Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

F11- Probably Most Definitely

New Forces! No mere human could build fancy machinery or be that condescending; he HAD to be a Force! The Sins aren't the only godly Forces of Nature that this world has, they're just the new kids in town. I mean, Builder gets a Force name AND a job title! How can the Sins compete with that?


What's the Slapegg take on the new Smash Brothers for the Wii U? Back when Brawl came out, we did a site tournament for fun, but that game's online was godawful so we didn't go past that first event. Are you planning on getting the new game? Would you be interested in participating in a Sins Smash Brothers tournament?


Quick Critique: Lego Marvel Super Heroes
I should love this game. I like silly action games. I love comic books. I love comic book stupidity. But Lego Marvel Super Heroes is just not fun. It doesn't control well, it's buggy, and the missions aren't interesting. Just the core beat 'em up gameplay is tedious. Almost all of your deaths are super cheap, but death is ultimately meaningless since there's no real penalty or reason to care. The camera is lousy, leading to a lot of those pointless deaths and your allies frequently wander off or you're attacked by enemies you can't see.
Combat is extraordinarily button mashy and bosses almost all follow the same pattern: the boss can't be hurt but it keeps spawning enemies, kill enough enemies and the boss is put in a vulnerable state, hit the boss, and repeat two more times. Almost every level or “puzzle” boils down to “punch everything” and you'll eventually find the one thing you especially need to punch to move forward. Even when there are puzzles where you have to use specific character powers, the game will come to a halt and flat-out tell you exactly what to do. EVERY time there's a Spider Sense trigger, Spider-Man will stop in his tracks, the game will pause, Spider-Man will tell you to use his power, and you then do it to complete the task. Even though you do this dozens of times across the game, he still does this even towards the end of the campaign. Even if this is meant to be a kids' game, children aren't that stupid. I mean, kids are stupid, but not THAT stupid. Give them a few seconds to do it on their own and then give them the trigger if they've been on the same screen for a minute without progressing. For the combat, the game targets your allies if they're closer than enemies. There is never a single reason to ever use friendly fire on purpose, but the game will constantly target your own team instead of the enemy or your team will block your projectile attacks and actually protect those you're trying to dismember. Even though an enemy might be standing right in front of you, projectile characters will target pieces of the scenery off in the distance, allowing the enemy to pummel you while you wait for Captain America's shield to slowly return to you so he's useful again. You're the WORST, Captain America! You also can't move through your allies so if the computer is in charge of a big character like the Hulk and decides to stand in front of a door or block your path, you have to swap characters, move the computer's character, then swap back. When you're switching between characters, you don't always swap in the same order, so when you have four characters, you might have to press the swap button six or seven times to get the character you want. Collecting all the Lego studs for the currency is an enormous bore and you have to buy the stud attractor but you can't buy it until you find enough items that you probably won't have until you complete the story and several more side quests, so it's a feature that should have been automatic and you don't get it until you're done with the campaign. The hub world of SHIELD is poorly laid out and you have to move through multiple screens and load times to get to the different areas, and the load times are not quick or snappy. The game gives you tips on the loading screens for features that aren't available yet so you think you just don't know how to access them. I heard that the game had open world elements, the loading screen was giving me tips about the open world, and one of the starting missions gives you a glimpse of a walled-off open world, but you can't actually access the open world until you beat several missions.
Most of the writing and voice acting is horrible, especially Tony Stark, there's no sense of comedic timing so jokes all fall flat, and a lot of the humor comes from characters being random for the sake of being random. They randomly use the Lego aesthetics so you'll have Lego objects next to a realistic object and neither look good. It doesn't tell an interesting Marvel story (it's basically MUA again) and the Lego-ness of the world doesn't add anything to it either. The game's use of powers leaves something to be desired because even though there are like a hundred characters in the game, there are only a handful of actual powers shared across all of them. You start the game with Hulk (a “big” character type) so every other “big” character you find is useless because they all have the same powers as Hulk. Hulk and Venom (who you get in chapter 3) are actually better than all the big characters because they can swap into small forms to complete “small” character tasks. But don't put them both on your team because the button to bring up character selection is the same as the morph button so if you have morphing characters, you can't change your team. An Iron Man suit you get in the early chapters can break silver and gold blocks so all the characters that can only break silver or only break gold blocks are pointless. The game isn't even consistent with what character powers are. Sometimes Mister Fantastic can activate web/stretchy switches and other times he can't. Only “smart” character-types can pull certain levers, but Spider-Man (pretty much a genius) isn't smart enough to pull a switch and the Invisible Woman (literally a rocket scientists) is too dumb to move that switch.
For as bad as the core elements are, the reason I quit was just how buggy the damned game is. Everything from characters getting caught on and in pieces of the environment to the game freezing and locking up my PS3. In another level, several screens into the stage, the computer somehow fell into a pit but got stuck in it, so every time the character respawned, it instantly died again. I reached a point where I needed the character the computer was controlling but the game wouldn't let me switch to it because the computer was in a loop of dying and respawning. I quit out of the mission but that character didn't exit the level with me, so I quit the story mode. The idea of playing any level in the game a second time did not sit well with me. Oh, and you have to play every level in the game twice to get the unlockables because your first time through you're forced to use certain characters and they aren't able to complete most of the side quests. After quitting the story, I decided to do some missions in free roam and they weren't any better than the main missions. They mostly consisted of “walk to a specific spot, wait for the too-long load time to switch to a character with a specific power, and use it”. One mission has you rescue a circus monkey and return him to his master/slave owner, so I found the monkey but the game won't let you target the monkey's branch with a distance weapon to bring him down, so I just had to keep jumping and button mashing until I got lucky and a melee attack stretched high enough to hit the branch. Then you have to guide the monkey back but you run faster than the monkey but walk slower than it and if you get too far away, the monkey stops following you, so you have to run a bit, stop, wait for the monkey to catch up, then run again, and repeat that ALL the way back to the quest giver. Then I fought a Sentinel where you have to destroy a silver shield to hurt it, so I brought up the character selector to switch to Iron Man but the game doesn't pause while doing this, so the Sentinel was killing my characters over and over and I was watching all my currency drain away on each death while I waited for the character selection screen to slowly click through all of Iron Man's forms until it got to the one I needed.
A cleaned up, bug-free Lego Marvel Super Heroes with fewer characters but more distinction between them could have been fantastic, even without the Lego aspect. But then the Lego aspect is so under-utilized to the point that you're just holding a button down and it isn't a core part of the world, so it adds little to nothing to the game. It's not worth the tedious combat, the bugs, and having to deal with a poorly written and poorly acted Tony Stark to find it fun.



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