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Scribblenauts Unmasked: Why did 5th Cell have to use the New 52?

Comics fan Olivia Cottrell would have preferred the classic look...

I was initially excited about Scribblenauts Unmasked. As a diehard comics fan, nothing seems better than having access to the entire roster of DC Comics heroes and villains, as well as the opportunity to create your own. While the prospect of Wonder Joker terrifies me in ways I can't even begin to describe, I'm certainly tempted by the idea of turning the entire Justice League into Aquamen.

At first, Scribblenauts and DC Comics might seem like the perfect match. Like the Green Lantern corps, Maxwell's magical notebook can summon anything his imagination can dream up which is surely the ideal crime fighting tool. But it's not in the concept the game falls down, but in the presentation. And that's where a little history lesson is needed. So pull up a chair and, as resident comics nerd here at Official Nintendo, let me lay some comics knowledge on you.

You see, last year the DC comics universe was rebooted (as the DC universe is every five to ten years or so). The so-called 'new 52' featured fresh designs and relaunched comic books for every character. It's a move that has alienated a lot of comics fans and, for me, it's disappointing to see that the New 52 universe is one that's heavily featured in Scribblenauts Unmasked.

Darkseid has his goofy chinstraps. Harley Quinn is the awful clown-goth thing from Suicide Squad. And yes, we've seen alternate versions of Batman (sharp eyes can spot, for example, the Russian Batman from Superman: Red Son in the Unmasked trailer) but he's a major character. Will minor characters like Harley and obscure villains like Darkseid get more than one of two options?

It's not just nostalgia that makes it a disappointment to see those versions being pushed. The classic designs are iconic and they'll be the ones familiar to most gamers. Even I had to take a second to recognise Harley in the screenshots, plus it seems inconsistent The Joker, for example, looks the same as he ever does, as do Superman and Batman. Wonder Woman, however, is clearly in her New 52 outfit with silver instead of gold accessories. Surely it'd make more sense to have a unified look across the characters?

Especially given the fact that these characters were most recently featured on the Wii U in Injustice: Gods Among Us looking much closer to their iconic versions.

So while the prospect of a fun game about creating your own superhero certainly has legs, I can't find it in myself to be excited about a game based on the new DC Comics universe.

Comments

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  1. jaco_p Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 15:07

    Not overly interested as i don't read comics, i'd have settled for scribblenauts unlimited on wiiu grumble grumble...

  2. Gargravarr Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 16:16

    Given that the New 52 is my first real foray into comics, all my prior experience of both DC and Marvel coming from various animated shows (DCAU is superior to all comics), I'm not really bothered that Scribblenauts has apparently chosen Prime Earth over New Earth. The only things I really disagree with about the New 52 are the re-instating of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and Power Girl's new costume, the latter of which has recently been more or less fixed. Oh, and the new Supergirl is annoying, but that's about all I can think of.

    So yeah, don't care. I just hope this game actually makes it to the UK, unlike Unlimited which seems to have vanished off the radar.

  3. Tamzily01 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 16:28

    New 52 started in 2011, after the Flashpoint mega-crossover. Still, I don't mind a lot of the new designs. Zatanna's appearance in the N52 is pretty cool, a vast change from her classic magician's attire. They also did a great job with Vandal Savage in Demon Knights, basically turning him into Brian Blessed.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Darkseid isn't a minor villain. He's been a pretty big player in the DCU over the past few years, even crossing over into current Earth-2 continuity.

  4. Serebii Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 17:18

    Did they not show that it has every version of each character, not just the New 52?

  5. shy guy 64 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 17:31

    They also did a great job with Vandal Savage in Demon Knights, basically turning him into Brian Blessed.

    really? now that ive gotta see

  6. Tamzily01 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 17:44

    They also did a great job with Vandal Savage in Demon Knights, basically turning him into Brian Blessed.

    really? now that ive gotta see

    Buy the first volume on Amazon. It's full of very British/English humour. Just a shame the series is being axed this August.

  7. shy guy 64 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 18:00

    Buy the first volume on Amazon. It's full of very British/English humour. Just a shame the series is being axed this August.

    well at least they're bringing back superman/batman, i dont about you but everyone of those i read was awesome

  8. lrwr14 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 18:39

    This actually looks fun, never had much interest in the other scribblenauts games. Might get this.

  9. NP Chilla Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 19:44

    Seriously, Olivia?

    THAT is your big complaint about this game? That Superman doesn't have red underpants over his trousers and Robin no longer has bare legs?

    With all due respect: you are being needlessly anal and making a mountain out of something which, judging from all of the other comments, most people don't know about and those who DO know about it couldn't care less about.

    I'm a comics fan myself who has experience of the various DC universes and I'm just happy that we're getting an inventive game with a new take on superheroes, regardless of the ever-so-slight differences in costumes.

  10. shy guy 64 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 20:38

    Robin no longer has bare legs?

    i dont think anyone is complaining about that

  11. Tamzily01 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 20:48

    Personally, I'm still wondering if Sandman is going to be in this game. Because Jay Garrick was in one of the early screenshots, and he's a founding member of the JSA. So it's entirely possibly they'll have the other members in there (Dr Fate, Wildcat, Sentinel, Starman, Dr Mid-Nite, and of course, Sandman...to name but a few). There's also the later incarnations of the character (Garret Sandford and Hector Hall), Sanderson Hawkins, and possibly even all seven of the Endless (with Morpheus and Daniel Hall).

  12. shy guy 64 Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 21:39

    Personally, I'm still wondering if Sandman is going to be in this game. Because Jay Garrick was in one of the early screenshots, and he's a founding member of the JSA. So it's entirely possibly they'll have the other members in there (Dr Fate, Wildcat, Sentinel, Starman, Dr Mid-Nite, and of course, Sandman...to name but a few). There's also the later incarnations of the character (Garret Sandford and Hector Hall), Sanderson Hawkins, and possibly even all seven of the Endless (with Morpheus and Daniel Hall).

    thats got to be a good hours fun typeing in as many names as you can think of to see whose in it

  13. NP Chilla Tuesday 9th Jul 2013 at 22:12

    Robin no longer has bare legs?

    i dont think anyone is complaining about that

    That's ALL she whines about in that pseudo-article - the fact that the costumes are slightly different than the ones to which she is accustomed.


    I actually have to ask - WHAT is such a non-relevant fangirl rant about COSTUMES IN DC COMICS PUBLICATIONS doing on the website for the OFFICIAL NINTENDO MAGAZINE?
    Whatever next, an article about the COCA-COLA LOGO? Or the VARIOUS PUPPETS SEEN IN THE SOOTY SHOW? :roll:

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