Review by QuietStorm75
"Never has a game needed a sequel so badly"
If you have ever played the X-men Legends series of games, it would be very difficult not to compare the two. Although they are very similar, JLH is different enough for you to enjoy it. Understand this game is a solid start. The game indeed needs more to be a keeper, but it's enjoyable nevertheless.
The graphics are good. I would dare say better than the XL games. There may be a few times where you'll just curse the camera, but it's never a problem where you'll constantly misstep and die. Besides, you can always adjust it on the fly using the R3 stick. There is little to no flicker and the games' animation is very fluid. The facial expressions of the heroes are not the greatest. It makes you wish they all had masks, especially Wonder Woman. She and Superman appear to be twins at times of anger. I'm sorry, but she appears to be to warrior woman. I appreciate the effort in trying to mimic facial expressions, but it comes off as a bit to animated.
The games heroic theme music is great and the voice actors did a decent job. The choices were great (although Batman may be a bit too bland), but the acting is far from Academy Award Winning. But the in-games dialogues are great; especially the overhead messages during the last few stages. Throughout the game the characters will communicate with each other, sometimes offering hints, other times just regular chatter. Some of the chatter is overly cliched, but it's not repetitive nor is it done all the time. Normally an event must trigger the conversation.
Game Play and Controls 8/10
Those familiar with the XL games will know everything they need to know about this game. In fact, as far as the controls go, I consider this XL-lite because you only have five powers available and they are set automatically for you. Yes, the bad news is that you only have the five powers, however the good news is, that's all you need. You'll really notice how useful those abilities are when you add boost to them.
Keep in mind that you only get two characters per stage and they are preset with the exception of a handful of times during the middle and end of the game. Don't worry; the characters refill their health and powers on their own making death avoidable. However, to survive you will need to use some strategy. The quickest way to die would be to run into a room blazing thinking Batman is invulnerable to a flame throwing robot, and deciding it's okay to duke it out with it. If you choose to use this unwise maneuver you can always fall back to the games many strategically placed save points (they're not available in the stages where you have to survive though) instantly bringing your dead hero back.
The two hero setting is not a bad thing. I somewhat understand why you only have certain heroes available during certain stages of the game; after all, I just can't buy the Flash or most of the bonus characters on Mars or gaining the ability to fly. However, the idea of having unlockable characters in this game is ridiculous. You can only use them during certain points in the game when you're allowed to choose a team (approximately four times). Not to provide any spoilers (read another review or FAQ if you want to know) but three of the games character roster are basically the same. They should have been costume swaps not bonus characters. This might not have made sense because of the in-game movies, but there is literally no difference between the three.
Game Modes and Extras 5/10
If you want an all out four player battle royal to invite your friends or do so online, you're not going to get it. The game only has one mode of play so you can't even use them on a versus or training mode. Depending on how you view these modes in this type of game will determine how much you care.
Of course the game does have lot of extras, such as costumes and new characters, but the fact that you're limited to using them and who you have to use is preset most of the time, it becomes an after thought. One of the games strengths is when you can choose a team and take on a stage, however the game never capitalizes on it.
Rent or Buy - Final Score 7/10
Despite the fact that the unlockable heroes are useless (only because you can't use them) it's a fun game. You can probably unlock everything by your second run, but at that point, you realize that the game has nothing left to offer. Believe me that hurts, but it's the truth.
The game offers no extra modes nor can you go back and use your own teams or unlocked characters outside of the pre-appointed times. You can use the different costumes, but there's a cost/benefit for your costume choice (the boosts can offset the costs though). And outside of the fact that you just want to unlock everyone and replay those great boss battles (they are indeed fun), this game is a RENT.
I just cannot suggest going to purchase this game unless you want something to do or to just kill time. Once you beat it the second time you're will be sighing to yourself wishing there was more. This would be a great PSP purchase, but that's it.
This game NEEDS a sequel.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/09/07, Updated 05/10/07
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