Marvel Nemesis: Marvel’s Strangest Forgotten Fighting Game


The early to mid 2000s was an interesting time for Marvel. The company has seen a series of successful films from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series to the X-Men films at 20th Century Fox, as well as the Blade series and the Nicholas Cage Ghost Rider. But also Marvel saw the birth of the Ultimate Imprint, which gave way for more darker and serious stories.

Around this time Marvel also expanded greatly into video games. Sure we saw tie-ins with multiple films, but we also witnessed the birth of the popular Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, as well as many great Spider-Man related games, and of course the rise of the popular Marvel vs. Capcom series.

But out of all those games one stood out. It was a unique take on the world of Marvel with a twist on many of their popular characters. It was also technically a crossover as it was a collaborative effort between Marvel and Electronic Arts. That game being Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.

The game was a 3D-brawler/arena fighting game. The single-player story for the game took you through the world of Marvel as alien invaders attack New York City. Many classic heroes and villains of the Marvel world can be seen fighting off these invaders in long levels where you battle waves of enemies.

Later on you encounter one-on-one boss battles, either against Marvel characters under mind control or all new foes known as the “Imperfects”. As the game continues you begin to unravel a conspiracy where these Imperfects and the alien invaders are working together, with an individual known as Dr. Niles Van Roekel as the ringleader. 

The roster consists of 18 playable characters. 10 Marvel and 8 Imperfects. The 10 Marvel characters consist of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Electra, Human Torch, The Thing, Storm, Venom, Magneto and Iron Man. The 8 Imperfects consist of Brigade, Fault Zone, Hazmat, Johnny Ohm, Wink, Solara, Paragon and Niles Van Roekel.

(The PlayStation Portable version removed Human Torch and Daredevil and replaced them with Captain America and Doctor Doom)

The fighting takes place in various locations across New York City. The gameplay involves the fighters being able to move around a large 3D arena and able to punch, kick, shoot projectiles, throw objects and in some instances fly. The fight ends when the opponent’s health bar is depleted.

In some instances players can preform finishing moves. However these moves aren’t as violent as something like Mortal Kombat.

Leading up to the game’s release Marvel published a six-issue prequel series leading up to the events of the game.

The game released on September 20th, 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Playstation Portable and DS. The game revived a mixed reception from critics and sold roughly 770,000 units worldwide.

The game’s poor reception saw the cancelation of an in-development follow-up as well as the abandonment of the Marvel Nemesis storyline. As of right now the Imperfects are property of Electronic Arts and have not appeared in any other media.

It is sad to see a story with so much potential go to waste. May of the original characters created for the game were very unique, and it would definitely be awesome to see them in other games.

Recently it has been reported that Electronic Arts is working on a brand new Marvel game, and it is believed it may be a fighting game. So perhaps a sequel all these years later may finally be in the works.

What are your thoughts of Marvel Nemesis? Did you play it back in the day? What were your memories of playing it? Let us know.

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.