When you go to a Comic Convention there are a few things that you can expect: Stan Lee fans, cosplay, and swag are definitely three of them, but you can also be assured that the biggest names in comics will be dropping announcements both large and small. This year's New York City Comic Con was no different, as Marvel came prepared with a slew of news for fans of comic book video games. Thankfully, all of it was compressed into one single panel where news ranging from new characters from Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 to a remake of an arcade classic was given out to the public for the first time. Here is all of the information, both groundbreaking and routine which was discussed at this year's Marvel video games panel.
Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions
First up were two updates regarding the recently released Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions. After fielding a couple of audience questions about why certain villains were chosen for the game, a representative from Beenox was posed a question about DLC. In response to this Todd "T.Q." Jefferson, head of Marvel games, showed off a new trailer which gave a glimpse of Spidey rocking a cosmic costume in all four dimensions.
That DLC will be available by the end of October. Also, in response to an audience question regarding a possible sequel, Beenox teased that they were "very pleased" with the success of the first game, further expounding on all of the possible characters hat they didn't get to use in Shattered Dimensions. That sounds like developer speak for "absolutely" to us.
Next up were a pair of Super Hero Squadron games from THQ and Gazillion respectively. THQ was offering an offline take on the series, with the aptly titled SuperHero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet, and will be a follow-up to the Wii game of a similar name which was released last year. This time around though, the game will be playable on all three major consoles and the DS with the only real difference between the versions being the graphics.
The developers have really taken some of the failings of the previous game into account with this version as an improved camera will allow for the "novel concept" of both co-op play where both players stay on screen at the same time. Continuing the digs at their previous title, the developer said that they would "even be able to support four players on the screen at once", a comment to which the crowd gave a hearty chuckle.
Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet, which will follow the Infinity Gauntlet story line with "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World grafted on", will also be sporting some top-notch voice talent which includes the likes of Mark Hamill. It will launch alongside season 2 of the television show.
Superhero Squad Online
Also using the same license, although in a free-to-play MMO universe, is Super Hero Squad Online, developed by The Amazing Society. In contrast to the console-based Super Hero Squad game, MSHSO is an entirely browser based game which can be played in multiple different ways.
You can explore Super Hero City solo if you don't want to team up with your friends to play. Alternatively, if you have friends to play with, can also work together with your friends in order to defeat many of the villians who have been put into the game (we'll get to that in a second). Lastly, there is a PvP mode in which players battle it out using a cardgame system developed by Wizards of The Coast; card game pedigrees don't get much more storied than that.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the MSHSO will feature a continually expanding roster of characters which will hopefully encompass an impressive breadth of characters. Todd Jefferson even joked that Harold The Duck would eventually been included in the game.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
After these two relatively tame discussions, the developers for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 took the microphone for the announcement of two new characters on the Marvel side. First up was
M.O.D.O.K, an inclusion which had half of the audience in stitches as he cruised around kicking some serious ass in a never before seen trailer.
One of the series producers (his name eludes me) commented that adding M.O.D.O.K was an attempt to add some variety to the cast of characters which is otherwise dominated by humanoids.
In another huge announcement, the team also revealed that Magneto would be included on the Marvel team come release. This time, the laughs turned into raucous cheers as everyone watched the X-Men villain showcase an equally wide variety of deadly attacks. After the energy died down, one of the writers took the stage and told everyone in the audience that just because a character isn't playable, he or she might still appear in one of over thirty endings which are planned for the various characters.
What followed were a couple of discussions about the Sega video games which and I won't rehash again. Finally, right when the audience thought that the surprises were over, TQ said that there was one last surprise in store for the panel goers. The lights dimmed, and the screen rolled the opening Marvel cinematic followed by the Konami logo.
There was a brief moment of suspense as everyone wondered what the partnership could bring. Within seconds our questions were answered, as the opening cinematic from the original X-Men arcade game appeared.
As the crowd roared with recognition, childhood memories were reignited as X-Men combined their powers to take down some classic villains. After the trailer had finished, TQ revealed that the original game would be returning in all of its cheesiness this Fall for both the XBLA and PSN.
UPDATE: Konami has released a press release today which fills in some details regarding the features of the game. It will support up to 6 players online and 4 locally, with a selection of six classic mutants to choose from. Online play will allow dynamic drop-in so that anyone can join your game at any time. There will also be online leaderboards and the ability to customize many facets of your experience including difficulty and the max number of players who can be in a match.
Also discussed was X-MEN: Destiny, although nothing substantial was revealed about that other than the teaser trailer from friday. I did get the impression that it would be an RPG though, as writer Mike Carey talked about the process of finding your place as a mutant once you have discovered your powers.
Overall, it looks like Marvel is really giving comic -book fans what they want, pouring tons and tons of everyone's favorite characters into video game settings where they can fght the forces of evil. Hopefully these titles live up to their potential when they are released at various points in the future.