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Venom in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Screenshot by Gameskinny

It’s Time For Marvel’s Weirdest Fighting Game to Make a Comeback

Marvel games are fan-favorites but one of its strangest deserves a return.

Video games based on Marvel Comics characters are as old as the medium itself, with Spider-Man being one of its earliest examples. But as the brand has tried more unique genres in recent years, it’s proven that its strangest entry, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, deserves a return to form.

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What Made Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects Such a Weird Game?

Wolverine in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Screenshot by Gameskinny

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects was a third-person arena fighter that pitted beloved heroes like Daredevil, Iron Man, and Wolverine and villains such as Venom and Magneto against a new type of enemy: The Imperfects. With an original story and style from top to bottom, the game was a bleak look at a world where an alien threat had killed many of the world’s heroes, including Captain America. For better or worse, the characters left were the best hope Earth had at survival.

The Imperfects were brought in with their unique powers, whether it be harnessing solar rays, earthquakes, or brute strength. But in an arena with destructible environments, we rarely cared how the characters looked as they fought. All we cared about was picking up a car and tossing it at an opponent from across the stage, hoping it would at least clip them.

With this somber tone, muted color palette, and ultraviolent nature, Marvel Nemesis quickly became a black sheep in the vast library of Marvel games to be released after 2000. Nevertheless, those who partook in the carnage fondly remember what it offered to the fighting game community and how it impacted the genre going forward.

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects Greatly Influenced Fighting Games

Naruto and Minato using Rasengan
Image via Bandai Namco Entertainment

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects was released in 2005, only a few years before the North American release of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm. What makes this such an important fact is that it predated some of the most beloved arena fighters still making waves today. It may not have the speed, color, and flash of Bandai Namco Entertainment’s most beloved fighters, but the bones are there. Plus, if you can get your hands on a copy of Marvel Nemesis, you won’t disappointed in the results.

Since its release, arena fighters have evolved in the best ways possible. Now, it’s not just destruction and gameplay that make a difference in entertainment. There’s a cinematic quality that we are attracted to that makes us feel empowered with every blow. A combo feels like a mix of luck and strategy coming together for an epic moment, and it could be argued that many of those feelings are because of what Marvel Nemesis has offered. But now, almost two decades later, there’s yet to be anything else like it, and as Marvel games continue to show up and redefine the medium, it’s clear that the Marvel Nemesis formula has to return in some capacity.

It’s Time For Marvel to Have a Fighting Game Again

Elektra kicking in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Screenshot by Gameskinny

Marvel’s Spider-Man showed us the limits of third-person action adventure, for better or worse, Marvel’s Avengers showed us Marvel as a live-service game, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns showed us that strategy games aren’t all point-and-click. Now, with Marvel Rivals redefining the hero shooter genre, it’s clear that fighting games should be the next step. Tekken 8 and even Marvel vs. Capcom have shown us that the heroes of the Marvel universe deserve something highly competitive like the former and hard-hitting like the latter.

Whether it’s a remastered Marvel Nemesis with online capabilities or something entirely new that stands on the foundation of what came before, Marvel games deserve an outlet to showcase these heroes’ powers. Sure, games like Marvel’s Avengers showed us working as a team in a hero setting, but to be dropped into an arena with nothing but web shooters or a shield against a foe that can control metal can’t be beaten. Therefore, as Marvel expands into a new genre, there’s hope that a game like Marvel Contest of Champions won’t be the only fighting game out there. In fact, Marvel Nemesis has proven that if it can’t get the comeback it deserves, it could shepherd a new title to the masses and prove that even the company’s weirdest game can change the world.

If you love fighting games, make sure you check out our Tekken 8 guide hub and learn tips and tricks for this popular brawling game.

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Image of Nicholas Brooks
Nicholas Brooks
Nick is a Freelance Writer at Gameskinny and brings with him over a decade of writing and editing experience from sites like CBR and Gameskinny. He also runs a small podcast called Popsubclub, where he interviews individuals in the entertainment industry as well as talks with peers. Nick's love of video games is only a small part of his passions as he's also an avid fan of movies, comics, music and theme parks. Make sure to follow his Instagram (@Comicsubclub) for more.