China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light

I couldn’t be happier that 99 percent of all current movies—including Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters this week—seem to feature somebody in a cape or a miraculous suit of armor battling evil. Full disclosure: I was way into superhero comics when I was a kid. I managed to amass hundreds, which I kept in cardboard long boxes, re-reading them over and over throughout my tortured adolescence. I didn’t buy them for collecting purposes, thank goodness; years later, I traded in the entire lot for $10 and a key lime pie, and considered myself lucky to have gotten that much.

(Seriously, folks, if you started collecting comics during the 1990s or later, they’re not going to put your kid through college. It just won’t happen.)

My point is, I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. It’s great the first time, pretty good the second, but around the umpteenth, I have to fight the urge to stand up and yell, “Hey, grown person in hockey pants! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun here?”

For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. While its offerings of late include the very seriously toned Batman: Arkham Origins, the company is also responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Both games are available now and suitable for kids ages 10 and up. [Read more...]

Scribblenauts Unmasked-A DC Comics Adventure Video Game Set for Release

Assorted HeroesScribblenauts Unmasked—A DC Comics Adventure is a new video game that melds the creativity of the DC Comics characters and objects with the classic Scribblenauts art style. The game features a story where players embark as protagonist Maxwell on an imaginative quest, taking them through Gotham City, Metropolis, Atlantis, and other iconic locales from the DC Comics universe. The game features puzzles called Heroic Feats that increase the game’s replayability by continuously generating original scenarios requiring different solutions with each visit.

Scribblenauts Unmasked—A DC Comics Adventure is compatible with Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC. On Wii U and PC, players can create their own Super Hero or Super Villain using any item from the DC Comics Universe and then setting properties for how it behaves, changing its appearance and powers. Players can then share their creations with the community and download others. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by 5th Cell, Scribblenauts Unmasked–A DC Comics Adventure will be available for purchase September 24.

 

Electronic Arts’ New Video Game Lets You Create

I got a chance to view Electronic Arts‘ new video game Create at EA’s Holiday Preview event and thought it was one of the company’s more innovative titles. In Create, players are placed in various floating landscapes that can be altered with hundreds of items collected throughout the course of the game.

The developer I spoke with said Create is about two things: solving puzzles and creating worlds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of puzzles scattered throughout the floating landmasses that act as canvases for creation. The game’s puzzles ask users to capture or transport various objects to designated points while deflecting rockets and other hazards. In this regard, the game feels like a combination of Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure and 5th Cell’s Scribblenauts in that puzzles have multiple ways of being completed, although the actual completion steps are passive (you don’t control the action so much as you create the setup. For example, a player can place a convertible car under some cannon balls, push play, and watch the balls fall into the car as it speeds away). [Read more...]