sunnuntai 21. syyskuuta 2014

REVIEW - Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects | DS | 2005

GENRE(S): Fighting
RELEASED: September 20, 2005 (GCN, PS2, Xbox)
DEVELOPER(S): EA Canada, Nihilistic Software, Sensory Sweep Studios (DS), Team Fusion (PSP)

In the summer of 2005, Marvel Comics launched a miniseries entitled Marvel Nemesis, created in close collaboration with everyone's least favourite big game developer - though they were still not quite as unpopular as they are today - Electronic Arts. Of course, the whole point of EA being a part of the series' creation was to promote the video game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, which was released on five different systems, September through October. The game was a 3D, one-on-one fighting game, which pitted a host of Marvel's heroes and villains alike against a group of EA's aliens calling themselves the Imperfects. The comic book series wasn't that specially received, but the game outright bombed; all versions of it, but once again the award for hosting the least appreciated version of the the game goes to the Nintendo DS. Let's have a look.

Boring... so boring

Brilliant alien scientist Niles Van Roekel unleashes his small army of genetically enhanced supervillains - dubbed the Imperfects - on New York City. A group of superheroes - including Spider-Man, Daredevil, as well as members of both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four - form an uneasy alliance with a couple of their world's villains to stop yet another alien invasion.

The good news is that you actually
CAN push that guy off the roof.
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects doesn't sound that bad, really. When you don't think about it that much, you might say: hey, well, they already had Capcom vs. SNK, and Marvel vs. Capcom, so what's wrong with Marvel vs. EA? That sounds stupid, so let's just rename the game to something a bit tastier. But hey... EA? What are EA gonna do? What could they do in 2005, before they had their paws on every third game? Put in the helicopter from the Strike games as a playable "character"? Or Wayne Gretzky? A Sims avatar? OK, OK, now I'm really being an asshole. No, they created a bunch of new characters - I don't think they ever meant to use them anywhere else, except perhaps future collaborations with Marvel. Which never happened - 'cause Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects was a total critical and commercial failure. For a good reason, I might add. It's an extremely easy game - like piss-through easy - but to truly complete it, you must give it dozens of times more attention than any self-respecting gamer is willing to, after seeing it through just once.

The level design is honestly the game's strongest hook; the incredible simplicity of combat can also be traced back to it, though. The levels are multi-layered, vast environments, where most background items can either be broken or used against your opponent. Fighting on a road is quite annoying as you can never predict being run over by a car yourself; what's with these New York drivers? As far as the rest of the graphical presentation goes, I guess the game looks all right; after all, it's a moderately early DS game with full 3D - there could be just a little more light, though.

Combat is indeed simple as heck. Get in any sort of trouble and you can just grapple your opponent and hurl him/her to the other side of the screen to buy yourself some resting time; they won't even try to block the grapple. Keep punching Y for an endless array of simple, yet effective combos. Double up the power with holding R. It's really that simple, and it will get you to the end. Since this is a DS game, of course there's slight wankery on the "other" department as well. Whenever your opponent is close to biting dust, you're to whip out the stylus and click the touch screen with a couple of well-timed pokes to actually KILL your opponent with a fancy finisher. Wow. Whether you actually have time for such wankery or not is a whole other thing. In other words, you don't.

The final boss. Not only is he a pushover,
but I think DC Comics needs to have
a chat with EA.
Out of the 18 playable characters, only Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Human Torch (I call him that instead of Johnny Storm to avoid confusion with the EA-created "Johnny Ohm") are unlocked from the beginning. Now the first thing that comes to mind is that you probably unlock the rest of the characters on the go - wrong. I'll get to it, but for now, let's just choose Logan. You get three alternatives for the arcade mode's duration: short, medium, long, and even in this case, only the short version's unlocked from the start. On top of all, it really ain't that short. You still have to beat every Imperfect, some brainwashed versions of your allies, and the final boss (just push him over) to get to the end. The portrait of your character comes up, the same portrait you've been seeing after every match since the beginning of the game, and some text to congratulate you on your "big victory". And the circle just starts again. By winning matches, you get money which you can spend at the Comic Shop to buy new characters - for a LOT - or alternative outfits, or new levels. Unfortunately, there's not an option to spend your money to upgrade this extremely boring "experience" in any way. You need to play through the arcade mode at least twice to be able to afford just one more character, I reckon. You realize how many times you need to see this borefest through to unlock everyone? Need I remind you that half of the first time's already quite enough?

This game is a real drag. Not of the unplayable kind, but if you want entertainment, look for it somewhere else. When there's finally a handheld system that a fighting game can actually work on, they make something like this. Though the 3D level design's good, I would've rather had a fully functional and just somewhat challenging 2D game than a fancy, but ultimately empty makeover.

+ The level design is quite unique, it could work in a more functional context

- Easy, empty and boring
- Utterly fails to encourage the dedication it requires for completion; I mean, THREE characters available from the start? Really?!

< 4.5 >

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti