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Editorial

Every Stan Lee Appearance in Video Games (2000–2018)

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Stan Lee Spider-Man PS4

Stan Lee—the comic book writer famous for co-creating Marvel Comics characters Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther, among many others—passed away yesterday at the age of 95. Not only was Lee famous for his comic creations, but he also became well known for his cameos in the film adaptations of his books. When his characters made the transition to the virtual world, Lee came with them.

In memory of Stan Lee, OnlySP has put together a list of his video game appearances over the years to commemorate his life and work.

2000 — Spider-Man

Stan Lee’s first video game appearance was in Neversoft’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation. Lee narrates the game’s opening cutscene, as seen below, setting up the iconic game to follow. Lee also provides narration for the game’s character viewer, giving further detail into each of his iconic characters.

2001 — Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro

Lee’s next video game appearance was in Vicarious Visions’s Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, the sequel to Neversoft’s PlayStation classic. Like in the first game, Lee narrates the game’s character viewer, allowing an even more detailed look at the characters.

2009 — Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2

Lee took an extended break from video games before returning for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 in 2009. Providing his physical likeness for the first time in a game, Lee portrays Senator Lieber (named after Lee, who was born Stanley Lieber). Lee’s appearance in the game is a little more than a cameo, however, as he provided unique lines for each character—check it out below.

2010 — Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Lee returned to narrate Beenox’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions in 2010. Beenox co-studio head and creative director Thomas Wilson spoke to OnlySP in September about his experience meeting Lee. “I also got to play his bodyguard on the way to our booth! The security team was short on staff, so they asked us to form a circle around him to push the crowd en route to where Stan Lee would be signing autographs. Achievement unlocked!”

2012 — The Avengers Origins: Hulk & Avengers Origins: Assemble!

The 2012 mobile applications The Avengers Origins: Hulk and Avengers Origins: Assemble!, which tell the story of the origins of the iconic superheroes, received the Marvel mark of approval in the form of Lee’s narration.

2012 — The Amazing Spider-Man

Perhaps Lee’s funniest cameo is in The Amazing Spider-Man, the 2012 video game based on the film of the same name. Lee is a playable character in the game and uses his superpowers (the same as Spider-Man’s) to retrieve the lost pages of a new comic book manuscript.

2013 — Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Lee’s second playable appearance—this time as a Lego character—was in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. In the game, Lee is able to power up into Stan-Hulk (arguably the most powerful superhero in any video game).

2014 — The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Lee reprised his role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2012, based on the film starring Andrew Garfield. Lee is saved from a burning building by Spider-Man, and Parker later visits Lee at his comic book store. The result is a scene of immense fourth wall breaks—check it out below.

2014 — Lego Marvel’s Avengers

Lee, of course, appears in Lego Marvel’s Avengers as himself in several cameo appearances. He is also featured as a playable character in the game, and is able to turn into Stan-Hulk, Iron Stan, and the Stanbuster.

2017 — Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

Lee’s final Lego appearance to date was in last year’s Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, featured as a playable character after the player collects all 50 ‘Stan Lee in Peril’ scenarios. Lee’s playable character has the powers of Spider-Man, Thor, and Galactus.

2018 — Spider-Man

Lee’s final video game appearance was in this year’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games. More akin to his film cameos, Lee appears as a short-order cook in the PlayStation 4 title, making a brief comment to Mary Jane Watson as Parker interrupts their dinner to save the day. Lee made mention of the role on Twitter for National Video Game Day earlier this year.

Stan Lee’s memory and vision will be forever felt across all media, including video games, and he will surely be missed. Rest easy, Stan Lee. Excelsior.

Rhain discovered a long time ago that mixing one of his passions (video games) with the other (writing) might be a good idea, and now he’s been stuck in the industry for over six years with no means of escaping. His favourite games are those with deep and captivating narratives: while it would take far too long to list them all, some include L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption (and its sequel), Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Last of Us, and the Uncharted series.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in July 2019

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Three Single Player Games (July 2019) - Sea of Solitude, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Wolfenstein Youngblood

July, the middle of winter down here in Australia. Even in the bizarre New South Wales climate, the biting cold makes for a great excuse to stay inside and play games. 

Weirdly for single players, quite a few prestige games this month include additional co-op modes. With acclaimed designers behind them, such games will hopefully avoid the pitfalls of accommodating multiple players, as too many games have done in the past.

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

At first blush, Sea of Solitude looks like yet another story of a young adult struggling with questions of identity and mental health while exploring a beautiful but harsh fantasy world.

Actually, that’s what it is. ‘Quirky, life affirming indie adventure’ is a whole cottage industry these days, but the fact that such games are now more prevalent should never dismay.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a masterpiece of refined design and storytelling, and Sea of Solitude appears be something similar—this time dealing with a fantastical vision of depression that turns ordinary people into literal monsters.

Players take charge of Kay, who has sought out the eponymous Sea—or rather, a flooded city based on Berlin—in the hope that there is a cure for monstrosity. However, despite its name, she is not the only person in the Sea. Avoiding the other monsters of the Sea seems to be a major part of the gameplay. These tense encounters are likely to provide rhythm and variety to the adventure and keep it from being a just walking simulator. (Not that being a walking simulator is inherently a problem.)

Although published by EA Originals, one would do well to remember that EA the company does not actually profit off the Originals that they publish. With a focused story and themes that still are not often explored in bigger games, Sea of Solitude should be of great interest to single player fans in a month otherwise dominated by multiplayer titles.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Almost certainly the biggest single player release of the month, and tied with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as another massive Switch exclusive, Fire Emblem: Three Houses might be exactly what single players need right now.

Lately the Fire Emblem franchise has exploded in both its popular profile and sales success, buoyed by a hunger for both deep anime RPGs and polished tactics games. Three Houses seems to have doubled down on exciting trends and features in both genres: particularly a Persona/Harry Potter inspired magic school setting and an even deeper tactical battle system that ditches the rock-paper-scissors for more nuanced character progression options. As with many Japanese RPGs, the story is also a major focus and hinges upon a time-jump.

The early part casts the player as a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, situated in the center of the game world and attended by students from the three most powerful nations. Five years later, the second and likely larger part concerns the drama between the player’s teacher and their former students, whose nations are now locked in a massive three-way conflict.

As is to be expected for a series finally coming back to consoles after a long time on the 3DS, Three Houses is a massive technical leap over its predecessors. The game boasts better realised battlefields, more detailed armies, and a slick animated style that appears much more consistent compared with the three or four different art styles on the 3DS.

With such improvements, as well as the overall pedigree of the Fire Emblem brand, Three Houses should have no trouble satisfying single player fans looking for a meaty middle-of-the-year RPG.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

The recent Wolfenstein revival series is such a remarkable achievement in traditional shooter design and great, if goofy, sci-fi worldbuilding that the co-op focus of this latest instalment is somewhat disappointing.

Yes, as with F.E.A.R. 3 and Dead Space 3, following a well-received second chapter the Wolfenstein series now pivots to a co-operative focused chapter. Though the game is not a mandatory multiplayer experience, combat encounters and puzzles have been redesigned to accommodate the two player mode, giving single players an AI-controlled partner and bullet sponge enemies.

However, all hope is not lost for Wolfenstein: why else would it be the third game on the list? The narrative has been pushed forward in time, as B.J.’s twin daughters are now in their adolescence, now giving players a glimpse at the 1980s of Wolfenstein‘s skewed universe. Additionally, the level design itself is more freeform thanks to development assistance from Arkane, the developers of the Dishonored series.

Will Wolfenstein: Youngblood successfully deliver more of the series’s goofy charm and crazy alternate reality? Almost certainly. On the other hand, will the game be as fun to play alone as in multiplayer? That remains to be seen. Last month’s E3 demo that raised such concerns was naturally only a snapshot of a game in development, so MachineGames and Arkane have had plenty of time to resolve these potential downsides to a co-op focused game.

Those are our three big single player games to look out for this month. Other interesting titles coming soon include Stranger Things 3 on July 4 and Attack on Titan 2 on July 5, both games hitting Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

On July 12 we will see the sequel to an almost-fantastic Minecraft-like RPG spinoff, Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and PlayStation 4, as well as the Switch port of “anime Monster Hunter”, God Eater 3

The week after, July 19 brings us Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and at an undetermined time during the month Klei Entertainment’s anticipated survival-sim Oxygen Not Included will finally leave early access on PC.

Have we missed anything that you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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