A Hulk of a good time
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 01:09
Not only did you get to play as the Hulk, one of the least featured comic book characters in video game history, but also you got to unleash his maddening fury in a fully destructible series of sandbox environments. To be sure, the game is fun, and I loved playing it when I was younger, but does it hold up after a full eight years?
Well, to be quite honest, yes, it does. Reviews are always funnier and more interesting to read if they’re more negatively focused, but in this case I have to shy away from that route. Sure, I could point out that the graphics aren’t really too pretty anymore, or that it’s full of minor bugs, but it would feel petty and nitpicky. If I’m going to point out issues with a game, they have to be real issues. But a lack of anything bad doesn’t make a game good. “Superman Returns” had no defining negative features, but because there wasn’t anything particularly good about it, it has gone down in history as one of the blandest, most underwhelming games of all time.
So then what’s so great about the Hulk? Two words: wish fulfillment. Who hasn’t wanted to smash a building to the ground with their bare hands after waiting too long in line at Starbucks? Or smash every single car out of the way when there’s too much traffic? The game is simply fun and cathartic. I’ve played a lot of games over the course of my life, but I’ve never found one quite as relaxing as this one. After a long day of classes, it’s nice to be able to go home, turn on the PlayStation, and just barrel through a city, knocking down buildings, fighting off the military, turning cars into metal boxing gloves and throwing people off the tops of buildings.
It is, for all intents and purposes, a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Anytime you want, you can literally run up the side of a building or smash a bus flat until you can use it as a makeshift skateboard. There are a wide variety of costumes in the game as well, allowing you to play as various incarnations of the Hulk over the years, or even feature one of dozens of flags on the titular hero’s shorts. Want to run around with the U.S. flag on your butt, pretending you’re sticking it to the Commies? Go ahead. It’s your world, and you can do whatever you want with it.
So despite the aging, and occasional programming bugs and glitches none of which were uncommon for when the game was made, it holds up. Would I necessarily recommend going out and spending $60 on it? No, but I’d be surprised if you could even find it for more than $20. If you have a PS2, I can’t recommend many games more highly than this for the pure fun factor. If you want to hear a story, there’s always “Bioshock Infinite” or “Half-Life,” but if you want to laugh as you throw a tank into the side of a Macy’s, t