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Bestselling crap

2. Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
2005 | PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PSP
Copies sold in US: Close to 1.2 million
Average score: 56%

Affectionately known as "Marvel Emesis," Marvel Nemesis was the best idea ever on paper: get a bunch of hyper-detailed Marvel superheroes into big, destructible 3D arenas and make 'em fight each other one-on-one. It looked great, and the addition of new villains created just for the game seemed like a good plan at the time. But then some genius decided that Marvel Nemesis needed to be a long, frustrating single-player beat 'em-up as well as a one-on-one fighter, and everything just went straight to hell.

The company line: "Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects delivers the most authentic and cinematic Super Hero fighting experience ever seen in a video game, while remaining faithful to the legacy of these classic characters."

What the critics said: The game's brawler mode - and the fact that you had to play it to unlock characters for the one-on-one portion - was a big target of derision, with GameSpot's Steve Palley writing, "Marvel Nemesis has been engineered in such a way that you must slog through the game's weakest parts to gain access to its best features." Other complaints included the game's unresponsive camera, its even-more-unresponsive controls and the overall dullness of battling faceless robots in mission after crappy mission. And the game's original villains - the aptly named Imperfects - turned out to be a cabal of wildly unappealing creeps with mostly unmemorable backstories and powers.

Even the game's "best" parts - its one-on-one battles - were bashed for limiting each hero's arsenal of moves to a few simple attacks. As IGN's Jeremy Dunham lamented, "once you've learned one guy, you've pretty much learned them all - everyone is essentially the same person, only animated differently with a couple of exceptions."



Why you bought it anyway: We're going to go out on a limb and guess it had something to do with the fact that the game enables you to make Spider-Man fight Wolverine to the death. Call it a hunch.

What went wrong? This was yet another case of a tight schedule and deeply flawed design conspiring to create crap. The one-on-one fights were promising, but left as they were, they would never have carried Marvel Nemesis to critical success on their own. They were button-mashy, required zero strategy and - once you'd seen cool stuff like Wolverine stabbing Spider-Man to death with his claws, or Elektra burying her sai in Daredevil's forehead - they got boring fast. But they were masterpieces compared to the brawling action, which was a buggy, dull, confusing mess. Even so, you had to slog through it if you wanted to unlock any characters for the game's more tolerable versus mode, thus stripping Nemesis of any remaining appeal.

Most infuriatingly positive quote: "Rise of the Imperfects shows that the relationship between EA and Marvel could be start [sic] of a beautiful friendship," wrote GameSpy's David Chapman. He may be right; Marvel Nemesis 2 has been reported as currently in production. Tremble in fear.

54 comments

  • Moosebomber - December 15, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    i liked enter the matrix. but then again, when i played it, i was 11.
  • aqibloz - July 30, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    "more focused on looking slick than on actual fun." u just described gta4. . .
  • FancyRat - October 12, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    "Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase..." What?
  • jingneji - October 12, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    marvel imperfects was a good games but it had it ups and downs but i still liked it
  • chilipeppersman - October 17, 2008 4:47 a.m.

    for the people who said they liked enter the matrix, that game truly sucked and you dont know good games if you think ENTER THE MATRIX was good, so good job GR. fuck all the company lines too, they are full of donkey shit
  • Patius - October 17, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    Eh, in 6th grade, Enter the Matrix was fun. Then again, there were lots of games that we enjoyed back then that suck now that I look at it.
  • twishart - October 19, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've purchased NONE of these games, and have only played Wii Play ONCE. Thanks GaymesRaider.corm!
  • thereaper52 - October 21, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    i loved enter the matrix only because of the slo mo wall kick fuckin A++ to the matrix
  • samboy218 - October 25, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    50 cent what?
  • Graham - October 27, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm so proud of the fact that I've never bought any of these games and, to be honest, I don't know that I've even played any of them. I almost sat down with my roommmates copy of Spiderman 3 once, but after watching him get pwned repeatedly by that lame quicktime event against Sandman at the end, I thought better of it. Also, that other Matrix game, zymn, was Path of Neo. It had its fair share of bugs and lousy collision detection, but it was pretty fun overall. A good five-day rental type of game.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 30, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    When will 50 cent die? I can but dream. How pissed off would you be if you were one of the nine people who shot him and he didn't die?
  • oreomonkey - November 2, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    I liked Enter the Matrix but im sure if I picked it up again right now I would agree that its crap... Wii play was good for the remote
  • MacGyver1138 - November 6, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    Zymn, like graham said, the other Matrix game you were thinking of was the Path of Neo. It was still pretty buggy, and it had some weird fights (Giant, bipedal ants come to mind) but it was way better than Enter the Matrix. At least Enter the Matrix let you see Monica Belucci and Jada Pinkett Smith making out. That made the game almost tolerable.
  • BordersOfInsanity - November 23, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    i actually liked golden eye rogue agent, and driv3r was alright.
  • mugen_ - December 8, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    saw 50 cent's game for 99 cents, they had about a fifty copies.
  • zymn - October 11, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    fiiiiirssst. or, whatever. uhh... wasn't there a matrix game where u played as neo? and it was like you vs. vampires or somethin? anyways, great list. funny as always.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 11, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    CURSE YOU COMPANY LINES, YOU TRICK US ALL!!!
  • Pablos102030 - October 12, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    Screw you guys, I liked rogue agent. The multiplayer was awesome.
  • bron1417 - October 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    back when "The Matrix" game first came out i actually liked it,i didnt buy it but i liked it enough to play it and at the time it was tight. but still it's a shame there are crappy games but that's why we have GR. nice article guys btw.
  • Rodrigo90 - October 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    "proving once again that no cliché is too stale for a writer who wants to see himself quoted on the back of a box." A Hilarious "Ouch" xD

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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