Today Marvel Studios Licensed Games Manager Chris Baker has announced that X-Men Arcade is coming Tomorrow to PSN.
To quote: Joining Marvel Pinball on the PlayStation Network this Tuesday, X-Men Arcade holds a special place in my Marvel-loving heart and even helped shape my knowledge of the Marvel Universe at a fairly young age.
OK, so maybe it was off in a few ways - and that's what I'm counting down here today.
X-Men Arcade holds up as one of the greatest beat-'em-up games of its era, and if you were a fan of it when it came out, I think you'll agree that the 18-year wait for a console version was definitely worth it... but not only for gameplay fun and nostalgia.
A big part of the game's charm playing it now is something we didn't really think twice about back in 1992 - powers that went beyond characters' capabilities, laughable in-game dialogue, and other oddities, for example.
In other words, the kinds of things that the person with my job at Marvel would strike down in a game design document the moment we see them crop up in a current game. But for this one, we're letting it all slide.
If you know your Marvel, you might remember a comics series called WHAT THE-?! from the '80s (you may have even seen a series of hilarious videos thanks to Marvel.com). So, with that in mind, here are what I would consider the top five "What the-?!" things about X-Men Arcade...
5. The Juggernaut's self-esteem boost. It's been well established in the comics that "nothing can stop the Juggernaut," so the dude normally just pretty much rampages through anything in his way, and that's that. But in X-Men Arcade, he must have been feeling a little less unstoppable - so he started packin' a bazooka.
I suppose there's a more logical explanation, though. Maybe he just thinks bazookas are awesome, so decided now was the time to try one out. After all, he can easily carry one like a piece of paper given his strength, and at the end of the day he's just a dude. And part of being a dude is inherently knowing that bazookas are awesome.
4. Who am I fighting? We all know the bosses in X-Men Arcade pretty well: In their own words, Pyro will burn you to toast, nothing moves the Blob, and the White Queen welcomes you to die, to name a few. But who are these shlubs I'm clobbering the rest of the time? Lizard dudes? Little mini-Krakoas?
Some kinds of Sentinels I've never seen? None of these guys look quite like anything I've ever seen in the comics, nor the "Pryde of the X-Men" cartoon on which the game is actually based. But let's just assume those last foes I mentioned are indeed Sentinels...
3. Why is Magneto working with Sentinels?! Even if the common enemies you're taking on all the time are just some sort of Sentinel-type robot, Magneto's still working with the nastiest Sentinel of them all, in Nimrod, plus the huge one above that shows up out of nowhere delivering "mini-Krakoas" and Reavers from his mouth. Ehh, who cares about the "why"? Let's just say Magneto's controlling them all with his magnetism powers and call it a day.
2. Can he really do that? Quick answer: No. Nightcrawler can't zap you when he teleports (pictured above). Wolverine can't shoot lasers from his claws your way. Nor can Colossus flex and go "RAWWWAAAARRRRR!!!" to send you to kingdom come. It's all kinds of fun to do all those things in the game, though!
1. What did you just say, Magneto?... For being one of the most brilliant super villains in the history of comics, Magneto sure says some silly things. My favorites: "X-chickens!" he taunts during the final battle. "I am Magneto! Master of Magnet!" he proclaims with the audacity to make master of unlocking Jill Valentine jealous.
And, finally, one of the greatest pieces of videogame dialogue of all time: "X-Men... Welcome to die!", which we made sure could be heard at the end of the game's trailer.
So, yeah... None of those things would be presented the same way if this were a new game going through today's typical Marvel approval process for games. But it's not, and all of this ridiculousness is still 100 percent completely in tact. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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