Computer and console games have always seemed to be a natural partner when it comes to comic book characters. Whether it’s been a straightforward original title taking inspiration from characters from the pages of the latest book from DC Comics or Marvel, or a game based on a specific story arc or in recent years one of the blockbuster movies from either studio, they’ve been a surefire hit with the gaming public and publishers alike.
When it comes to the PS Vita however, things have been rather lacklustre when it comes to the two major comic book publishers. While the console certainly has a large and diverse catalogue of games available, there are only a handful of games catering for superhero lovers to-date leaving gamers struggling to find their caped, super-powered fix…
Since the PS Vita’s launch in 2012, you can almost count the number of superhero games on one hand that have been released. For those of you who are a fan of DC Comics, to-date we’ve had the superb 2.5D action game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, the breathtaking fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us and then a couple of LEGO titles in the shape of Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Hardly a positive showing.
At least Marvel fans have been slightly better catered for. Capcom managed to deliver the goods with another instalment in their never-ending fighting saga when they released Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3. We were treated to an entertaining romp with the movie tie-in for The Amazing Spider-Man, not forgetting the plethora of characters, stories and endless gameplay offered by one of my personal favourites with Disney Infinity 2.0. The real star of the show has to be Zen Studios who have continued to delight all of us with their seemingly never ending supply of Marvel-themed tables for Zen Pinball 2. Whether you’re a fan of the X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man or the more obscure Marvel heroes, the chances are that they have produced a table dedicated to them. It has to be said that I am surprised that Farsight Studios haven’t taken the opportunity to license any DC or Marvel tables for The Pinball Arcade but I still live in hope on that one…
When you look to the wider range of what the PS Vita can run, things are more bleak for superhero lovers. Of all of the downloadable PSP titles available for the Vita, there is just a solitary title – LEGO Batman: The Video Game, and there is nothing at all from the PS One back catalogue.
Considering the incredible range both of these consoles have, and the combined contribution both make towards the Vita’s software library this is quite a shocking discovery, especially considering the fact that there are games on offer based on film and television properties. Bearing that in mind, licensing restrictions can’t be such a massive factor prohibiting their digital re-issue can they?
Looking at other platforms it does make for frustrating stuff as a PS Vita owner. The PS3 was blessed with countless games and despite being in its twilight years still sees games released and supported. The PS4 is getting new games released all the time as does the PC. The Android and iOS market is remarkably well supported and there are even plenty of games available in the Free To Play market, some of which have made it to the PS3 and PS4.
Even online gaming, it seems, loves Superheroes more than the PS Vita. If you look around you’ll find sites like casino.com offering online pokies games based on a range of Marvel characters amongst the online blackjack and other familiar games you’d expect to find.
Is it too late for PS Vita owners to expect anything new from publishers? I think so and apart from more LEGO and pinball games, I think we have probably seen the best the publishers are willing to give us.