The first few months of the year tend to be a little bit quiet on the film front once the awards season excitement dies down. But in 2017 many movie fans are already getting worked up for a superhero project due to be released in March. The project is Logan, Hugh Jackman’s grand finale as Wolverine and a film that looks to stand out among the rest of the crowded superhero genre.
Besides expecting what might be the best Wolverine movie yet, fans of the X-Men will also be hoping for another video game that lives up to the character’s pedigree. Superheroes have been a mixed bag when it comes to video games whether they’re on major consoles or mobile devices. There’s a reason your favorite Marvel console game probably involves LEGO. However, during Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine, and even before it, this is one character who’s almost always been behind quality games.
It started with Wolverine: Adamantium Rage for the Sega Genesis and Super NES, which wasn’t the first Wolverine game but may have been the first stand-out release. The action platformer made smart use of Wolverine’s powers with a regenerating health bar that helped it to rise above many of the other games of its day.
Soon after Adamantium Rage, X-Men vs. Street Fighter emerged and helped to launch the trend of crossover superhero fighting games that has continued to this day. Initially designed as an arcade game back in 1996 and eventually ported to the Sega Saturn, it received strong reviews and was regarded as a fighting game of epic proportions, combining Capcom’s legendary world warriors with beloved X-Men—headlined, of course, by the ultra-recognizable Wolverine.
Fast forward a decade later and 2009’s console-based X-Men Origins: Wolverine was an incredibly surprising release. The film it was loosely base on was an unmitigated disaster, but as one reviewer put it, the game was some of the most violent fun he’d had in quite some time. The idea was that the game allowed players to control Wolverine in all his glorious rage, without too much concern for format or film plots, and the result was tremendous.
Meanwhile, as the Wolverine and X-Men films continued to gain in popularity, the character started to be used in a few newer ways in the world of gaming. The online casino industry was quick to jump at the opportunity to involve superheroes in its online jackpot and slot arcades as a way to appeal to new markets. As part of this partnership, Wolverine headlined his own slot reel, and also stands at the front of another game featuring the whole X-Men team. While largely traditional slots these games also incorporate animations and bonus arcade battles that make use of the merry mutants to add a more dynamic experience to the casual casino titles.
Finally, we’re also starting to see Wolverine more frequently in mobile games featuring the X-Men as well. He’s sort of the unofficial lead in the Uncanny X-Men: Days Of Future Past app that’s received fairly positive reviews, and he also makes appearances in titles like Marvel: Contest Of Champions and Marvel Future Fight.
This all makes for a successful run for Wolverine in video games, and we left a lot of titles out. Whether or not Logan gets much in the way of gaming tie-ins remains to be seen, but it seems only fitting that Jackman’s last go as the character should be celebrated with a new game or two. Here’s hoping for one last hurrah in the coming year.