Is this the last hurrah? We have reached the end of this digital diversion, readers of Geek Force Network. I have shared my favorite comic book video games from before and after the year 2000, so all that remains are those select series that have no dog in the video games fight.
Historically, most adaptations of comic books have come from the big two, Marvel and DC. They have been the movie cash-ins and superhero beat ’em-ups, the fighting game cross-overs and the Lego-based collectathons. Fortunately, the rise of indie games and comics have given way to the rebirth of the point-and-click adventure genre. Studios like Telltale Games have been turning fantastic comics into wonderful video games for the world to enjoy. If it weren’t for their efforts, two of my favorite series may have remained confined to the printed page, never to grace my gaming screens (thanks for Bone and Fables, Telltale). But even with the recent glut of sequential art adaptations, there are still comic books which I would love to see translated to the digital world. Continue reading Favorite Comic Books That Should Be Video Games
SHAZAM! It’s time for another exciting installment of beloved comic book video games! This week on Geek Force Network, we will take a look at our slightly selfish scribe’s gaming picks from the 21st century (so far).
Since the year 2000, video games have been making leaps and bounds thanks to improved technology and expanded narrative, so it’s natural that some amazing titles based on comic books have hit the market. Just last year, a certain comic book series was adapted into a video game that was featured on numerous “top ten” and “best of” lists, giving further hope to licensed titles everywhere. With so many great games to choose from, I had some trouble narrowing down my list of adaptations from the last 14 years. Nevertheless, here are my favorite post-2000 comic book games for your reading pleasure! Continue reading Favorite Comic Book Video Games, post-2000
Excelsior, faithful readers of Geek Force Network! I am taking a bit of a break from the usual analysis of comic book adaptations of video games to glimpse some of the better video game adaptations of comic books.
Like most of the writers here on GFN, I have played quite a few video games over the course of my life. Many of these glorious digital distractions have been related to the sequential art I so enjoy. So for the next three posts, I would like to take a selfish diversion and cover my favorite video games based on comic book properties. Continue reading Favorite Comic Book Video Games, Pre-2000
Over my many years reading comics, I have found that the best books have art that complements the story. A rollicking fantasy tale should have ethereal watercolors and wide panels for landscape views, while gritty noir fiction should have strong contrasts with tight frames to depict the narrow confines of a city. The artwork dictates the mood of a comic, providing the reader with a visual to influence their emotions while reading.
On the extreme end of art complementing a story are books where unsettling visuals match a dissonant narrative. Worlds where logic doesn’t always apply, characters who have lost touch with reality, certain time periods may have never existed; these story elements tend to shine brightest with surreal art and harsh panel layouts. So when Valve decided to create a comic around a rather offbeat side character from the Portal series, it would seem natural that the art would be as jarring as its protagonist. Continue reading Experimental Art
I’m a bit of an odd duck when it comes to spoilers. Where most of my friends will plug their ears and cover their eyes anytime a potential plot twist or massive story event is being discussed, I will make no effort to avoid these conversations. If a piece of media is strong enough to be worth my time, then no amount of prior knowledge should be able to ruin the experience. I feel that this sentiment is quite valuable in the world of video games, where constant media coverage barrages players with previews until there is nothing left to the imagination.
Of course, the average player would prefer to avoid any sort of spoilers for upcoming games. This is particularly true for the more story-heavy titles of today. (WARNING: NOT REAL SPOILER ALERT) Few people want to go into The Last of Us knowing that the entire game is a dream of a giant whale, or play Bioshock Infinite and find out that the cast of characters are all dinosaur people in disguise (END OF FAKE SPOILERS). So when a video game that relies on a strong narrative is adapted into a comic book, most writers will create side stories or new adventures to avoid ruining the experience of play for uninitiated gamers. Of course, some writers choose to adapt the game’s story directly onto the printed page, spoilers be damned, which happens to be the case for the Disgaea manga. Continue reading Getting Spoiled
In the early days of video games, developers relied on instruction manuals and promotional material to flesh out a story. The technology of the time simply wasn’t up to the task of mapping out a complex world. Oh sure, players could discern that a mustachioed man needs to run and jump through a world of bricks to save a princess, but the full details of Super Mario Brothers would be delivered through an instruction manual (along with cartoons, comics, and cereal boxes).
These days, the awesome power of technology has provided developers the means to tell a game’s narrative through cut scenes, spoken dialogue, and animated backstories. To the mutual delight and dismay of players everywhere, many games will force the plot through linear set pieces and unskippable moments that ensure the story is properly conveyed. Virtually no details are left out in the exposition-heavy titles of the 21st century. But not every game needs to rely on these methods to ensure a good time. Continue reading The Whole Story
Another year, another successful day of free comics. Since 2002, the first Saturday in May has been a special time when anyone who walks into participating stores walks out with special comics at no charge. My local shop was a packed house from the start of the event. A line filled with men, women, and tons of kids in superhero costumes wrapped around the store, each of them eager to scoop up some free comics.
Most of the bigger companies had special issues of their series available for pickup. Most notably, Marvel had several tie-ins to their upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. However, plenty of non-superhero comics were also ready with free issues. Adventure Time and The Simpsons, Smurfs and Grimm Fairy Tales; even the Power Rangers had a comic at no charge! But as most of our regular readers would assume, I was there for the video game comics. Continue reading The Spoils of Free Comic Book Day!