Since I started thinking about making this site and actually putting it into action, I’ve accumulated A LOT of comic book themed games, primarily on consoles running through the NES up to the PS4. I haven’t sat down to count them lately, but right now the number is some where over 100, perhaps even several hundred with more games coming to my attention everyday, and this isn’t including PC games that are accessible to me (I.E Sam and Max Hit the Road) to the probably wouldn’t run in a million years variety (the Marvel Questprobe series).
As I’ve stated before, this site is run purely out of a love for comic book themed video games out of my own pocket, and I always try to be bringing in new games to cover but sometimes that just isn’t fiscally reasonable…or responsible. To show you what I’m talking about, I’ve comprised a list of ten games that in less I get hit by a rich business man and fall into a lot of cash and free-time, you shouldn’t expect to see here. I came up with some criteria for this list, the first being I’m excluding PC games because I’ve never been a PC gamer to begin with plus I would not have the knowledge to get older games running even if I could get them. Maybe this will change in the future, but right now, I’m just not into the PC scene. The second type of game I’m excluding are arcade only games. I always try to play games in the way they were meant to be played (I own everything I’ve covered here, no emulation ever) and to put together an arcade board is again out of my field of expertise and really expensive. With that all out-of-the-way, let’s get to the countdown:
10) BATMAN AND ROBIN (GAME.COM), GOING PRICE: $15
Before the age of everyone having a mobile device in their pocket, and heck, even before the age of popular colour handhelds, Tiger Electronics gave us the Game.Com, a black-and-white competitor to Nintendo’s Game Boy that allowed you to post scores online, text with friends and check your e-mail by plugging a modem cable into the device. It was very ahead of its time, and a precursor to the always online world we live in today. It didn’t have the largest library (21 games in total) but one of them was a game based on the notorious film from 1997, Batman and Robin. The listed price isn’t that high compared to some others you’ll see shortly, but in order to play this game, you need the Game.Com, which can be upwards of $50, something I’m not really excited to throw down for a Batman and Robin game or a monochrome version of Resident Evil 2.
9) HEAVY METAL: GEOMATRIX (DREAMCAST), GOING PRICE: $40
Heavy Metal: Geomatrix came out in the twilight years of the Dreamcast so it isn’t the most wildly available game and is more or less just a reskinned version of another comic book inspired game by publisher Capcom, Spawn: In the Demon’s Hand. Of all the games that I’ll talk about here, this perhaps has the closest chance to being covered as I’m a sucker for Dreamcast games and I don’t need any extra hardware in order to play it like the last game and some others further down the list. What will probably keep me from putting this game off is that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Spawn on the Dreamcast, and at least that had a license I was somewhat familiar with going into it.
8) X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM (PSOne), GOING PRICE: $50
This is a game that exists as a constant reminder to me every time I check its price because once upon a time, I could have easily bought it in the bargain bins of two local stores in my hometown for around $20. The reason why I didn’t? Because why did I need a game with JUST the X-Men when I had X-Men Vs. Street Fighter waiting at home! In fairness to myself, I was a teenager and never had a lot of money for games, but still, it doesn’t stop me from kicking myself each time I see this game selling for upwards of $50
7) X-MEN LEGENDS SERIES (N-GAGE), GOING PRICE: $80 (COMBINED)
Threw you off there a bit didn’t I? I have and love very much both X-Men Legends and its superior sequel on the GameCube, but not the Nokia N-Gage ports. The N-Gage is a lot like the Game.Com in that it was a device ahead of its time: a cell-phone that played video games, something a lot of people scoffed at back in the day, but just look at all of us now. The N-Gage didn’t function like the iPhone and Android devices of today, it required cartridges like Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance and in the early model, you had to remove the device’s battery in order to access the cartridge slot. X-Men Legends II would make it to a handheld in the form of Sony’s PSP, but for some Legends action on the go for the first game, the N-Gage was the only route. Again similar to the Game.Com, neither of these games are that expensive, but it’s getting the required hardware to play them that’s the tricky part. Plus, I mean, just look at the first game in action, even I had my limits:
6) THE FLASH (SEGA MASTER SYSTEM), GOING PRICE: $50
I looked at two Flash games last year when the new TV series debuted last fall, only finding out until it was too late that there was indeed a Flash console game that arrived on Sega’s Master System, simply titled The Flash. Growing up I was a Nintendo guy and didn’t own a Sega console until the Dreamcast early into my 20’s and the only real experience I had with anything related to the Master System was seeing the white clam shell cases for rent at gas stations when I was very young. The console in which to play this game on is not the easiest thing to come by, and with a price of $50 for the game, as much as I would love to give it a whirl, it’s not unfortunately in the cards. What could allow me to play it is via the Retro-5 console that doesn’t support MS games outright, however it does allow you to play them with the aid of a converter so never say never.
5) THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: LETHAL FOES (SUPER FAMICOM), GOING PRICE: $50-100
The first and only Spider-Man game to be released exclusively in Japan, up until recently this game would’ve been a headache to play, but thanks to consoles like the Retron-5 that play Super Famicom games, playing this is probably easier than its ever been, minus the price tag of the game, plus the cost of the Retron-5 itself that can be $200 or more. Hey, I’m a sucker for Spider-Man games, so maybe one day but definitely not soon.
4) TMNT: THE HYPERSTONE HEIST (SEGA GENESIS), GOING PRICE: $75-100
I haven’t had much luck with games that existed on both the SNES and Sega Genesis, but the few non-comic book games that I really loved on the system, Castlevania: Bloodlines and Contra: Hard Corps, have both been from Konami, so I have faith that a Turtles in Time redux on the Sega Genesis could be alright…if it wasn’t very, very expensive. Since I’ve started collecting TMNT games to cover in the future, I’ve noticed that some of them can get pretty pricey, case in point this one, that can run upwards of $100. I’d love to try it myself, but I’m not really gambling on a port of a game I already own on a system that I’ve shown a fair amount of disdain for.
3) DUCK TALES 2 (NES), GOING PRICE: $137-200
I promised a while ago that I would purchase this game for a potential Duck Tales month if I reached enough site views and well, the way things are going it’s not going to happen, though in hindsight my goal was a little unrealistic. In any case, like a lot of people I loved Capcom’s Duck Tales on the NES but never got to try the sequel simply because it didn’t come out in my area to rent as most places had moved onto getting in SNES games exclusively. Now the game can run up to $150-$200 which is too much to spend on an NES game, even if it is a sequel to one of my favourite NES games of all time.
2) TMNT: TOURNAMENT FIGHTERS (NES), GOING PRICE: $200
Speaking of expensive NES and TMNT games, the NES port of the TMNT attempt at a Street Fighter II clone was one of the last games to be released on the NES (1994? Wow!) and has become quite the collector’s item. I haven’t played many 8-bit fighting games, but I do remember enjoying Tournament Fighters on the SNES so if this game is anything like that one, it should be worthy checking out, but not at the price it’s selling for right now.
1) SPIDER-MAN: WEB OF FIRE (32X), GOING PRICE: $448
When it comes to rare, expensive games, Spider-Man: Web of Fire takes the cake. It was the last title released on Sega’s ill-conceived Genesis add-on the 32X and is rumoured to be limited to around only 1,500 copies. The price I have listed there? That’s not a typo, that it what the game is listed for sale today on eBay and around what its sold for in the past. I’ve listed some expensive games on this list, at the price it can commonly sell for, I could get a few of them together for less than the price of Web of Fire, not including the 32X expansion which I don’t own. From what I’m reading as well, this game is of the “rare because it’s hard to find” not “rare because it’s good” type of gems, so don’t expect to see a headline reading REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN: WEB OF FIRE (32X) any time soon.