Imagine a world in which someone took Ken Sugimori’s original Pokémon art and brought it to life with animation. And then, in this wonderful idyll, someone took inspiration from this fanart, and developed a 3D Pokémon game based on it. And just to be sure, this developer would have already built an engine for creating Pokémon-inspired games. Obviously we can’t live in this world, because Nintendo would miserably crush it, but just imagine.
The Week In Games: Pocket Monsters And Simulated Goats
If I were imagining such a thing, the idea possibly planted in my brain by GamesRadar, I’d begin with the extraordinary fanart of pokeyugami, who would create adorable animations showing how the earliest Pokémon games would look were they 3D and based on the art of original Pokémon TCG card designer, Ken Sugimori. In my head, it would look something like this:
Or maybe like this:
What I’d then do, purely speculatively of course, is pick studio Yanako RPGs to see these clips, which would be inspired by them to develop a full game based on the concept. I’d choose Yanako RPGs, because it would be the developer behind MonMae, an open source engine that allows anyone to make their own monster-collecting game, which is also developing a game within the engine, Dokimon. I mean, that name would obviously be far too on-the-nose and get a developer sued into the sun, but it’s just what my imagination came up with in the moment. I’d definitely remember to come up with something more than one letter off a multi-billion franchise before I released such a game for God’s sake.
In my mind, it gets declared with a tweet like this:
The game would be created using the same watercolor art, but also implement ideas from the more recent Pokémon games, as well as being inspired by Pokémon Black & White 2.
Sure, it’d be lovely if any of this could actually happen, but given Nintendo’s reputation for releasing its rabid legal hounds at anyone who even looks at them funny (thus illegally reflecting their copyrighted artworks in their eyeballs), it will have to remain my fantasy.
If there was still any question about whether Insomniac Games was done with making Spider-Man games, the end of PlayStation 5-exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 makes it clear the studio still has a lot of stories to tell in that universe. Between post-credits cutscenes and new interview teases, it’s clear Insomniac has big plans for Spider-Man 3, and we already have plenty of clues about what it will focus on.
Spider-Man 2’s New Web Wings Make It Feel Like A Proper Sequel
In a recent interview with the Friends Per Second podcast, Spider-Man 2 creative director Bryan Intihar likened the latest game to 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s box-office-topping third phase. “I think, if Spider-Man and Miles were our Iron Man, and Spider-Man 2 was like Civil War,where logically do we go from there?” Intihar said. “I think it’d be pretty epic.”
Insomniac is currently working on a Wolverine game, and while Spider-Man’s in-game universe features an Avengers Tower and other nods to additional Marvel superheroes, there’s still no confirmation on whether the two will be set in the same world. We also don’t know if the studio has plans for another Spider-Man spin-off. In a recent interview with Insider, narrative director Jon Paquette didn’t rule out doing another game with Venom if fans show they want that.
But we do have some idea of what Spider-Man 3 is likely to tackle based purely on the major red flags at the end of Spider-Man 2. They are giant spoilers obviously, so if you haven’t already beaten the game and don’t want to know what happens, turn back now. Otherwise, let’s briefly dig in.
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So Spider-Man 2 ends with Peter Parker and Miles Morales defeating Venom and sending the symbiote’s host, Harry Osborne, into a coma. His dad, Norman Osborne, loses it at this point. Unable to fathom that the alien lifeform he forced onto his son in order to cure his Oshtoran Syndrome needed to be defeated at all costs before it took over the world, Osborne senior blames the Spider-Men for his son’s new condition.
At this point you may have been wondering if Osborne was finally going to go full Green Goblin and try to exact his (misguided) revenge on the web-crawlers. No need to speculate, however! Sitting in Harry’s room before the credits start to roll, Osborne makes a call to his lab and tells his staff to, “ready the G-Serum.” I imagine this is his way of saying, “inject the goblin juice directly into my veins.”
That’s the first big clue of where Spider-Man 3 will go: a showdown between Peter, Miles, and the Green Goblin. The second comes right after the first batch of credits. Osborne is seen walking down the hallway of a high-security prison to the cell of none other than Otto Octavius, Peter’s mentor in the first game driven to become the super villain Dr. Octopus by Osborne’s greed, stubbornness, and ambition. Osborne wants to know Spider-Man’s real identity and Octavius knows it. The former asks the latter what he’s writing in his notebook. “The final chapter,” the doctor responds.
Given Octavius’ role in forming the Sinister Six in the first Spider-Man game, it seems like a good bet that all of the old supervillains will be coming back out to play in Spider-Man 3. Perhaps some new superheroes as well. Spider-Man 2’s final stinger shows Miles and his mother greeting her new boyfriend at their apartment for dinner. The new beau’s brought along his daughter though, Cindy, who just so happens to be Silk, another New Yorker with spider powers. We don’t know exactly how Insomniac will re-interpret her backstory, but it seems likely she’ll be fighting alongside Peter and Miles in Spider-Man 3, or possibly even before that in some upcoming DLC, expansion, or spin-off.
Spider-Man 2 also teases Carnage at the end of the Flame side-missions, with Cletus Kasady escaping with a sample of the symbiote, while frenemy Yuri Watanabe, now the vigilante Wraith, will probably reappear at some point as well. Plus Black Cat is still out there in Paris. With these new hero and villain rosters beginning to take shape throughout Spider-Man 2, Intihar’s Avengers analogy begins to make a little more sense. Spider-Man 3 might not end in a big Infinity War, but the decks are certainly stacked on either side for a much bigger confrontation than we’ve seen in any of the games thus far. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until the PlayStation 6 arrives to see it.