First things first, it’s pretty obvious that the headline for this post could also apply to movies because let’s be real: the Ghost Rider films weren’t the best. Sure, the original was fine and all, and the IMDB reviewers would agree, but the character deserves more than just “fine.” And that’s especially true given the fact that so many other superheroes are getting their just due in the cinema and, most recently, in gaming. However, there was a moment there in the 2005-2010 range when any superhero film that was released came attached with a pretty mediocre video game. That hasn’t really changed, per se, but the increasing popularity and success of Rocksteady’s Arkham games (based on Batman, of course) proves that every hero should have his or her day in the spotlight. So why not Ghost Rider?
Fans of the motorcycle-riding superhero may recall that he received his own game in 2007 on the PS2, PSP, and Game Boy Advance. The last of those three actually offered a slightly different Ghost Rider experience, as it was more Castlevania and Road Rash (ah, memories) than the Devil May Cry-lite affair offered on the PS2 and PSP. Yet, even with those comparisons to some truly great franchises, the end result was a lackluster game across the board. The reviewers weren’t too kind in expressing their opinions on these titles. Although, it’s worth noting that the GBA version of Ghost Rider did net a 7.8 from GameSpot thanks to some sleek visuals and varied gameplay. Still, more people were probably hoping for a bigger experience—aka one they could play on their TVs—and when it came to getting that on the PS2, it was a mess at best.
And now, there are really only two existing and viable gaming options for those wanting to take their Ghost Rider fandom to the next level. The first exists on the aptly titled Just Online Games site, and it’s… interesting to say the least. Basically, you just drive the fiery protagonist through a series of platform-y levels until you reach the end. It’s pretty straightforward and looks decent for what it is, but there’s not a whole lot happening here. And then there’s the game that exists on Gala Casino’s platform. Like its cohort, the gameplay here isn’t particularly deep, but it too is an intriguing spin on a genre. In this case, Ghost Rider and his narrative exist as the basis for a slot machine, which comes through with sharp graphics and effects. It’s worth noting that other comic book characters, particularly those in the Marvel universe, have their own games there, t
So why, then, hasn’t something been done to bring Ghost Rider back to the consoles in a proper, well-executed project? Perhaps it’s the fact that so many other superhero games have fallen short, apart from the aforementioned Arkham series. Or maybe it’s as simple as this: the franchise didn’t do too hot in the theaters, so why waste time on a game? OK, that’s fair, but this is the perfect character for doing more than what we’ve come to expect. And it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to accomplish either. A developer could take the GBA game and modify/upgrade it to PS4/Xbox One/Wii U levels while including everything that made the handheld version so fun. With so many games (especially from indie developers) embracing the Castlevania approach—and that includes the series’ former producer himself—why not do the same with Ghost Rider? And let’s not even get started on an HD take on
Road Rash (with a Ghost Rider skin) that would be included, too…