Wednesday 24 January 2018

Tabletop Review - Legendary: Spider-Man Homecoming

Legendary: Spider-Man Homecoming
Designed by Devin Low, expanding on his original Marvel Legendary game design
Published by Upper Deck Entertainment

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone who followed by over on the now defunct, or through my appearances on the E14 Gamecast, that I’m a big fan of the Legendary system of games. On top of that, the Marvel version of the game is easily my favourite. Now, Spider-Man has certainly been present in the game since the core set, and we’ve even already had a Spider-Man themed expansion in the form of Paint the Town Red, which introduced many members of the extended Spider-Family. Of course, Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most popular characters, so its only natural that he’ll feature more often than Nova or Moon Knight. So, what has the Spider-Man: Homecoming expansion got to offer to the Legendary players?

Well, this expansion is the first to be completely grounded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even featuring screen-grabs from the movie as the card illustrations. Whether or not this is a good thing is going to come down to how big a fan you are of the movies, and Spider-Man: Homecoming in particular. For my money, I generally enjoy the movies, but I’m not a fan of this artistic decision. Very simply, the photographic images look very jarring when you’re playing a game featuring cards from the core set or other expansions. I’d have much preferred they take their cue from the movies, but feature original artwork, as all of the Legendary Encounters series has.

Fortunately, the game is a good fit spiritually, if not visually. Heroes like High-Tech Spider-Man and Tony Stark slot in nicely along the other, previously released characters.

The shortage of villains is a problem as, while we’ve come to expect only two villains in a small-box expansion, this time we’re given a choice of “The Vulture” or “Adrian Toomes”, who know...both the same person. I understand that the designers were limited by the concept of the set, but it’s still feels a little like being short changed.

Fortunately we get four scenarios included and they are all super fun, especially “Explosion at the Washington Monument” which feels like a good, old-fashioned, heroes rushing to the rescue scenario straight out of a Silver Age comic book.

Ultimately, it’s nice to a see an expansion that tries to do something a little different, both conceptually and visually, and I’d rather see one that does that and stumbles a little than stick to the safe format or churning out the same old stuff three times a year. If you’re a casual player, then there’s probably not going to be all that much to make it worth your time with this expansion. If, however, you’re a fan of the movie of Spider-Man: Homecoming, or would like some MCU characters and don’t think the different artwork will bother you, then this is definitely worth picking up. If you’re a Legendary nut, then you’ll appreciate the effort that went towards making something different here.

One of the founding members of E14, Brad Harmer-Barnes boasts an impressive track record in the entertainment industry. A comedian since the age of 12, Harmer created the comedy club Rock N' Rant which entertained the people of Chatham for over five years.

A recurring guest on the Crazy Train podcast, Brad published his first novel, North Sea Hunters, in 2017, and you can now find all of his books from Severed Press via Amazon using the links below!

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