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Author Topic: Review - Marvel Super Hero Squad (Wii)  (Read 7419 times)


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Review - Marvel Super Hero Squad (Wii)
« on: December 01, 2009, 06:26:31 PM »

If it looks cute, Tina will want to rent it.  And so we find ourselves this week with Marvel Super Hero Squad for the Nintendo Wii.  I mean come on, look at that box art.  How could we resist?

The Good:

+ Shockingly good soundtrack.  Like a poop sundae with a cherry on top.
+ Adorable character designs and drawings that you'll just want to hug.
+ Solid voice work.

The Bad:

- Atrocious level design.
- Abysmal battle system.
- Strip all the interesting out of your favorite Marvel personalities and replace with generic teen stereotypes.
- Horrible, nearly gamebreaking coop flaws.
- Writing that makes babies cry.
- Possibly the worst camera I've ever seen in a game.

Let's Talk:

Again, I don't understand how someone who designs gameplay like this gets a job.  You've got your standard "hit buttons three times" combo fare coupled with "and waggle Wiimote at the end".  They weren't exactly shooting for the stars with innovation.  Which is why I have to wonder how in the world the gameplay is so terrible.  It's clunky, targetting is a brutal mess, and you actually start to understand why your characters insist on throwing themselves off cliffs half the time.  They suffer less that way.

Should I get started on the level design?  I've built deeper levels in Starcraft's old map editor.  I'm not even joking about that.  There is no part of this game that feels satisfying or even interesting once you start playing.  You backtrack constantly.  You fight the same waves of enemies constantly.  You will fight an arena battle multiple times in a level - every level.  In that arena battle, all you do is fight the same enemy and KO him 10 times.  That's pretty much it for the entire game.

I'm not going to go much into how they maimed all the character out of the characters.  Let's just say once I heard Wolverine giggle like a teenie bopper I pretty much lost all hope for the human race.

As for the writing, I could piss in a box of Alpha Bits and float a more interesting storyline.  Not that it really matters for a game like this, but it's just really hard to accept that there is a person getting paid to pen this tripe.

And of course the camera.  Let's talk more about that in the coop section.

The Coop:

There is no special interface for enabling coop.  A second player hits + while playing the main game and they automatically get to control the second player.  They don't get to actually pick who they play - this is chosen by player 1 at the level select screen.  You are also limited with whom you can actually use on any given level.  It's local only, 2 players max in story mode.

The real problem with coop in this game stems from 2 things:

First, the camera already blows donkey chunks in single player.  Couple this with the fact that in coop, it doesn't acknowledge the second player at all.  You know how pretty much every game ever has enough sense to zoom out as you move away?  Or at least stop players from moving too far away from each other?  Not this game.  If your pal is not basically humping you the entire level she's off screen somewhere probably falling off a cliff or getting gangbanged by generic baddies.

Second, if one person dies, you both die and start over from the last checkpoint.  This includes falling into pits.  Let me paint you a picture.  We're both looking at a series of jumps across lava (one person touches it and you both start over).  Some lava platforms drop as soon as someone stands on them.  Layer all this on top of the aforementioned camera issue.  Can you see how fun this is?  Oh, I almost forgot.  If you jump too close to your partner, one of you will step on the other and get knocked back (into the lava).  Also, your character will randomly charge into the lava for no apparent reason - usually when you are one jump away from finishing.

The reality is that coop actually made the game harder and more irritating a great deal of the time just by really poor design decisions.


This game is a 4.0.  On the coop scale it is still a 4.0 because while the fighting is much more fun with a friend, it creates so many aggravations with platforming and camera babysitting that it's a wash.

Honestly, the soundtrack is the only thing in the entire game that isn't repugnant (cutesy character design and good voice work are cancelled by the personality butchering and the impotent script, respectively).  It makes me sad that it wasn't saved for a competent game.

Stay away from this one if you value your time.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 12:39:02 PM by Mark »


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Re: Review - Marvel Super Hero Squad (Wii)
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 01:52:35 AM »
I don't think I've ever liked anything that's a child/bastardized version of something.  Whether it's a cartoon, or a comic, or a movie, or a television episode (where they make all the characters younger for some irrational reason).
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