What would Batman play?
Superheroes certainly have come a long, long way from the halcyon days of June 1938. Take Superman for example: then just another deadbeat Kryptonian tourist--liquored up, beaten down and forced to resort to saving small kids for cash. Praise be to Mssrs Siegel and Shuster then, for signing up ol' Kal-El to a lucrative 'tell-all' book deal, the very first chapter of which appeared in that month's Action Comics #1.
Alright, so maybe I skipped the research portion of this article. All you really need to know is that superheroes are downright excellent and, given the chance, most tend to excel beyond all reasonable expectation. With that in mind, I've penned this list of ten top heroes and the video games they'd absolutely, positively dominate. Excelsior!
The Flash would dominate... International Track and Field
Nothing screams 'permanent nerve damage' like a quick game of International Track & Field. Konami's quintessential athletics sim, IT&F--or as it's more commonly known--"my thumbs, what have you done to my thumbs!"--is a classic example of PlayStation party-gaming. It also happens to be responsible for more torn tendons and burst biceps than an entire squad of ditzy cheerleaders cutting through a college weights room. Keep on lifting lads; no woman alive can resist the allure of a ruptured buttock
Fortunately for planet Earth--as well as nine-tenths of modern Hollywood--superheroes are that much harder to harm. Case in point, DC's resident dynamo 'The Flash'. Gifted with supersonic speed, this quip-spitting hero thinks nothing of smashing a 100-metre world record while out for his morning stroll. Compared to that, mashing two or three tiny plastic inputs sounds like well, an even easier walk in the park
Silver Surfer would boss... Tony Hawk's Ride
Despite looking like some kind of specialist Oscar award--"and the winner is Point Break!"--Marvel's Silver Surfer remains one of the company's most enduring and iconic creations. Born Norrin Radd on the peaceful planet of Zenn-La, this one-time world-(b)eater would eventually fall out of favour with his evil overlord, and wind up on the galactic bargain basement of planet Earth. Sound familiar? It should. The very same thing happened to a certain Tony Hawk, or rather, to his multi-million dollar gaming empire.
Where better than for the Surfer to ply his gaming trade than on one of Mr. Hawk's ill-fated final titles? I'm talking, of course, about 2009's consistently awful 'TH Ride', as well as its 2010 follow-up 'Shred'. Bundled alongside an unresponsive deck peripheral, few gamers were ever able to wrap their heads around this jerky, carpet-squishing gimmick. Thankfully, ol' Surfey--as he's known by precisely no one--has a knack for handling this sort of situation, regularly dodging god-sized fists and space-aged kicks while atop his big shiny surfboard. He may not have much fun, but If Norrin isn't Radd-ical enough to master Tony's RIDE, then who on earth is? See what I did there? DO YOU SEE!?
Hawkeye would smash... Time Crisis
Say what you will about their evil intentions, few baddies are quite so polite as the high-tech terrorists of Time Crisis. Colour-coded for your convenience, and far too friendly to even dream about tossing that frag behind your back, these gracious goons are almost as stoic and dare-i-say-it dull as The Avengers' own Hawkeye. A master marksman by trade, Mr. Clint Barton may not be the most exciting member of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but damn it if he doesn't give it his very best shot (pun very much intended, now kneel before me).
With his keen, bird-like vision (I guess 'Johnny Seagullpeepers' was already taken) Hawkeye could conceivably dominate any-and-all lightgun games on the market today. Hell, if the Avengers movie were being made back in the 1980s, he'd probably have a quip or two about learning it all from Duck Hunt. And of course, we'd all laugh like maniacs. Maybe.
Star-Lord would own... GTA: Vice City
Who? Ok, ok, we've all seen the movie, genius: why exactly would Star-Lord make for a better GTA player than the rest of us? Well, the short answer is--he wouldn't, not really. Peter Quill's space-aged swagger appears here precisely because Star-Lord himself missed out on large swathes of the 80s, and if there's one thing I cant abide, it's fictional characters missing out on skin-tight lycra and hair metal.
Of course, Quill's criminal leanings would also make controlling the murderous mobster Tommy Vercetti that much more fitting. Likewise, Pete's penchant for fast rides and loose ladies would also be accounted for--often, and with little-to-no regard for vehicular suspension. So, make way 'Awesome mix-tape #1', and say hello to the neon-drenched nirvana that is Flash FM, Fever 105 and Wildstyle Pirate Radio. "Ooga chaka" indeed.
Batman would be king of... Maniac Mansion
Darn, that Caped Crusader certainly is an effective detective. He just cracked the Zodiac code over breakfast and now he's off to deliver a heartfelt soliloquy on justice to the Joker--followed by an even more heartfelt skull-punching. Just how exactly does he do it, and more to the point, who trained Bruce Wayne to be such an excellent investigator in the first place? Well, Dt. Harvey Harris did give him a few tips as a kid, but come on, there's got to be something else, right? Right?
Right. It's my contention that Bruce Wayne's batcomputer is practically overflowing with old-school adventure games. How else could the Dark Knight have mentally prepared himself for so many of the Riddler's obtuse clues? I mean, once you've pitted your wits against the likes of the King's Quest gnome, everything else is practically child's play. Of course, every gamer has their favourite and the big bad man of bats is no exception. Given how much time Wayne typically spends skulking around mansions, and/or pummelling maniacs, I'd wager he's a big fan--if, not an outright speed-run specialist--at a certain Maniac Mansion. Now that's detective work.
Multiple Man would be the only person capable of playing... Steel Battalion
Remember Steel Battalion, the mech-blasting, original Xbox exclusive that shipped with its own outrageous command module? You know the one; it had over 40 different inputs and a special set of pedals? Your buddy even claimed to have known a guy who'd owned one and been driven irrevocably mad as a result. Oh, you do? Well then, in that case--do I have a rib-tickling joke lined up for you! You see, Steel Battalion's control scheme is so intricate, so incredibly complex, you might even say that the game requires 'Multiple Men' to operate Oh that's, right, I forgot to mention Multiple Man. Well, there goes that punch line.
Born James Arthur Madrox, Marvel's self-duplicating sensation would certainly stand a better chance of mastering Battalion than your average 'mono-body' player (a slur I've just now invented). With a single doppelganger assigned to each and every core function, including weapons, movement and communications, Madrox and company would be nigh-on unstoppable--or at the very least provide a blood-soaked alternative to watching synchronised swimming.
Mr Fantastic would love anything Kinect
Oh motion gaming, you're the crack-addicted uncle of the entire entertainment industry. Just when we think it's safe to let you back into our lives, new and improved, all sins forgiven, you resolve to smash up our stuff and leave. For shame sir--a shame that you haven't been able to work out all of your kinks just yet, not to mention the fact that you're never around for Christmas anymore. That being said, there is one man who might enjoy your glitchy, unresponsive nonsense.
Cast your mind back to the Kinect's E3 stage debut, and the infamous avatar's foot incident. Know who else can contort their limbs like that? That's right, none other than Reed Richards himself, but that's Mr. Fantastic to you. While most folks simply arent able to keep up with the myriad bone-shattering poses dreamed up by the Kinect, Mr. Fantastic can morph his frame into any shape imaginable--which will no doubt come in handy when he realises he's just spent a whole week's wages on a motion controller. Quickly, to the super-foetal position! *sobs*
Professor X would unfairly dominate... local multiplayer shooters
As any self-respecting FPS aficionado will tell you, there's a special place in hell reserved for campers, griefers, and those damn dirty screen-cheats. Oh, and people who choose Oddjob while playing GoldenEye. It's one thing to utilise the power of the Internet to teabag helpless enemies, but to sit alongside a friend and sneak peeks at their screen? The very cheek of it! Of course, nabbing said screen-cheater is far harder than it sounds, though never quite impossible. By nominating an 'eyeball umpire' it should be possible to scare these Peeping Toms straight. Either that, or you'll just have to start administering random eye tests in between rounds. Remember kids, 'if cross eyed they be, a cheater is he'.
Oh, and one more thing: never, ever allow Charles Xavier to play. Known to the world as the mutant mastermind 'Professor X', Xavier's powerful telepathic abilities would make absolute mincemeat out of any-and-all competition, allowing the chrome-domed savant to effectively screen-cheat his way into your very soul. Think you've got him cornered? Best think again, or better yet, don't think at all. Turn on rockets, dial down his health... hell, hand him that wonky old gamepad over there: you're still getting decimated. Now if only MadCatz sold those nifty Magneto helmets
Green Lantern would be champion of... Scribblenauts
When it comes to naming their creations, comic book scribes can be more than just a little lazy. Take Green Lantern for example, one of the many, many superheroes to utilise a 'light-centric' moniker. Examples include The Human Torch, Sunfire, Plastic Man, Firestar and my own personal creations--Waxy O' Candle and The Astonishing Flashlight. Fortunately for DC's mean green, a Lantern's day job is far more creative. In fact, you might even say that our main man's power is limited only by his own imagination--and a pair of super-snug undies.
Need a shield? Lantern's green energy can abide. Fancy an ice cream. Bon apptit. Stuck for a four-letter word starting with Q, Lantern's got your back. It's small wonder then that the man himself wound up appearing in 5th Cell's own Scribblenauts series. As a master of the imagination-in-action, he'd also be pretty damn handy at the thing, regularly besting puzzles without so much as an all-powerful Cthulhu, or a game-breaking 'God' spawn in sight. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Dr Manhattan would break... Any game ever
Hands up if you hate Shao Kahn, General Raam or Punch Out's Mike Tyson. That's right, each and every one of you. And do you know why? It's probably because these big bruising baddies are so damn unfair. It's all one rule for them and another entirely for you. Their strikes deal 50 points of damage, yours end with a man-sized body cast and a month-long coma.
Count your lucky stars then that you're not about to face down with Watchmen's softly spoken demigod. Spawned in the atom bomb laboratories of World War 2, Dr. Manhattan, aka Jon Osterman is the ultimate video gamer, if only he knew it. Despite the fact that he's likely never picked up a joypad in all his life, Osterman's ability to perceive the flow of time means he's generally an infinite number of steps ahead of you. Good luck with that zerg rush chums, Jon's already blasting away at Starcraft 9, and now he's rewriting code to ensure your last clever feint never happened. Tough luck. Lesson learned. Don't mess with the blue nudist.
Think Doc Ock deserved a pop at Wii Sports? Should Spidey take up Starcraft? Any other angry opinions or irate suggestions you'd like to share with the class? Simply scroll on to the comments section below to vent your super-villainous spleen.
Want more superhero features on GamesRadar? Here's a review of Lego Marvel Superheroes (opens in new tab), and here's one about the The Best Superhero Games Of All Time (opens in new tab).