Rocket Racer News Update October 2023

It’s that rare time once again when I get to announce that Rocket Racer has appeared in a real Marvel Product again. This time it is even MORE minor than most of these appearances, if you can believe it. This time, Rocket Racer appeared in the video game Marvel’s Spider-Man 2:

Of course, that game isn’t set in the main Marvel Universe, so this would be more of an Alternate Universe Rocket Racer. And also, it isn’t even the Rocket Racer as a person, it is just an amusement park ride you can see at Coney Island that is named “Rocket Racer” as an allusion to the character. But hey, at least that’s more than nothing. That is technically more than nothing.

I suppose I actually do have other news: I’ve been writing for the Marvel Appendix again, with a specific focus on Rocket Racer-related characters. I had already done the actual profile on Bob for that site, which I recently brought up to date, but I’ve also started doing characters like the Questionable Canonicity Bunch of The Vile Tapeworm, The Pink Sphinx, and She-Man-Thing, and a robot that Bob fought one time called C.I.T.Y. Over the next year or so, I intend to just exhaustively cover all the characters that are in Bob’s sphere and prove,even though nobody has ever challenged me, that I think about Rocket Racer more than anybody else.

They Forgot To Put Rocket Racer in Marvel Snap

I’ve seen people on the Internet talking about Marvel Snap a lot over the last few months, so I felt like I should check it out. It’s pretty neat. I like a simplistic, quick-to-play card game, and the fact I can’t communicate with the other players makes me forget they are real people. All good. But there is one glaring mistake that I have already said in the title of this post: they managed to make this whole game and they haven’t put Rocket Racer in it!

Well, what am I here for if not to fix problems like that? I found a website that allows one to make custom Marvel Snap cards to do the hard part of making it look like is should (though I added a Rocket Racer logo image as it appeared in a comic I talked about a few posts back). And then I used my extensive knowledge of the character and passable knowledge of the game to come up with:

What you see here is Rocket Racer. He’s a mere 1 Power card, which means he is quite weak, sure, but that’s in keeping with Bob’s track record. I don’t think anyone will argue with that.

He’s also a 1 Cost card, which means he could be played on the first turn if you happen to draw him. Appropriate for a speed-based character, but not as good as, for example, Quicksilver who is guaranteed to be in your starting hand. Bob is fast, but not the fastest.

But what I like most if the power I’ve identified for him. When you draw him from your deck and put him in your hand, you get +1 Energy (or whatever the thing you use to pay a card’s Cost is called). I like this because it means you could use that Energy to play Bob right away, again emphasizing the speed with which he’d enter the field, or you could use that Energy to do something else, which is evocative of his being useful as perhaps a tech guy and helping the team to do other things. This card treats Rocket Racer as someone slightly useful. That’s exactly the right space for him.

I think you will all agree that this is a flawless Rocket Racer Marvel Snap card. It’s so perfect that I can legally state that if this card showed up in the game with these exact mechanics I couldn’t even claim to have created it, because anyone who was trying to make a Rocket Racer card would have come up with the same thing. Legally.

Anyway, I will leave it to the multitude of Marvel Snap players and Rocket Racer fans who visit my website to start the petitions to get this card into the game.

Beekeeper Review: Killer Beekeepers from Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers is a beat-em-up game in which Killer Beekeepers appear both as enemies and as a player character. The enemies appear in only a single level of the game and the player character has to be unlocked, both little touches that make the Killer Beekeepers feels rightfully special. But is that specialness justified?

Well, the enemy Killer Beekeepers are, as I say, rare. They will only attack when the player’s rampage brings them through the fields where the Killer Beekeepers’ bees live and work, and even then the only after the player has taken out a number of bees. In spite of the word “Killer” appearing as an adjective in their name, these Beekeepers just don’t show a sign of Beekeeper Rage. They legitimately just want to protect their bees. That’s admirable.

The unlockable player character Killer Beekeeper is a better study for the skills these Beekeepers can have as they level up. Upon starting the game the Killer Beekeeper is armed with a weapon called the Rat-Beating Bat, implying that they honed their skills protecting their hives from rats. As they level up their magical abilities, they gain the power to summon bees and use them as projectiles to fire at opponents (these bees are perfectly willing to die for the cause). And, indeed, with fully-levelled magic they can summon bees so quickly that enemies find it hard to resist being hurt. And while it isn’t directly related to beekeeping (though it is accompanied by smoke effects), they also have a magical jumping ability and can attack bosses while in the air, something apparently few other characters in the game can do.

It feels natural to compare the Killer Beekeepers with the Beekeeper from Fist Puncher. She was another who existed in the world of a beat-em-up game and could wander around fighting everyone who needs to be fought. A similar comparison would be the Beekeeper from Citizens of Earth, though she has numerous powers beyond just combat, such as healing skills, which give her the edge ratings-wise. The Killer Beekeepers show no talent as healers and have no talking bees or anything like that. They’re impressive fighters, but they have so much more to learn.

Four Honeycombs out of Five.

Beekeeper Review: Hachibee the Beekeeper

Hachibee is the Apiarist in Distress found in a Ghost of Tsushima expansion. This means he lives back in Samurai Times of Japan (I don’t feel it necessary to bother with a more detailed description of the era at this time.)

At this point I’ve covered enough of these that I could have told you how it goes before even looking: The hives/the Beekeeper are in danger, the game’s protagonist has to save them. It’s done by the numbers and doesn’t deviate.

I can’t rate Hachibee more than a Two for this. That’s the standard for this role. But Hachibee actually gets a little bit more detail than most of his fellows, which makes me wish I could go higher.

For example:

  • His honey is used for healing.
  • He writes poems for his bees.
  • He suggests his bees may be useful to the protagonist in a fight.
  • He has a good beekeeper name.
  • He refuses to abandon his hives even when the enemies arrive.

It’s all good stuff, but just not enough to escape the surprisingly cliche role of videogame Apiarist in Distress.

Two Honeycombs out of Five.

Beekeeper Review: Citizens of Earth’s Beekeeper

“She is part-support and part-offense, able to fit into most party combinations. With her bee companions, she is able to inflict status ailments as well as buff her allies!”

Citizens of Earth is a computer game in which the player is the Vice President of the World and all the NPCs are potential members of the VP’s team. Naturally, one of those potential teammates is a Beekeeper.

By the end of the game the Beekeeper has potentially travelled inside the Internet, ridden Ogopogo, fought monsters inside dreams, and defeated alien warlords in combat. That’d be an impressive resume for any adventurer and would stand out against most other Beekeepers I’ve reviewed, but here, in this game, all of that stuff is also true of every other character. In this game, that’s just the baseline amount of cool that any character can have. Is there anything to justify this Beekeeper highly apart from that stuff?

I’m not going to try and build suspense for this review. The answer is yes. Yes, this is a damned high-ranking Beekeeper. First of all, most Beekeepers in videogames are what I call Apiarists in Distress. Usually the Beekeepers are in trouble and they wait for the game’s protagonist to come get them out of it. And sure, this game’s Beekeeper does give the player a quest, but it isn’t because she’s in danger or needs his help. She’s just unwilling to leave her work early to help the VP unless he pitches in on keeping bees, which makes sense to me.

And, of course, the fighting prowess and supernatural powers that I look for are not lacking in the slightest. She can beat up a lot of monsters, with her bees stinging single enemies or groups of enemies and has a powerful thermal attack. But don’t think she just puts her bees at risk while she stays out of the action: she also has a very powerful attack called Final Sting that does a lot of damage to the target, but also reduces her hit points completely, in true bee style. Another videogame Beekeeper who spent a lot of time fighting was the one from Fist Puncher. She was a badass fighter and everything, but that was it. Her anger let her peak at badass. The Beekeeper in Citizens of Earth has other skills. She can have her bees defend her party, and she can heal her teammates, and she is able to offer a “Bee’s Eye View” to get a better look at the world around them. The fact that she has learned to use her bees and her knowledge for things other than just doing harm proves that she doesn’t let Beekeeper Rage rule over her. In fact, she’s downright happy most of the time.

What else? She wears a suit with bee colours. She speaks in incessant bee and honey puns. She’s written at least one book (“Lord of the Bees”). She lobbies for bee rights. Some of her bees can even speak. And it’s worth noting that when she joined the party, she was already a level 14, a starting point that only a couple other characters match and very few exceed. That means within the world she’s cool and tough even before she joins the VP’s adventure. She’s got it all.

Five Honeycombs out of Five! She’s a keeper.