Save the World in ‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes’
By: Jeb Haught
DEVELOPER: TT Games
PUBLISHER: Warner Bros
SYSTEM: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3, PC)
ESRB RATING: E10+
REVIEW RATING: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
When “LEGO Star Wars” was released, I don’t think anyone imagined this new LEGO series would become renowned worldwide. After covering everything from The Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, it makes sense to turn the focus to society’s obsession with superheroes. Fortunately, comic book fans can rest easy now that “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” has been released.
This game takes place in an open-world version of New York, and centers on the fight against the world-consuming enemy of mankind, Galactus. In addition, many other super villains, including Loki and Doctor Doom, plan on using this deadly distraction to further their own agenda. Only a vast legion of LEGO superheroes has the power to band together and save Earth!
Over 100 Marvel superheroes ranging from well-known staples like Captain America and Deadpool to lesser-known good guys like Colossus and Doctor Strange are playable. Not every character is available while performing missions, but they’re all at my fingertips in the open-world hub of New York. It’s really cool to experiment with so many different iconic superhero powers. Some collectibles can only be obtained by swapping powers!
Thankfully, the game play has more variety than previous LEGO installments. For example, the first boss fight against the Sandman forces players to switch between powerful characters like Iron Man and The Hulk in order to use their specific powers against the ever-changing threat. It’s also fun to simply explore New York using different characters and flying machines.
Unfortunately, it’s still way too easy to literally get caught up in the environment, which forces players to restart from the nearest checkpoint. I could see the humor in A.I. characters getting stuck in repeating animations while lodged on an object, if it didn’t happen so often. I also don’t like the rotating screen and awkward camera angles that plague coop mode.
Still, “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” is a solid entry in the franchise that’s sure to please comic fans!
“How to Survive”
DEVELOPER: EKO Software
PUBLISHER: 505 Games
SYSTEM: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3, PC)
PRICE: $14.99 Download
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Season four of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has reinvigorated my desire to slay the undead, so now’s the perfect time to sink my teeth into the zombie-infested RPG, “How to Survive.” This fun game combines elements from several different genres into one action-packed title that’s well worth the purchase price!
Oddly enough, the storyline doesn’t go very far beyond the title. Players choose one of three castaways, and the goal is simply to live throughout the adventure. Fending for oneself on a deserted island is difficult enough, but having to slay a wide variety of undead enemies makes it much harder!
Surviving is made easier by the ability to craft weapons, armor, and potions out of everyday materials found on the island. For example, spiked shoulder armor can be crafted by combining a rubber tire with a bone and a machete. A stealthy bow can be created by combining a tree branch with wire. It’s just too bad that there are no storage chests because my inventory was always filled, and I usually had to drop items to pick up more.
Combat is fast and extremely fun, thanks to a great control scheme and the ability to quickly switch between distance and melee weapons. This lets me pick off enemies from afar with my trusty bow, and then whip out my ax for a more personal introduction. I also like how the flashlight can temporarily blind light-sensitive enemies that come out at night.
An interesting twist to this game is that players must also keep track of their character’s hunger, thirst and sleep. Running low on any of these basic needs adds a realistic disadvantage, so each character must periodically cook and eat food, drink from watering holes and sleep in protected areas.
Even though “How to Survive” could use more variety, the game is still compelling.
REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM
5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don’t Bother
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E10+: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)
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