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The Forgotten Games of the Marvel Universe



By Kieren Hawken

Today’s Marvel fans are somewhat spoilt, from the big budget Hollywood movies to the vast array of merchandise and TV spin-offs. It’s not just about the comic books anymore, you really have it all.

But there was a time when the many members of the Marvel Universe had just graduated from printed pages to plotted pixels and we were able to take control of our favourite characters for the very first time. Long before we watched them on the big screen, superheroes such as Spider-Man, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk were lighting up the small screen of our consoles and computers at home.

This list looks at some of the more obscure games starring the superheroes of the Marvel Universe and tells you why you should be checking them out.

Avengers Assemble!

Captain America & The Avengers

While this is easily the most well-known game on this list, it’s one I just couldn’t leave out. Not just because it’s excellent but also because it’s the first Marvel video game to feature a whole cast of playable Avengers.

Developed by Data East, it was first released to arcade audiences in 1991, versions for the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo followed soon after. In essence the game is a scrolling beat ‘em up, but mixes things up by adding in a few shoot ‘em up sections.

You can choose to play as any of the four characters on offer: Hawkeye, Ironman, Vision or Captain America himself. Each character has their own unique abilities. Your mission is to defeat the evil Red Skull, but along the way you will have to despatch many other famous Marvel villains that include Klaw, Ultron, Mandarin and Juggernaught.

This is a game that Marvel fans will really love as it captures the look of the comic books brilliantly and features some really entertaining speech.

The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga

This 1996 video game for the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and PC was published by the then owners of the Tomb Raider franchise Eidos Interactive and was based on a storyline from the Incredible Hulk comics.

The game begins with you (as The Hulk) trapped in the Pantheon headquarters and the first few levels see you making your escape. The Hulk himself has basic fighting moves, including punching and kicking, and he can also pick up and use objects he finds along the way. As you defeat each end of level boss they will join The Hulk to fight alongside him.

Although there are heavy fighting aspects, the game does require you do plenty of exploring and solve some fairly rudimentary puzzles if you want to progress. The last part of the game requires you to beat the Super Villains, which include Trauma, Lazarus and Maestro.

The game was poorly received by the gaming press, explaining why you might not have heard about it, but will probably please fans of the big green beast.