Today is National Retro Video Game Day, this holiday is dedicated to Ralph Baer, a German-American who conceived of playing video games on televisions in 1966. Baer is considered the father of video games due to his amazing eye for the future, and the many contributions he made in the field. This holiday coincides with his birthday of March 8, 1922.
There is no better a way to celebrate the man, then to dedicate his birthday to a love of all things retro gaming. From the original Mario dodging Donkey Kong throwing barrels all the way to PAC-MAN gobbling pellets.
With this being a comic book article though, we’re going to talk about retro video games that were inspired by comic books!
|Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety (Sega Genesis & Super NES)
For those that got the chance to play this game on Super NES or Sega Genesis? This is an impressive and entertained game with quite a bit of lore. Usually when it comes to video games based on comics you just get beat-em-up or boring storylines that you don’t really understand as you play the game.
With Separation Anxiety you are treated to a story about an evil corporation that has stolen some of Venoms DNA and created offspring from it for their own use and benefit. That’s right? The Life Foundation was the main villain of this game.
The Life Foundation is now well known by casual viewers thanks to the first Venom movie, but before the movie’s appearance if I’d asked fans if they knew about the Life Foundation, only deep lore fans of Spider-Man would know of them.
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
This one here is a little bit of a stretch. But you can’t talk about retro comic games and not include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The original form of this comic however was more of a parody and insult to the world of comics as a whole.
The theme of this game was clearly based off of the Saturday morning cartoon of this property. That is made more evident by the depiction of April O’Neal whose design matches closer to the cartoon then that of her appearance in the movie and comic book.
The arcade game was amazing. It was the right amount of fun and quarter-eater that you would expect from an arcade game. If anyone had told you they had beaten the game, they were clearly lying.
|Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (Nintendo 64)
Turok is the story of a native-american warrior tasked to protect the barrier between our world and the lost land of dinosaurs. However when an evil man wants to break down the bariers to be able to claim the power of an ancient artifact, Turok must venture forward to stop the destruction of the barriers.
This game was originally based on the character from a Western Publishing book in 1954 which was revived in 1993 by Valiant Comics. The comic book company was purchased by Acclaim Entertainment in 1994 with the intent to mine it’s properties for viable video game content. They struck gold though with Turok. While the game took over 3 years to make, and was frustrated with bugs during production, it became a massive hit, being declared one of the best games of the Nintendo 64.
The intellectual property spawned several sequels on multiple consoles.
|Todd McFarlane’s Spawn: The Video Game (Super NES)
Spawn is a character created by Todd McFarlane during his famous exodus from Marvel, and his help to form Image Comics. The character itself is a man who died and made a deal to return to Earth but was tricked and returned horrifically scared from his death. While he has a set amount of magical powers, he has a limit to how much he can use before his soul will belong to Malebolgia.
In the game you take over this character, who has to save the daughter of the woman he loves, from a madman who has captured her and 12 other children to use their souls to destroy Malebolgia. Spawn will be able to use his comic book powers based on his Necroplasm, using a set of codes and moves similar to fighting games, but the amount he can use through the game is limited. The game is over if you take to long, expend all of your powers, or are defeated.
It’s actually an interesting take on the character, and I remember playing it worried about using to much power all the time.
What’s your favorite retro game based off a comic book? Let us know in the comments down below!