This X-Men arcade game helped relaunch comic book movies

The 80’s could be the era of the introduction of video games, especially home consoles like the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System. But the ’90s pushed gaming further into the mainstream and further away from the technological dark ages. While it would be wild to imagine calling 16- and 32-bit systems (ask your parents what a bit is) “innovative,” systems like the Super Nintendo and Sega Master System were certainly in for their day Collaborating with the Game Boy and Game Gear to fuel the worldwide obsession. But hardware isn’t everything, especially in a transitional period when home consoles weren’t as ubiquitous as they are today.

In the 90’s, the arcade game still fascinated in malls, cinemas and countless other places thanks to games like Mortal Kombat II, NBA jamand the greatest of all: Street Fighter II. But there was one game that deserves some props because not only is it fun and addictive, but it expands on mainstream audiences’ love affair with a cast of characters who were key to the rise of comic book popularity (and who made it would do a little later). , triggering a revolution in comic book adaptations). This game was X-Menwhich arrived in arcades in 1992.

Since comic book readers were introduced to the X-Men Characters set in 1963, readers have followed the adventures of overpowered humans called mutants grappling with hatred and prejudice from a world some of them fight to protect them from other mutants who would rather watch as everything burns . Of course, there was a desire to transfer the comic to other forms of media, such as games. And Marvel didn’t miss the Nintendo gold rush and released one Uncanny X-Men Game in 1989 by LJN. Unfortunately, this success left many players cold. Essentially, the technique wasn’t there to capture the charm of the x men, not until a few years later, when Konomi created a side-scrolling action game that allowed readers to control some of their favorite characters. Suddenly, for a pocketful of coins, you could play as Cyclops, Colossus, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Wolverine while taking on such familiar faces as Blob, Juggernaut, Emma Frost, the Sentinels, Pyro, and the Master of Magnetism himself, Magneto. Sure, some of the X-Men’s special moves didn’t make much sense, as the characters relied on abilities they didn’t have (Wolverine fired a blast of concussive energy from his claws; Colossus released a gigantic ball of electricity from his entire body). , but when you played with five other people to take down swarms of enemies, you didn’t care.

As if the arcade game wasn’t enough to propel the popularity of the X-Men to unprecedented pop culture heights, who are hugely influential and revered X-Men: The Animated Series also debuted on FOX on Saturday mornings in 1992. It had beautifully drawn animation, spot on voice work, and layered storytelling in every episode. It also had one of the best themes composed for any superhero property.

The show satisfied established fans who loved reading about the X-Men and wanted more, and also whetted the appetite of those stepping into a comic book store for the first time and opening up a world of X-Men stories.

Some of these were rooted in their sci-fi/fantasy roots, with Professor X and Magneto’s friendship-turned-rivalry, Wolverine and Sabretooth’s seething hatred for one another, Gambit and Rogue’s relationship (which makes physical contact between the two impossible) and the Phoenix Force that transformed Jean Gray into a malevolent and powerful entity willing and able to destroy entire planets. However, other stories delved deeper into issues that resonated directly with our own world.

Unlike the Justice League, the Avengers, or even the Fantastic Four, all of whom were respected and admired for their exploits and formidable physical appearances, the X-Men have always been misunderstood outcasts who are constantly reminded that they will never be respected would and never be allowed to blend in with the rest of the world. And for kids of all ages, whose looks, interests, personality, and sexual orientation made them literal and figurative punching bags among their peers and even within their own families, the X-Men were a team that reflected who they were and how they felt , and gave them all the characters to relate to. They were mutants hated and rejected by everyone around them, but their powers made them unique and gave them abilities that ordinary humans did not have. Whether it was the ability to read or control minds, to change to make you look like someone else, or to be so strong and so powerful that nothing and no one can stop you or stand in your way once you do there is movement in it.

This is the world blown up by a simple arcade game, a Saturday morning cartoon, and the comics that inspired all of the above. One born of the narrative power of comic book writers like Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Jonathan Hickman, additional games, a trilogy of films that helped eradicate the superhero movie weariness of the late ’90s, and reinvention to live it up , continued to grow X-Men: First Class movies, loganand Dead Pool. What comes next is unclear, but the foundation is undoubtedly strong across all platforms.

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