Review by The Manx

"Enjoyable, but not what it could have been"

I've played more than a few superhero games in my time, and most were pretty lame. I'm sure we've all heard the horror stories about Superman 64 and the NES X-Men game. Justice League Heroes is here to change all that.

There isn't much of a story. Brainiac gets a bunch of other villains together and you try to stop them. Even once you find out what he wants to do the plot doesn't get any more sophisticated.

During each level you control a pair of superheroes with the drop in/drop out co-op feature that's taken off since The Warriors was released. Sometimes it's a pair the game picks for you, sometimes you get to pick, but not often enough.

The game plays a lot like X-Men Legends, with your heroes exploring a battlefield from a bird's eye view, and with an energy bar that goes down when you use your powers (even if you play Batman) but refilling when you don't. It's a fairly standard, but solid experience. Unlike XML, there's no equipment system and your heroes have the powers you'd expect them to have right from the beginning. Thanks, Snowblind, for not making me earn heat vision. That would've been really dumb. By picking up little green globs that enemies leave when they die, your heroes gain levels and when they do, you get to allocate slots to their powers and stats to fit them with "boosts." It's clearer if you've played City of Heroes, although if you're the kind of person to play a Justice League game you probably have.

Unfortunately, the fact that the game was rushed out the door to compete with Marvel Ultimate Alliance is all too obvious. The two unlockable Green Lantern heroes have exactly the same powers as the one the game gives you for free (and the unlockable ones have the exact same voice and lines!). Wonder Woman's lasso attacks are useless in all but a few locations. Only a little under half of the levels let you pick which heroes you want to use. I can't recall a single side mission in the whole game.

Fun, but kicked out of the nest too early. If this game was given proper development it would've been an all-time classic.

The audio is all right but not amazing. The BGM tends to be bland to the extreme (I did like the Mars music), and while the voice talents are good generally the dialogue is pretty generic. I'm not that surprised to learn Ron Perelman makes a good Batman.

Well done here. The cut scenes are very well animated and the level artwork is nice too. The monsters from the other dimensions look especially good.

Replay value-4/10
There's unlocking different things, but as I said there aren't enough chances to pick your own teams and there aren't any places where you can choose to go a different way another time. Work on that for the sequel, Snowblind.

Occasionally little things were done to spice up the gameplay. These range nice (the loudspeaker playing Justice League voice mail when you're in the base) to the lame (Brainiac saying if his security can keep out salesmen it can keep out superheroes. Pee-yoo!).

Overall-7/10 (not averaged)
Justice League Heroes is a decent game anyone looking for a superhero title that doesn't induce vomitting should try out, but with a stronger story and more opportunities to take control it could've earned a 9 or a 10. Let's hope there's a JLH2 staffer out there who realizes that.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/24/06, Updated 03/09/07

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