With the 16-bit consoles, we were able to finally recognize the characters on the screen and, even though most of them are mildly entertaining side-scrolling beat-em-alls, actually enjoy playing these games. As you can see on the box designs displayed below, comic artists started being used: that’s Glenn Fabry on Separation Anxiety, possibly Butch Guice on Captain America and that looks like Mike DeCarlo inking the Batman and Superman covers, over Jim Aparo? On the other hand, that led to abortions like that Punisher cover, but to be honest that’s what Punisher specials’ covers looked like.
Not only the product looked more attractive, games themselves were a quantum leap beyond what came before, and, again, the games are not even that good, but the possibility of manipulating these characters at home (there had been some good arcade games already, Captain America and Punisher being actually ports of arcade machines) instantly renewed our faith in humanity … There were good things coming, that much was undeniable!!!
I would normally include here the cover of my favourite Megadrive game, but they’re right above. The 2 games I played the most were the first X-Men (that music, playing as Wolverine) and Captain America and the Avengers (the list of enemies alone: Klaw, the Living Laser, Whirlwind, The Sentinels, Wizard, the Grim Reaper, the Mandarin, The Juggernaut, Ultron, and Crossbones), and even if I understand that they are not even close the best Megadrive games, they still bring good memories.
Next: the far superior SNES (even though they never had the awesomeness that’s X-Men, the SNES is the first system that featured Thanos in a game and superior versions of half of the games on this list)
In classic Fanthoman train of thought derailment fashion, let me tell you (as if you didn’t know) that the guys who do the Capcom illustrations for the Capcom VS series are simply amazing. I am guessing they are some sort of studio, but the two names I hear more often are Shinkiro and Bengus and their art is truly amazing … I came across some of their work while looking for the cover art for the game cover series and it reminded me that I had never written anything about them, and that’s really unfair as the book they put out about Marvel vs Capcom is one of my favourite artbooks ever.
Drool all you want, it’s your computer after all!!!
So, yes, let’s forget about MSX and jump straight to 8-bit consoles (with a little detour through early PC games this afternoon, probably).
Getting closer to the 16-bit explosion of actually good games, we still had to go through the 8-bit period of “let’s assume that block is really who they say it is”, starting with the NES:
Trying to not forget the Sega Master System (though who could blame us?):
And, as last time, my favourite 8-bit game, Castlefuckinvania (though, strangely enough, I prefer the MSX version, or not so strange considering it was the first one I played):
Growing up at the dawn of the computer age allowed me to experience the evolution of computers firsthand and, like most people around me, went through my fair share of ridiculous computers. It all begun with the ZX Spectrum 48K, and as Martin reminded me about the Ocean Batman game (and as it’s been a while since I don’t play any of those games in emulators, even though I was obsessed with them for a couple of years), I decided to compile the covers of the games based on super-hero comics:
Bonus feature: MY FAVOURITE ZX SPECTRUM GAME EVER
Next should be the MSX (for which we even purchased a disk drive!!!), but I might as well skip ahead to the consoles … We’ll see!!!
Before Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido unleashed the extremely beautiful Blacksad on all of us, Juanjo also did some pin-ups and covers for Comics Forum. It´s funny to look back on this now and be amazed by the artistic evolution Mr Guarnido has gone through, but some of these undeniably have a lot of charm:
Captain America vs Red Skull
Inferno – X-Men
Inferno – X-Factor
She-Hulk and Silver Surfer
X-Men in Spain
Inferno – New Mutants