GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Gaming Update with Leo Wyld (Aug. 2014 Edition)

Cosmic Greetings, everyone! This is Leo Wyld, your Raccoonatic Commander. I almost made this a new issue of Flarkin' Awesome!, but there is more to share here beyond just Rocket Raccoon news. In general, it is a great time to be a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanks to the brilliant cinematic creation of James Gunn and a related marketing push, our favorite cosmic team is everywhere right now. Video games are definitely no exception.
What a bunch of... well, you know.
My favorite game, as many may be aware, is Marvel Heroes, recently re-branded as Marvel Heroes 2015. And Marvel Heroes has made a number of additions recently that directly tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy. Other games I will look at today are Gazillion's other Marvel-related creation, Super Hero Squad Online; the Facebook game, Marvel: Avengers Alliance; and, lastly, a standalone game focused entirely on Guardians of the Galaxy.

All your Galaxian gaming news can be found after the jump...

Marvel Heroes 2015

In a way, Marvel Heroes has always been affected by the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Marvel mysteriously insisted Rocket Raccoon be included on the game, despite most people at Gazillion (the company that made Marvel Heroes) having no idea who he was. Marvel enigmatically claimed “He'll be big”. The reason became somewhat more evident when, very shortly afterward, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was officially announced, clearly being the prime motivation in Marvel's push to include Rocket on the roster.

Now, of course, we all know who Rocket Raccoon is, and Gazillion's CEO (and creator of Diablo, Diablo II, and Marvel Heroes) David Brevik even now considers himself “a Raccoonatic at heart”. Jeff “Doomsaw” Donais, another one of Gazillion's top people, also considers Rocket among his favorite heroes on the game. But one of the great things about the Guardians of the Galaxy is that they are a team of misfits who make each other stronger. For most of the game's launch, however, poor Rocket was stranded on Earth, fighting street crime with no one but his buddy Groot to help (unless you want to count Tony and Carol as Guardians, that is). This has changed.
Peter Jason Quill, you might know him better as the Star-Lord, is now playable.
Legendary outlaw, leader of the Guardians of the Gal... Never mind, you're clearly never gonna get it, Korath. Anyway, I played him some on Test Center (sorry, Quill, not budging off Rocket on Live until I get to Cosmic 60). I must say, I was quite impressed. His powers revolve around using his ship, his iconic 'Element Gun,' as well as his overall skills as a legendary outlaw. Admittedly, I did not try any higher level powers, but, what little I played, he seemed to have a rather unique style and, most importantly, I found him quite fun to play. He has two costumes, currently.

Personally, I find it an odd choice to add a character because he is leader of the Guardians and choose, as his default, a costume that he wore before the modern Guardians of the Galaxy were technically formed. I cannot deny, though, it does look exactly like what he wore in Annihilation: Conquest. His alternate costume is, of course, his movie costume and, given how his recent appearance in comics is emulating the movie, it really somewhat passes as a current comic costume, as well. The big question for us long-time Galaxians would be, where the flark is his Guardians 'volume 2' blue and red costume? Since Rocket Raccoon's default (Modern) costume on Marvel Heroes is from 'volume 2' of the comics, it would seem a natural choice to make his leader's default costume match. I do have good news on that front, I posed the same question to David Brevik and he said the v2 blue/red Star-Lord costume is in development, and it sounds like it may not too far from release.

Now, they couldn't get Chris Pratt to voice Quill (obviously) and the voice actor they got does not really attempt to imitate Pratt, but I think he does capture Pete's personality very well, which is helped from some spot on lines of dialog. I think any fan of Star-Lord will be very happy with how he is presented in this game.
In addition to Peter Quill, there are two other members of the Guardians of the Galaxy who were unrepresented in the game, until now, that is. You may recall, in my last gaming update I told you about the new team-up feature. To complement the film's release both Drax and Gamora were released as team-up characters.

Gamora's appearance is based on her recent "Mass-Effect-ish" armor, and Drax's look is... well, Drax's outfit hasn't changed much since the modern Guardians formed. As with other team-ups, they have a couple different powers and their own lines of dialogue to interact with enemies, the environment, and other heroes. I prefer Drax's voice-acting slightly over Gamora's. Gamora doesn't sound bad, just maybe not exactly what I would have expected, whereas Drax sounds exactly like I think Drax should sound.

They could have left it at those two and the entire core modern team would be represented, Groot being a 'summon' for Rocket Raccoon. It was decided, though, Groot would no longer be available just as a Rocket summon. That's right, they also released Groot as a team-up. Rocket can use him, too, and Groot's appearance will change from v2 to movie Groot depending on whether Rocket is wearing the movie costume or not.

Because of disliking anti-duplicates between playable/summons and team-ups, you will not be allowed to us the Groot summon as Rocket if you are using the Groot team-up and vice-versa. There are a couple advantages to using the team-up instead of the summon if you are Rocket, but the summon is more powerful, so, if you are Rocket, it is probably best to keep Groot as a summon and use one of the other team-ups (if you are playing movie Rocket, Drax fits better for me, since Gamora is so clearly, visually comic Gamora and Drax, Rocket, and Groot do have a couple good scenes in the movie, anyway). On the subject of team-ups, not really Guardians related 'per se' but in the ballpark, Beta Ray Bill is available as a cool cosmic-tinged team-up, as well.
Ain't no costume like this, 'cept this.

I mentioned movie Rocket and, yes, Rocket (Raccoon, we must put that in parentheses since it is not part of his MCU name) does have an awesome enhanced movie costume. The look is amazing and is not scaled as large as his other costumes, he looks decent without any shrinks, which actually caused me to decide to drop shrink visuals on Rocket, altogether. The Groot you summon while playing movie Rocket will look like movie Groot.

And the voice. Another obvious, they could not get Bradley Cooper to voice movie Rocket, but they got iconic voice actor Nolan North. That is where there is a rub, for some people. You see, Nolan North has also, lately, become the definitive voice actor for Deadpool and everyone was convinced, before even hearing movie Rocket, that he would sound like Deadpool, which is exactly what many claimed after the costume released. For what my opinion's worth, I do not agree. I think Mr. North did an admirable imitation of Bradley's Rocket and there is a certain “accent” to movie Rocket's voice that is just different than Deadpool's despite, admittedly, sharing a similar tonal quality.

Speaking of "Movie Rocket's" voice, he has completely different lines. Whereas the Cockney-hued dialogue of his other costumes is rather indicative in personality of DnA-era Rocket, the lines of his movie costume are more in line with his much meaner MCU persona, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. He has some very entertaining lines, and I've set up a separate Quotes page for his movie costume.  Rocket received far more than just a movie costume, though.  All heroes have been going through a process called level 52 reviews.  The hero's Ultimate power is moved to level 52, they receive a new type of power called a Signature Power at the old Ultimate Power level of 30, and the hero's entire powerset is overhauled with reworks, renamed, removals, and additions. Rocket's review, in terms of resources spent, was the most expensive to complete. And I've put a brief rundown of how those powers look in the MH section of my own site.

Aside from those things, some other upcoming cosmic possibilities. Well, for one, Nova. Once planned as a shortly-after-launch hero, the situation quickly became tangled when long-time Nova fans learned that Sam Alexander, and not Richard Rider, would be the representative Nova of choice. Attempts to settle what had to be done with Sam and what could be done with Rider became tied up in various legal, and creative complications that I will not even attempt to speculate.  Lonnng story short, the issues have finally been resolved.  Nova will be released in September.  The default costume will be Sam Alexander Nova, the first alternate costume that launches with him will also be a Sam Alexander costume, however, some time after the hero's launch, presumably shortly after, an enhanced Richard Rider Nova costume *will* be released. 

The game also had various sales leading up to the movie release (which I apologize for not reporting on, but I was at SDCC for part of that period and busy with other matters for the remainder). There was also an ability to collect Planet X tree bark to turn in for various items at Jocasta, the Events Vendor.  Coming up, it's been hinted the next major story arc will somehow involved the Skrulls.  Sounds like it could be cosmic... Onto some other games...

Super Hero Squad Online

Not much to report on Gazillion's web-based kid-centric game... for now. I believe I once mentioned there was a hint at Rocket's addition to the game.  We now have a bit more Guardians news than that.  The Guardians have been officially confirmed as being upcoming hero additions, but there was some sort of schedule delay. They will not start showing up until later this month, with Groot being the first.

Marvel: Avengers Alliance

Another afternoon game of mine.  I started playing Playdom's Marvel-themed Facebook game when I saw the news, on this site and other places, about the Guardians of the Galaxy team being planned additions. As mentioned in my last gaming update, Rocket Raccoon was the first team member to show up, as a PvP reward.  After a painfully long wait, he finally became available for those who are not master PvP players.  Gamora is available as a 90 CP general recruitment hero, as is Groot. Drax was another PvP reward, which means he will be available for recruitment to non-PvP winners at some point in the future. And, the leader, Star-Lord, is the reward for completing the current ongoing SpecOps, which kinda meshes the comic world with the movie world in an interesting albeit sometimes awkward, combination (for instance, the, clearly, MCU version of Nebula, who is Thanos' adoptive daughter in the movie, is referred to, per the comics, as Thanos' granddaughter. You have the baddies from Infinity present and Thanos trapped in amber, but the Guardians being outlaws on the run from Nova Corps and MCU purely-villanous Ronan). 

Speaking of MCU vs. comics, whereas every other Guardian released prior had blue/red DnA comic costumes and bios that reflected their comic origins, Peter Quill's default costume is his movie one and, so, his bio is specifically his movie bio, instead. Star-Lord's blue/red costume will be unlockable through CovertOps, while the other Guardians will unlock their *movie* costumes as alternate costumes in the same way.  The SpecOps is entertaining, though, and it has some amusing dialogue, so I do recommend checking it out before it ends.

Other Games

Oddly enough, very much so, the storyline of the current SpecOps from Marvel: Avengers Alliance (and it tells you this specifically) continues in the standalone mobile game Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Weapon (also available as a Windows 8.1 app, for those of you, like me, who want a fun game to play when your laptop is offline. Really helped on the flight home from San Diego).

Don't worry, you do not have to play M:AA to understand what is going on in the game, it does not tie together *that* much.  It is a drag-to-attack game, that has some frantic real-time strategy.  There are also some RPG elements to the game, unlockable characters, and a fun little story, told in stylized comic-style panels. The mobile version is 5 dollars, the Windows app version is 8, and there are no microtransaction needed. I definitely recommend it. 

In addition to TUW, Zen Pinball 2, on mobile and Xbox Live Arcade, just released a cool Guardians of the Galaxy themed "table".  I tried a demo version on XBLA and it was quite fun, definitely plan to get the full version in the near future. Speaking of XBLA, the Xbox Avatar Store added a Guardians section with a Star-Lord costume, Ronan costume, Drax costume, I think. As well as some "shirts" and accesories (But no Rocket costume, tsk, tsk, Marvel.)

In closing, yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy are officially *everywhere* right now. And if you had told anyone that would happen a couple years ago, they'd have thought you were crazy.  It really is an unbelievable time we Galaxians are having right now. And, until next time... keep playing those games and I will see you 'round the Raccooniverse.


  1. Great read Leo! I'm not a gamer but your posts always make me wish I was.

  2. That's killer! Very cool, Leo, thanks for sharing!

  3. You forgot Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Superheroes! The entire MCU GOTG team and Ronan are going to be included.

    1. Very true! Maybe I'll cover that next time.

      And thank you, everyone else, for your comments! (I've been a bit busy, I forgot to even check for replies to this until just now)


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