Who Should Superman Beat Up?

I have recently been seeing bits of this new Spider-Man game that just came out, and thus my jealousy of other non-Superman superheroes is rising up again. I know I already solved the lack of a good Superman game by saying they should be making a game about Jimmy Olsen, but even I am aware how unrealistic that would be.

If a Superman game ever happens, it would star Superman. And they would probably want it to still be like these Spider-Man and Batman games where the hero fights through armies of crooks. That wouldn’t be great for Superman. It is an iconic image of the Superman mythos: he stands before a crook who empties a gun into his chest and Superman just stands there, unharmed. Just because you have a gun, doesn’t mean you win anymore. Superman is in town. To accurately make a Superman game, you would have to replicate that. He would not be a good fit for the style of gameplay that the recent Spider-Man and Batman games have. This should be solved by making combat against supervillains (Metallo, Parasite, Clawster, and so on) a special event and the rest of the time you’d be doing journalism and saving civilians.

But no. It wouldn’t happen that way. If you only get to taste combat during boss fights, you would never get to enjoy it, right? Superman needs hordes of goons that he can beat up on. Today I will provide some examples of baddie hordes one could use:

Aliens seems like the easiest way to. There is a whole army of Kryptonian criminals waiting in the Phantom Zone to fight. But if it were me making this game, I would be saving most of the aliens for the sequel, so I will focus on Earthly threats.

Robots is a good place to start. I would make it a mandatory requirement of this game that the robots from the Mechanical Monsters short show up. That is a must.

My next thought is Toyman. His army of robot toys would provide a lot of variety for baddies. You could have green army men as his main troops. Giant teddy bears as the muscle. He had flying monkeys once on Supergirl, so throw those in. Toyman offers a lot.

A non-robot source of a variety of enemies would be Funnyface. As I explained before, he can animate characters from comics, so he could bring forth any number of sci-fi or fantasy foes worth our fists. (Similarly, Mxyzptlk offers a means to fight any and every thing, of course, but I would rather save him for non-combat stuff.)

If we absolutely need Superman to be punching actual people, we can do that a couple different ways. The main way, the way which Absolutely Will be in a Superman game if they ever make one, is to give mobsters super high-tech weaponry. That’s fine, but a batch of Intergang crooks with fancy guns is not particularly interesting. It’s downright boring. It can be in there, but it has to be the least of Superman’s worries.

Luckily, Superman has a villain called Riot. He has the power to create multiple forms of himself and run amok over the city. That means there could be massive battles against dozens of enemies that are actually one guy. I am actually pretty sure he actually showed up in the Superman Returns game, so lets take that and improve on it.

Another option that occurs to me is criminals who are using Tar. In a storyline during the 90s, I can’t recall if it was in one of Superman’s books or in Steel’s, there was a drug called Tar that would turn its users into superhuman brutes. I like the idea of including them because it could be required to administer an antidote to defeat them, thus changing up the gameplay a little.

Finally, a pretty obvious one: Lex Luthor. He is an obvious opponent for the game (too obvious for me. I would not have him as the big bad.) But he would be a plausible source of robots, and of human opponents. In some stories LexCorp has a security force of guys wearing power armour (Iron Man style). That means enemies who can fly around as a precursor to the Phantom Zone criminals to be fought in the sequel. And after Superman beats them Lex can issue a press release about how those guys were disgruntled employees using stolen equipment and so on.

Well, I think I have proven that you can have a variety of goon hordes in a Superman game. I suspect that next week’s post will also be about a hypothetical Superman game.

Superman Needs A Good Videogame

I think, even more so than a good movie, a good game would really bring some people into the Superman franchise. With my constant jealousness of the Batman franchise, I saw the semi-recent success of his Arkham games and wanted that for Superman.

It’s worth knowing that Superman has famously never had much in the way of good games and, in fact, has some of the very worst games out there. Thus, if we finally gave him a good game, we’d not only be introducing new people to the franchise, but we’d be remedying that unfortunate state.

I will point out, to begin, that I don’t think we currently have the technology to make the Superman game I’d consider ideal. If you can’t give me a non-scaled-down, fully destructible version of Metropolis with millions of distinct npc civilians, well then what’s the point? But if we can’t meet that unrealistic expectation, what do I propose?

Why, we make a game starring Jimmy Olsen, of course!

Jimmy can be a fighter. Not on the level of Batman, obviously, but if you give him a fighting style that focuses heavily on disarming opponents and Judo-style moves and all that, you’ve got as much to work with for a game. Throw in temporary super-power-ups like Elastic Lad and Werewolf forms, and photograph-taking missions, and you’ve got a way to introduce all the elements of the franchise to that massive gaming audience. And you don’t even have to piss anyone off by making Superman “weaker” than he’s supposed to be.

A very similar argument could be made for making a game starring Lois Lane. In fact, it’d probably be better. But I’m still nervous about how they’d mess it up. If you mess up a Jimmy Olsen game, who cares? If you mess up a Lois Lane game, that’d hurt.

Beekeeper Review: Fullan

Fullan is a beekeeper who lives in the country of Kyrat, which is the setting of the game Far Cry 4. She was living her peaceful life there until the Royal Army (the game’s bad guys) discovered that there was gold on her property and kicked her off so they could have it for themselves. As the bad guys prepare to destroy Fullan’s hives with a flamethrower, she gets the game’s protagonist to go kill them all.

Fictional beekeeper aficionados (so, basically just me) will notice that this is almost exactly the same deal as Holofernus Meiersdorf. An open world game where a beekeeper is in danger and needs the hero’s help. It should come as no surprise that I, the guy who is trying to spread word that beekeepers are badasses, am not a big fan of that. Still, Fullan was probably perfectly good at being a “normal” beekeeper, and I like to think that when she gets her land back all that gold helps her become even better off. But still, man. Not a big help to my ongoing thesis here.

Two Honeycombs out of Five.

Makin’ Marios.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, when I started having money troubles at the end of 2015, I reacted by spending more money to keep myself happy. That meant getting myself a Nintendo Wii with the sole purpose of getting Mario Maker. Making Mario levels is something I’ve basically wanted to do since forever, and now it can be done.

I have just finished creating a series of four levels based around more plot than is necessary for Mario Maker levels, so now I’m gonna celebrate that:

Level One – Mario has to find his way into the Dungeon of Fungus.

Level Two – Mario must fight his way through the traps and defenses that the Goombas have established around the Dungeon entrances.

Level Three – Mario makes his way through the Dungeon’s cavernous interior to get closer to the 1-Ups.

Level Four – Mario finds the temple that is the entrance to the 1-Up cave, and must fight through the final line of Goomba forces.

Beekeeper Review: Holofernus Meiersdorf and Sons

Holofernus Meiersdorf is a halfling beekeeper who lives in the fantasy land in which the Witcher franchise takes place. Previous reviews of Beekeepers in fantasy worlds have provided us glimpses of some very powerful beekeepers. Sadly, Ol’ Holofernus is not another one like that.

Holofernus, with his sons Bernie, Franklin, and Hugo, runs a honey farm called Honeyfill Meadworks. They seem to do a good job of it, so I’m not going to impugn their skills as apiarists. But what they don’t have is that extra something that makes truly special beekeepers. When they think their farm is under attack by a ghost, what do they do about it? They hire the Witcher to solve their problem for them.

These guys live in a world where magic and stuff is all real, but instead of using magic to become Ultimate Level Beekeepers, they’re just ordinary halfling guys who are actually worried about the threat that ghosts could pose. Power to them for being good at beekeeping, but it’s just a shame that they don’t apply themselves and unleash their full potential.

Two Honeycombs out of Five.