Mike Winder

Oct. 18, 2011 | 4:04 p.m.

Stan Lee: Bring on the Dr. Strange video game

Forget the heroes in Hollywood — consider for a moment how busy the characters of the Marvel Universe  have been in video games in 2011: This year has seen the release of  Thor: God of Thunder (Sega); Captain America: Super Soldier (Sega); X-Men: Destiny (Activision); Spider-Man: Edge of Time (Activision); a 3DS version of Superhero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet (THQ); and the crossover brawler Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Capcom), which will be super-sized this November into Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And with The Amazing Spider Man (Activision) just being unveiled at weekend’s New York Comic Con, things don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. For Stan Lee, who co-created so many of Marvel’s icons, watching the ongoing video-game invasion has been just as rewarding as seeing the film projects such as this year’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” […]
Oct. 03, 2011 | 10:04 a.m.

Batman: Arkham City takes the madness far and wide

The lunatics will take over the asylum in a big way in Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to the widely (and wildly) acclaimed 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and one of the biggest releases of the year for gamers. The plot of the dark adventure: Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane has been shut down but Gotham needs someplace to put its villains, gangsters and thugs, so Mayor Quincy Sharp carves out an entire district and declares it a maximum-security prison zone. In a sort of DC Universe version of “Escape From New York,” the game (which arrives Oct. 18 for PS3 and Xbox 360 and in November for PC), heavily armed helicopters are used to patrol the skies above the city blocks that have been given over to felons and freaks, which in this case include Two Face, Penguin and Mr. Freeze. With Arkham City, developer […]
July 05, 2011 | 1:59 p.m.

Comics vet Marv Wolfman talks about writing new ‘Green Lantern’ game

There’s never a dull moment for Hal Jordan. In a narrative set immediately after the events of the new “Green Lantern” film, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game sees the test-pilot-turned-intergalactic-superhero once again tasked with saving the universe. Hero Complex contributor Mike Winder recently chatted with Rise of the Manhunters writer and comics veteran Marv Wolfman — author of “The New Teen Titans,” “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and “The Tomb of Dracula,” among other titles — about the villainous Manhunters, communicating across the galaxy and writing for video games versus comics. HC: What’s the basic premise of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters? MW: Hal Jordan was a test pilot — which has been part of the DC mythology since 1958 — and as a test pilot he was always the sole person in […]
June 23, 2011 | 7:04 p.m.

X-Men: Destiny game allows players to build their own mutant

Charles Xavier and his uncanny band of mutant superheroes are currently on the big screen in “X-Men: First Class,” but Wolverine, Magneto, Cyclops and Colossus — along with three new mutant characters — will feature in X-Men: Destiny, the new action/RPG hybrid game due out in September. Whereas “First Class” took a retro approach to the classic mythology of the Marvel mutants, the new Silicon Knights-developed game is rooted firmly in the series’ current story line. A battle with supervillain Bastion has left the city of San Francisco in ruins, divided into human and mutant zones. The X-Men have relocated to an asteroid-turned-island in the San Francisco Bay, and with Professor Xavier out of the picture, they’re struggling to understand their role in the world. Activision offered an early look at the game at its booth at the recently concluded […]
June 10, 2011 | 1:29 p.m.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time video game to send Peter Parker back to the future

With its uber-realistic depictions of New York, London, Paris and Berlin under siege, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 stole the show at Activision’s E3 booth this week. But the company was also showing off something to whet the appetites of comic book fans: Spider-Man: Edge of Time, a spiritual follow-up of sorts to last year’s acclaimed Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. The Beenox-developed game, due for a fall release on all major consoles, places players in the dual roles of Peter Parker, the amazing Spider-Man, and a Spider-Man from the future, Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099. The two Spider-Men must work together across time and space to achieve three goals: 1) Save Parker from an untimely death; 2) Prevent the year 2099 from turning into a dystopian nightmare ruled by the monolithic Alchemax corporation; and 3) Avert a chain of events […]
June 07, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game looks to light it up

“In brightest day, in blackest night,  no evil shall escape my sight.  Let those who worship evil’s might,  beware my power … Green Lantern’s light!” So goes the oath of the Green Lantern Corps as recited by Hal Jordan in DC comic books for more than 50 years. The hero reaches the screen next week with the Warner Bros. film starring Ryan Reynolds, but that’s not the only emerald-hued spotlight shining on the character right now —  the new Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment game Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters hit stores Tuesday for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS and DS. In the comics and in the film, Jordan is given a cosmic weapon, a power ring, by the dying alien Abin Sur, who crash-landed on Earth and with the ring is passing on his membership in the Green Lantern Corps, which is a sort […]
June 05, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.

Thor: God of Thunder video game looks for new worlds to conquer

In Thor: God of Thunder (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS), the player assumes the role of the titular Norse god-turned-Marvel superhero. Although the game features the likenesses and voices of Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki), it does not follow the film’s narrative. However, the saying “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” proves itself true over and over in the world of comic books. So although the narrative is different, the game definitely will feel familiar. “The movie was about growth of character and asked, ‘Who is Thor?’” said Matt Powers, a senior producer at SEGA of America, who worked on the game. “That’s not the kind of game we wanted to make. We already know who Thor is. We wanted the player to explore more of the universe of Thor.” In the game, whose narrative was […]
May 29, 2011 | 7:34 a.m.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Lego: Brick heroes, pig-riding and rare gaming comedy

In the old days of Tinseltown, an actor knew they had made it when their caricature graced the walls of the Brown Derby. These days, a celebrity might feel the same way about the Lego video games TT Games. Since 2005, TT Games has converted some of Hollywood’s biggest properties — “Star Wars,” Indiana Jones, Harry Potter —into games that blend action and puzzles with a healthy sense of humor, and, yes, plenty of brick building. Now Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” has joined the elite group. Hero Complex contributor Mike Winder caught up with Jonathan Smith, TT’s head of production in Knutsford, England, about giving Jack Sparrow and his cinematic crew a brickish makeover. MW: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean includes the narratives for all four films and actually came out a few days prior to the release of “On Stranger Tides” in theaters. How early […]
March 08, 2011 | 12:28 p.m.

Test Drive Unlimited 2: Forget the racing, let’s get plastic surgery in Ibiza?

Getting behind the wheel of an unbelievably expensive sports cars is the high-gear appeal of most racing video games, but Atari’s latest racer, Test Drive Unlimited 2 (TDU2), takes the need for speed beyond the driver’s seat — this game, the latest installment in the Test Drive series that began nearly 25 years ago, is about life in the fast lane in Ibiza, with a game narrative that places the player in the role of a lowly valet attendant who gradually works up the social ladder by winning cash races. TDU2 (recently released for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC) features an “If you can see it, you can drive to it” open-world environment in which you can explore the entire island at your leisure and since your valet character lives in a trailer, being behind the wheel is far better than […]
Feb. 20, 2011 | 8:48 a.m.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Phoenix takes it to the dark side

A great deal has changed since gamers last pitted villains and heroes from the Marvel and Capcom universes against one another in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. That fighting game debuted in arcades—yes, arcades—in early 2000. Now, more than a decade later, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds has arrived for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Here at Hero Complex, to prepare for the fray, we’re doing a series of posts looking at the game’s Marvel villains, their history and their combat moves. Today:  Dark Phoenix As we finish up our look at the villains of Fate of Two Worlds, we turn to a true force to be reckoned with — and a woman who lives up to her name by testing any black-and-white definitions of good and evil in the Marvel universe.  Jean Grey was […]
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