Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
Review by Heavans_Shadow
"Avengers Assemble! A worthy addition to your Kinect library"
I'll admit. I was nervous. The idea of a motion controlled fighting game is an enticing prospect, but has yet to turn out well. But Ubisoft put a demo up on live, so I was in a position to try it with only a download as a commitment. It was fun, but I worried that would be fleeting. I couldn't find much in the way of reviews on the completed project. But with a lot of hope, I took the plunge and bought it.
And its been worth it.
This game has a lot of fun and promise if you come into it with the right mindset. Expecting a deep, multi-faceted fighting experience a la Street Fighter will leave you disappointed. It would be like expecting Keanu Reeves to give a Shakespearean level performance. But if you approach it with hopes of a fun, summer-blockbuster-popcorn-flick experience, then you have the right idea. It isn't the deepest game out there, But it can be a blast to play, either by yourself, or with friends, as the game supports a co-op mode. This lends to a fusion ability as well, that allows you to both contribute when using an ultra move, racking up even more damage than you could solo. Now on to the particulars!
GRAPHICS: 8/10 The visuals are nice and crisp, very much like an animated series. There isn't a tremendous amount of detail in some (Human Torch), but others (Dr. Doom) really pop when they're on-screen. The game is intended for a broad audience that includes children, so black widows costume is zipped to the neck, and the ladies are more realistic than their comic counterparts. Backgrounds tend to be a bit plain and static, not a lot going on there, but you'll be too busy to notice.
SOUND:6/10 The sound effects are pretty good.Fists and rock throws have a satisfying smack, and the various energy, flames, and other power effects work very nicely.The voice-work is well above average, each character sounding very much how they should. But what music the game does have is generic and forgettable, and it would have been nice if they included a little more dialogue for the characters. Hearing Hawkeye say "Take that WIlliam Tell" after every victory has gotten a bit grating.
STORY AND CONCEPT: 7/10 The game does a good job with between-fight cut scenes telling the story, and it does manage to hit most of the major points of the actual comic storyline of Secret Invasion. But sometimes the fights are repetitive (I've fought skrull-Thor about 6 times in the first half of the game), and some of the team-ups are baffling or just plain wrong (I was given a Doom/Torch team in the campaign). Ultimately the story really isn't important to the game, its just a framework of flavor for the fighting. Just like most other fighting games.
Game play: 9/10 So much fun. It gets you off your butt and moving. The response works surprisingly well, and I had almost no difficulty getting my character to do the proper moves. You could try to nitpick it and say the characters all move the same (many movements are shared, but do different attacks), or that there isn't any difference other than the model. (Damage seems the same from a Captain America punch as it is for a Hulk one). But remember, this is a movement based game. The model of the character moves with the player, and it wouldn't be balanced to give Hulk more power if he can move as fast as the player using Spider-Man. And it isnt meant to be a sim, its meant to be fun. And a workout.
Replay Value/Bells n Whistles: 9/10 The combat is super easy to get into, and easy enough to play that my 8 year old daughter got into it. The difficulty climbs in the second half, but by then you know the controls so well that it just raises challenge to your level rather than becoming a frustration. And outside of the Campaign mode there is a versus mode, co-op play, and of course fighting online. Trying to better your performance on each stage up to Adamantium will keep the completionists out there going, and for those of us who could lose a few extra pounds, its a really fun way to get a pretty solid cardio workout.
In closing, Kinect owners have gotten a pretty raw deal. Most of the games we get are socres and scores of fitness games, low budget shovelware, or slight enhancements to blockbuster titles like Skyrim or Forza. This is in my opinion, the best Kinect game to come along since the Gunstringer. If you are a Kinect owner looking for a fun time, and are in any way a Avengers/comic fan, you must buy this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/13/12
Game Release: Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (US, 10/30/12)
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