Connect with us

Video Games & Technology

Will new “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” game top “Marvel Contest of Champions” ?

Published

on

Marvel has had tremendous success in the movie industry but moderate success in the video game arena. With the exception of a few titles, the Marvel gaming library has been lackluster on the home consoles. That is with the exception of one genre. Fighting games lend themselves very well to the various superhero franchises. The Marvel universe has been featured in popular fighting games since at least 1994, when the Japanese publisher Capcom released X-Men: Children of the Atom in the arcade. Capcom had cemented their presence in the industry with the success of the Street Fighter franchise, now celebrating 30 years. Since then they have made fighting games based on monsters, robots, school kids and most important the Marvel heroes and villains. The announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, slated for September 2017, has long-time players excited. For those that can’t wait I would recommend a mobile game to hold you over.

Marvel Contest of Champions Copyright Marvel Entertainment. Marvel Contest of Champions software 2017 Kablam, Inc. All rights reserved

Kabam Studios released the portable hit Marvel Contest of Champions in 2014. The studio unveiled the game to the public during the convention season, including an appearance at the D23 EXPO. In that time they not only managed to win over Marvel fans, but they gave both casual and “hardcore” gamers a reason to pick up the title. Fighting games are rarely done well on mobile platforms. The majority of franchises originally started out in the arcade. Games like Street Fighter featured a joystick and six-button layout. This was of course difficult to reproduce on a home consoles, portable consoles and touch screens. Over the years developers learned how to work with less buttons and different controls. They took what they learned in console and phone development and began applying them to the mobile market. Eventually studios like Kabam got to the point where a few taps and gestures on a phone could activate almost all of the same moves from an arcade fighter. This made Marvel Contest of Champions appealing to long-time fighting game followers.

White Fox and Guillotine Copyright Marvel Entertainment. Marvel Contest  of Champions software 2017 Kablam, Inc. All rights reserved

Where the title really succeeded was in introducing the Marvel universe to casual audiences. People that didn’t necessarily follow the comics or films were pulled into a story pitting the forces of good against evil. Audiences could select from a few popular figures, including Wolverine and Spider-Man, and unlock more characters along the way.  Movie rights limit which franchises are allowed to appear on screen, for example the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers are supposed to share the same universe but Sony, Fox and Disney each own rights to different film properties. They have yet to reach an agreement allowing all of the characters to cross over, the hopes are that Sony working with Marvel on Spider-Man might be the beginning of a bigger trade deal. In video games the properties are much more open. The library of characters in Marvel Contest of Champions has grown over the past three years. The game currently boasts over 100 playable characters and more than 20 cameos from other fan favorites. The library here is much deeper than even in the Capcom games. Also, unlike the Capcom fighting games, Marvel Contest of Champions has a game play element that allows their characters to grow stronger and evolve the more they are used.

Taneleer Tivian “The Collector” Copyright Marvel Entertainment. Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Entertainment. Marvel Contest of  Champions software 2017 Kablam, Inc. All rights reserved

People that have been following Marvel comics for years would also find reasons to play the game as well. It sprinkles in elements from classic story arcs, such as the Secret Wars, Future Imperfect and Infinity Gauntlet. Yet it also manages to include hints of the stories and characters featured in animation and live action releases. A person that is familiar with The Collector from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, or Disneyland attraction, would be happy to see him in the game as well. Those that only know the Marvel universe from the films would find just as many reasons to keep playing as long-time comic fans. In a unique turn of events a few comics were published by Marvel Studios so that comic fans could learn more about the game itself and what was at stake. Contest of Champions also managed to introduce a few new female characters into Marvel continuity, including South Korea’s White Fox and France’s Guillotine.

Marvel Contest of Champions Copyright Marvel Entertainment. Marvel  Contest of Champions software 2017 Kablam, Inc. All rights reserved

So how is it possible that a mobile fighting game released in 2014 would still be doing well today? After all the Street Fighter, Tekken and King of Fighters franchises have all had sequels come and go in that time. Well, apart from new story arcs and updates to Marvel Contest of Champions, the game itself is free to play. The previously mentioned fighting games each cost about $50 and audiences have to wait months, if not years for patches and updates. If they want new characters or costumes they have to pay for the update. Marvel Contest of Champions is constantly being updated and fixed for free. Like many free-to-play games Kabam Studios makes its money from ad revenue and micro-transactions. The ability to make in-game purchases or sit through a sponsored ad has been making money steadily for several years. As of this writing the game is highly-rated in the App Store and is in the top-10 grossing iPhone games. It makes about $250K to $300K a day. That is not a bad number but a far cry from the $2 million a day that Supercell games makes on Clash of Clans.

Marvel Contest of Champions Copyright Marvel Entertainment. Marvel  Contest of Champions software 2017 Kablam, Inc. All rights reserved

I look forward to seeing how Marvel Contest of Champions will develop in the future and what plans, if any, the studio has for a numbered sequel or release on home consoles. If you are a fan of the Marvel characters then I would recommend checking this game out. It might turn you into a true believer.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Video Games & Technology

“Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion” game coming this summer

Published

on

Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion

“C’mon on, grab your friends … ” A new Adventure Time game is coming out across multiple platforms.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

In this open world game, Finn and Jake will be sailing on a raft (Named Jeff) through the flooded land of Ooo to solve the mystery of why water engulfed their home and to help others & get in hijinks along the way. With a ragtag gang of friends (From a vampire, to an Ice King, to a little robot) Finn and Jake will travel from the melting Ice Kingdom to the Fire Kingdom and fight in turn-based combat like an RPG.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

The trailer shows off some absolutely gorgeous character models and environments. I’m particularly enchanted by the gorgeous Candy Kingdom that’s briefly shown in this footage. The art design sticks close to the show, but brings with it a soft, sweet design rarely seen in adventure games. Which is a refreshing thing to bring to the table. Likewise, it’s a joy to see the characters translate to 3D so well. Outright Games has done some fantastic work here with their art design.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

Likewise, the voice cast for the show will be reprising their roles as characters in the land of Ooo. And they’ll have a lot of lines to record. Not only can you control Finn and Jake, but you’ll be able to play as BMO and Marceline as well. You can upgrade these characters to unlock unique abilities for combat and the map holds plenty of fun mysteries too. With side stories and secret locations, this seems like a game that’ll have hours & hours of fun.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

What strikes me particularly about this game is how much it resembles Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. This is no coincidence. Adventure Time have a history of being direct corollaries to Legend of Zelda games. “Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!” ‘s gameplay references “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” and “Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom” has the same top down look & combat stylings as “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” With this in mind, it’s absolutely delightful to see a Wind Waker homage with a series like this. Wind Waker was a gamechanger for the Legend of Zelda series, and it feels like “Pirates of the Enchiridion” will be a gamechanger for the Adventure Time games.

Copyright Cartoon Network / Outright Games Ltd. All rights reserved

‘Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion’ will be out July 17th for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. 

Continue Reading

Video Games & Technology

Do you like treasure hunting and/or cooking soup? Then Pokemon Quest is the game for you

Published

on

Pokemon Quest

Immediately after the Pokemon press conference on May 29th, the mobile-switch cross platform game Pokemon Quest was available to download on the Nintendo eShop (with the mobile device version debuting later this month). Curious about the ‘Free-to-Start’ game, I snagged a download and started playing.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

Pokemon Quest is a game that feels best letting itself auto-run. You check in several times a day to see what Pokemon have appeared at your camp (The conceit behind this game is that you’re a treasure hunter & Pokemon flock to you to fight their brethren in your honor. They also sometimes just come by because you make really good soup. What can I say?). With the Pokemon at your disposal, you build a small exploration team much in the same style as the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game series. And you then set them out to fight other Pokemon in open levels. From these battles, you win power stones (which allow you to upgrade your Pokemon’s health & attack power), and ingredients to lure other Pokemon to your camp.

You may’ve taken notice use of the term ‘Free-to-Start’ earlier in this article. That’s because — like many mobile services — this game offers add-ons for purchase. I don’t see any age limit on the Nintendo Switch version to take away ads for purchases (which many mobile games have chosen to add. See Disney’s own ‘Disney Crossy Road’) but the Pokemon Company may be expecting parents to set their own controls over the switch with the parental controls available on the system.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

Still, the game is typical in mobile game fare for trying to wring money out of players. Energy to play the game costs P tickets, which you can earn 50 a day … or you can just buy. The game gives you an amount to start with, shows you how to use them to speed up your game, and then takes you to the shop where you can see an advertisement to buy it — along with Pokemon furniture to help your team.

These packages can go up to $30 and include Pokemon in-game items & exclusive furniture. And while Pokemon Go offered items in bundles like this, it’s still odd to see in a Pokemon game — let alone a Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch (albeit, this is a cross-platform game). The game itself doesn’t seem to have any sort of hard-pay line for gameplay, though. I’m up to the fifth world in my game without making any purchases. And while the game difficulty has dramatically ramped up, likely to encourage purchases, it’s still completely manageable to play without paying.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

In that sense, for a free game, it’s really cute & enjoyable. The graphics are pleasing and colorful. And if you return to camp, you’ll find all the Pokemon you’ve befriended hopping around adorable decorations. Sometimes stacking on top of each other, other times following each other around in what seems like games of tag.

The ‘cooking’ mechanic to encounter a random Pokemon makes encountering them feel less like gambling and more like strategy. By cooking certain recipes from materials you find on missions, you can draw certain types of Pokemon to your camp. Cooking in certain pots (unlocked by playing through the game) can draw higher powered Pokemon at the cost of more materials. And waiting while your energy fills up means running out of ingredients (At the point of the game I’m at, about half-way through) doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Copyright 2018 Nintendo. All rights reserved

All in all, I’d say, if you have access to this game, check it out and see if it’s for you. There doesn’t seem to be cross platform support for other Pokemon games. But as a standalone, it’s a cute, fun blip of a game. The hard ‘end’ of the levels within surprises me, especially since it seems to end with 150 Pokemon (out of the over eight hundred available). So I’m not sure what there is to get out of it when you get to the end level outside of getting every Pokemon. But it’s still a fun, very casual strategy game. Just keep an eye on purchases if your children decide to play. 

Continue Reading

Video Games & Technology

“Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” & “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !” to come to the Nintendo Switch this year

Published

on

Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu

During a conference in Japan earlier this week, the Pokemon Company revealed three new games : A mobile and Nintendo Switch cross platform game, “Pokemon Quest,” with graphics similar to Crossy Road and some absolutely adorable furniture in a “free to start” format; and for the Nintendo Switch, “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !”

Taking inspiration from gameplay styles from the popular “Pokemon Go” for mobile devices, “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !’ adopts the thrown Pokeball system. By using one controller with the Switch system, you can make a tossing motion to throw a Pokeball and capture a cute critter for your team.

Copyright the Pokemon Company. All rights reserved

Additionally, you can buy the “Pokeball Plus” accessory to act as an additional “Joy-con” controller for your Switch to capture Pokemon. Then load a Pokemon into your pokeball, and take it out on the go.

From there, with the accessory, you’ll be able to interact with the Pokemon you have inside. Although current information doesn’t offer whether we’ll have more options than putting Eevee or Pikachu in the Pokeball Plus, the footage seen in the linked trailer is absolutely adorable.

The game itself seems to be a remake of Pokemon Yellow, a game released twenty years ago for the Game Boy Color. You explore the Kanto Pokemon region, and seem to be limited to the 150 Pokemon available when that game was out (Well, 151, if you were lucky, or good at exploiting glitches). But these games ditch the random encounters of mainline Pokemon games and adopt the overworld encounters of Pokemon Go. What Pokemon you see on the overworld is what you get.

Copyright the Pokemon Company. All rights reserved

Additionally, Pokemon can follow you around and you can ride some of them. In footage, we see a trainer riding a giant Onyx (i.e., a giant snake made out of rocks. Who wouldn’t be comfortable riding on that?) and followed by a starting Pokemon, Bulbasaur. Although in these two games, you start instead with the series mascot Pikachu, and the evolution Pokemon Eevee, which can evolve into several different pokemon. You can also put little outfits on them. Which is – frankly — incredible.

Likewise, this seems to have local multiplayer. Hand the left Joy-con to a friend and let them enter your game. Or if you’re feeling really lonely, put the left Joy-con in your hand and pretend you have a friend while controlling the new trainer that arrives. What a fun time!

You and your friend can then team up to capture Pokemon together, or go exploring together- And you can have Pokemon you capture in Pokemon Go (of the original 151 Pokemon) arrive in your game. You can also send “Presents” back to your Pokemon Go game, including a possible new form of Pokemon as the trailer discusses.

Copyright the Pokemon Company. All rights reserved

“Pokemon — Let’s Go, Pikachu !” and “Pokemon — Let’s Go, Eevee !” will be arriving on the Nintendo Switch this November. Likewise, a new Pokemon game will be released in the second Half of 2019. With a Mario movie in development and theme park additions on the way, it’s sure to be a busy year for Nintendo. 

Continue Reading

Trending