Fuck this game.
War of the Gems is a bit of an odd case. It’s not really a BAD game… how could it be? It’s made by Capcom. However, it’s also not a very inspired one, and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. But what really makes War of the Gems so annoying is the difficulty. This game, like Mickey Mania, haunted my childhood.
Released in 1996, War of the Gems was one of a number of Marvel games made by Capcom. Capcom was pumping out tons of Marvel titles at the time, mostly arcade fighters… however, War of the Gems, along with X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, stand out for being side-scrolling platformers released on the SNES. Let’s take a look.
The game pretty much follows a variation of the Infinity Gauntlet story arc. Like Mega Man, you’re brought to a hub where you can choose which level to play. Not that it matters, because they’re all impossible.
You can choose from 5 different Marvel Heroes to get your ass kicked with, and I have to say, the portraits look a bit off. Captain America, Spider-Man, and Iron Man seem to use their sprites from the Marvel Super Heroes fighting game, while Hulk and Wolverine do not.
There’s these items too, I guess. Not that I’ve ever made it far enough to make use of them.
So you pick your character and the level begins. Doesn’t look half bad, though Hulk’s sprite is kind of wonky.
Pretty much immediately, the stage floods. So not only do you now move slower, but you have an oxygen meter that constantly drains. First stage. Fucking beautiful.
Most of the enemies are evil clones of Marvel heroes, like Puck here. And guess what? They’re not slowed down by the water at all.
The first boss is… this guy. Good luck fighting him with Hulk. Might as well be trying to control the game with your dick.
By the time you get past him, you’re beat to hell. Health pickups are extremely rare, so you’re pretty much fucked when you run into the next group of Pucks. And guess what happens when you lose?
Right back to the hub. No checkpoints, no second chances, fuck you, do it again. And as if that weren’t bad enough:
You lose the hero. So basically, you’ve got five chances. Good luck, asshole.
Okay, so maybe the problem is how slow Hulk is. This time I picked Captain America, and made it further. In addition to the Pucks, later areas of the stage are full of evil Hawkeyes shooting arrows at you. They’re a pain in the ass, but thankfully they only take one hit to defeat.
Alright, I made it. I’m almost dead, but I made it. Now I just need to be really-
Let’s try another stage.
So this time, I picked Wolverine. He’s a hell of a lot faster than the others, so I figured I was bound to have more luck with him.
EAT A DICK.
So as you can see, at this point I’m three heroes down and haven’t made a damn bit of progress. The worst thing about this game is that it’s difficult to explain what makes it so hard… it just IS.
Ugh, whatever. Let’s try Iron Man.
So, Iron Man’s pretty interesting. He can fire a repulsor blast, and can double jump, too. Overall he’s a pretty strong character.
NOT THAT IT MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE WHEN THE PUCKS SHOW UP GVRTDGRTGV WHY ARE THERE SO MANY
AND THEN THERE’S THESE FUCKING GUYS THAT JUST CHOKE YOU AND TAKE ALL YOUR FUCKING HEALTH GODDAMNIT
WELL I GUESS THAT WRAPS UP WAR OF THE GEMS.
Jesus Christ, this game actually makes me look back fondly at Mickey Mania. At least there I could clear a single fucking level.