh.

It's a real shame because I am so deep in to Marvel stuff right now between my eager anticipation for the next wave of films and watching every episode of the god damn awesome EMH animated series I would love to buy any Marvel universe game that wasn't either just ok or mediocre at best.

The MUA games I mentioned earlier in the thread are pretty great love letters to the Marvel Universe. If they found some way to update the next iteration of that and have it veer more towards the charm of the first rather than the forced and sterile seriousness of the second I think we could be in for a treat. Hell, even the Ultimate universe is established enough now that they could focus a game on that.

The fact that DC doesn't try their hand at something similar now that they have so much freedom with the New 52 or even just using the extremely malleable and entertaining new DCAU that Young Justice has established perplexes me. Those things are goldmines.

#41 Posted by mordukai (7133 posts) -

Planescape Torment. I would cite the work Bioware and Black Isle did within the D&D world.

#42 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

Speed Racer Wii

#43 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

Aliens Versus Predator 2.

Absolutely excellent game on all levels, great campaigns, excellent multiplayer. Still one of my favourite games of all time.

And note that the source material to AVP 2 is Aliens and Predator, not the AVP movies, as it came out before them. Also those movies don't exist.

#44 Posted by Timnoldzim (86 posts) -

It's almost never talked about, probably because it was a kids' game, but Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was really good at emulating the Spongebob style. It had a lot of clever humor, good level design, almost the entire voice cast from the series (Mr. Krabs' voice double is conspicuous), and some pretty great level design. I wouldn't call it utterly brilliant or anything, but I do think that it's a real hidden gem, and worth checking out. It's a good platformer!

@egg said:

Speed Racer Wii

Wow... I thought you were kidding, but I looked it up and that actually looks pretty good! It's like F-Zero. I might want to check it out if I can find it for cheap.