sunnuntai 24. maaliskuuta 2013

REVIEW - Fantastic 4: Flame On | GBA | 2005

GENRE(S): Action / Platform
RELEASED: November 8, 2005
DEVELOPER(S): Torus Games
PUBLISHER(S): Activision

The Human Torch first appeared in the very first issue of Marvel Comics magazine, published in late 1939. He was one of Marvel Comics' - then known as Timely Publications - three signature characters alongside Captain America and Namor the Sub-Mariner. The Human Torch's popularity had waned by the 50's just as the popularity of his peers. In 1961, a whole different version of the Human Torch appeared - Johnny Storm. A while after making his official big-screen debut in 2005 and starring as one of the four playable characters in the promotional video game, my favourite member of the Fantastic Four got a game of his very own. Since Johnny's my favourite, I wouldn't want to ask why, but I find myself forced to do so.

The flame of capitalism

Seemingly not deterred by the changes in his own body - Sue and Ben are hardly mentioned - Reed is startled to find that Johnny's contracted a mutation during a failed space flight. He is now the Human Torch, capable of setting himself on fire and manipulating the element at will. His powers will surely come handy when the planet's being taken over by Skrulls.

You want some fries with that?
First of all, why name this game "Fantastic 4" when there's only one playable character? Why put the Fantastic Four on the cover when only Johnny and Reed make notable appearances in the whole game? Why milk the same cow twice the same year, especially since neither the movie or the video game tie-in fared too well as far as critical response is concerned? Why? Why? Why? This is one of those games - lots of questions, no answers. Capitalistic absurdity at its finest.

I guess the game looks nice as long as you don't pay attention to the small detail of every level looking exactly the same - well, perhaps with the exception of the snowboarding level ripped straight off Ski or Die... what? It's perfectly natural for a Marvel action game, ain't it? The music and sound effects are horrible, and they're pretty much ripped straight off the previous Fantastic 4 game. Only the music's even worse by a few degrees - awful techno crap.

Wait a minute. I've seen this before.
In this platformer instead of a beat 'em up, you play as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch, and your mission is to bear through God knows how many repetitive, straightforward levels with a lot of nurses to save, a lot of Skrulls to dispose of, and a few bosses to grill... who are also Skrulls, by the way. This is one of the most repetitive games I've played in a while, if the aforementioned snowboarding level doesn't count. Johnny has quite a few cool flame-based moves in his arsenal and the control scheme is almost as clever as it was before, only we're dealing with an even more boring game, and one in which it's a little too easy to die - since in a cold environment you can't be sure what hurts you, at what volume, and for how long.

Fantastic 4: Flame On doesn't require any fancy explanations, and it doesn't even deserve them. It's a cheap punch at the few stubborn fans of the movie, who were stubborn enough to be interested in another game released on its tail five months after the first one. Which, in all of its dull entirety, was a notably more entertaining and unique game.

+ Even developers of better games could've taken some notes of how to properly utilize the Game Boy Advance's limited controls from the Fantastic 4 series

- More like Fantastic 1, and the presentation's weird anyway
- Repetitive as hell, from level to enemy design
- Too many invisible environmental hazards to go with the largest hordes of Skrulls
- Absolutely revolting music and sound effects

< 4.8 >

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti