Another week, another installment of OH GOD WHY?!, in which I play the worst games I can find, and then share my rage with you. This week, pull on your spandex, it's Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects for the PS2 and XBox.
Marvel Comics was recently acquired by Disney due to their massive global appeal and wide character roster. Kids and adults around the world have grown up with the Marvel characters for the past 50 years. Cartoons, lunchboxes, toys, skid-marked underwear, and videogames featuring your favorite superheroes are nearly ubiquitous. It stands to reason then, that a modern game featuring all your favorite characters, and published by the market-leading Electronic Arts would be, at the least, fun. Right?
In 2005, EA released Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, which was developed by Nihilistic Software. If that name sounds familiar to you; its because they are the team responsible for StarCraft: Ghost. Remember that game? It was in the works for years, and it was to be a third person shooter in the StarCraft universe. Somewhere along the way, someone realized "Hey, this game is kinda shitty" and shut Ghost the fuck down. So you can see why EA decided to hand them a major license with a track record like that. Oh, wait...
Although I can find nothing to support this statement, I'm going to go ahead and say that Marvel Nemesis uses the StarCraft ghost engine. Because it's broke as hell. At its core, Nemesis is a third person fighting game. Minus everything that could make a fighting game fun. You can choose from one of several Marvel superheroes, or one of the original characters created especially for this game. That's right. A company like Marvel has something like 10,000 established characters in its universe, yet these morons at Nihilistic decided that they could poop out something better and made their own assy characters.
|This would be a hate crime, but he's blind.|
All of the EA characters are boring amalgamations of existing Marvel heroes, and I'm gonna guess were only invented so that EA would own something from this game once Marvel ripped their liscense away from them. Which they did. The EA characters, known as Imperfects, are science monsters or something. Wikipedia doesn't have any information on them and I refuse to look it up. But they're stealing things, and the Marvel heroes have to work together to fight them, putting aside their differences for the greater good and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
The gameplay drops you into the Marvel heroes one-by-one, as you progress your way through the tedious story mode. Each character has different attacks, but they're all basically the same. The Thing is big, so he can throw shit, Wolverine has claws to slice his enemies with, and Daredevil is blind, so he has to sit when he takes a piss. The attacks get old after the first 5 minutes, and the enemies are so inept, that you're more likely to die by blindly jumping off a building than by being hit with enemy attacks. The controls are so loose, and your characters animations are so overdone that it's safe to say you WILL dive right off a building several times throughout the game. Which will then make you want to do it for real. Anything to stop the pain of playing this shit.
|Tobey Maguire would like a word with you.|
It's a damn shame that Marvel Nemesis turned out the way it did. However, when you look at what they were trying to do, it's no wonder what happened. A developer with a spotty track record, using a broken engine, creating their own characters, in a game designed for online playability on the PS2, pretty much is gonna equal disaster every time. If it's any consolation, Nemesis was a disaster for all involved, and was the only game to come out of the EA-Marvel partnership which lasted for 4 years. As soon as they could, Marvel brought their wares to Activision, who then went on to release legitimately GOOD games, such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Play those instead.
Christopher Linendoll can feel his Spider-Sense tingling. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.