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 Super hero games not super

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: Super hero games not super   Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:25 am

Decades of resource material, thousands of characters to chose from, and yet it seems that every game involving superheroes... published superheroes from the likes of DC or Marvel... restrict themselves to the most base characters, those that are the most well known or are "current" due to television or movies.

On Facebook, I was playing Marvel: Avengers Alliance. It wasn't too bad; I enjoyed saving my points to acquire new characters, and I liked the visuals of both the characters and of the combat. It didn't so much stimulate my imagination, but... I don't know. I liked the idea behind the game more than anything. But, as with most games, this quickly devolved into a game where, if you wanted to advance any more, you had to either pay to gain points or to compete on equal ground against others, or you had to join one of those friend me sites. Plus, it got boring, so I quit.

Now, now I'm playing Marvel: Contest of Champions on the phone. It's a simple fighting game that isn't based on anything writing in the comics. The characters strengths and weaknesses are not based on what was written, is not based on that character's story. As an example: the Hulk is easily beaten by, say, Hawkeye. In this game, you can perform quick jabs, quick dash attacks, hard punches, back up or block. Get hit or connect with a hit enough times, and your power meter builds up, allowing you to perform a special attack that is based on your character. For instance, Spider Man will shoot some webbing.

That's it. The same attacks are given to each character... jab, dash, hit, block, backup. The special attacks are what the characters would be doing normally in any given situation. No consideration is given to the source material.

Now I know that this is just an app game, that if I really wanted something more along the lines of an accurate comic book combat game, I'd either have to buy a game based on that character, or try the likes of Ultimate Alliance or something. And even though it may sound as if I'm bashing the game's mechanics, I'm not. I've mentally filled in the gaps to match the game's story, in that the Collector has assembled a team (as has Kang and you) to compete in Battleworld; I'm assuming that at some point it'll be revealed that all the characters were placed on equal terms to give all participants a fair chance of winning The Prize. It should be noted that during story mode or versus mode you can level up your characters; the more boosts, the more they resemble their comic book model.

Anyway, what I am bashing here is the obvious lack of characters. As I mentioned earlier, they are using only the most popular or the well known characters. To restate my opening, with thousands of characters at their disposal, with decades upon decades of information, why limit yourself to but a handful of characters?

With regards to Contest of Champions, the Hulk and Rhino fight with the same mechanics and programming: head butt for level one attack, power clap with level two. Their victory cut scene is the same as well, just different skins. Black Panther, Daredevil, and Iron Fist fight almost in a similar fashion (just different skins), with Panther and Fist sharing the victory cut scene. Same with the Punisher and Winter Soldier. Yes, I know that those are all examples of similar characters, so of course they'd have the same combat visuals... and, as a mobile device game, they probably couldn't program individual move sets for the characters in an effort to conserve space. I understand that. It just gets old real fast, especially when you consider the fact that there aren't that many characters to chose from.

By chose, I mean by random lottery. Competing in versus mode will give you battle chips: depending on how many you cash in, you can either elect to have multiple low level crystals, or a singular high level crystal; opening a crystal will either yield a boost of sorts or a character. Competing a story mode chapter will also grant one of these crystals, as will the daily crystal. Characters are rated with stars, with one being the lowest and four or five the highest. Naturally, there are more level 1 than 2, more 2 than 3, and so on. The kicker is you can win the same character from different levels; I have a level 1 and 2 Spider Man, a level 1 and 2 Vision... in addition to a level 2 movie version of the Vision. Winning the same character at the same level gives him a different special attack and gives you some rare boosts.

...

Seems I've gotten side tracked a bit, that I'm reviewing the game more than complaining. Okay, let me try this approach.

If the Hulk, Juggernaut and Rhino play the same, why not make a skin for the Armadillo? If Punisher and Winter Soldier play the same, why not bring in Scourge? Lady Punisher? Outlaw or Payback? We have Captain America, so where's US Agent or Flag Smasher? And these characters aren't even scratching the surface of the vast stable of Marvel characters! Bring me Whirlwind, the Shocker, Mauler, Stingray, and yes, the Porcupine! Hundreds, if not thousands, of characters to chose!

And you know what? If they'd just make the skins of those characters and made the stats unique, I'd be happy with them just selling them! Surely, this isn't just limited to Marvel games.

*sigh*

I'm thinking, what I need is better found on a computer or console game. But even with that, even with my example of Ultimate Alliance, it doesn't include the B or C (or even Z) rated characters.

Oh well. Quite suddenly, my rant has escaped me, so I cannot really finish this post, not in the direction I was going at least. I will say that Contest of Champions isn't a bad game, it is fun in its own way... it's just limited.
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PostSubject: Re: Super hero games not super   Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:46 am

To continue my rant on Contest of Champions...

Below you'll see a list of all the characters I have collected or won so far.  The higher their star rating, the rarer the character is (and more powerful).  I've indicated by the names what costume the character is wearing; if nothing is listed, then they are wearing the normal comic book costume.  If you are unfamiliar with the Fear Itself storyline (regarding Colossus' costume), when Juggernaut was given a god weapon, Colossus took Juggy's magic bands; with the Superior Iron Man armor, that too was from a recent storyline. The stars are not meant to show what power level one character is when compared to another; well, I guess they are, but what I meant was we all know that Hulk isn't a level one / one star character, nor would Black Panther really be a three star. These are not comic book ratings, just in game ratings.



Please note the number of repeat characters (star ratings). That in itself is no big deal, and works for me. Some of the PVP battles are limited in rankings or ratings, so having multiple same characters is actually a good thing. Plus, when you win a same character in the daily crystal or through prizes, instead of getting a second one star character, you get power-ups.

I've had a lot of same character wins through the daily and the prizes. Been playing this game since well before Thanksgiving, a week or so after having gotten the smartphones (that was what, early / mid October?), and yet have accumulated 42 characters. We'll say 74 days. In 74 days worth of daily crystals and awards / rewards / PVP battles, 42 unique characters were won; that means there was at least 15 repeat characters. I know that doesn't add up, but sometimes you don't win a character, but rather a power up... I've just halving it for the sake of argument. According to the game's wiki, there are only 57 playable characters (link is here). Counting just characters, and not those of different rates, I have 34 characters... only 23 more to go to have them all; going through the wiki, it looks as if most of the ones I am missing are just costume variants.

57 characters. Just went through the wiki, and 47 of them are unique, maybe less depending on whether or not you believe a different costume is a different character (symbiote Spider Man, Hulkbuster Iron Man). 47 characters then.

47 characters, out of decades upon decades worth of material. Going through the wiki list, you could easily swap characters for different characters (like my Rhino / Armadillo comparison). Or hell, let's keep the movie costumes, but also include the comic book versions. Gamora and Drax pop immediately to mind.
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