Ever heard of Marvel Super Hero Squad? Us neither. Apparently it’s a popular toyline that feeds Marvel’s beloved heroes through a shrinking machine. Suitably, MSHS seems to be Marvel Ultimate Alliance fed through the shrinking machine. Goons are punched and boxes smashed, only this time everything’s two feet shorter.
Hard to believe, but devs Blue Tongue take the brainless brawling of Ultimate Alliance and somehow dumb it down. Seeing Marvel’s finest boiled down to two attacks and a jump it’s obvious someone had LEGO Star Wars in mind. Actually, scratch that. This button-thumping combat is so colourless it makes LEGO Star Wars look like Ninja Gaiden.
We just don’t get it: laser eyes and radioactive strength were never designed to be cute. Iron Man packs all the oomph of a Tellytubby. Wolverine’s claws may go ‘snikt snikt’ but they’re about as dangerous as untrimmed fingernails. Okay, as kids’ toys they shouldn’t be choking hazards, but this bunch of softies are so flavourless you’d never want them near your gob.
Surprising, considering Blue Tongue gave us last year’s funk-’em-up, de Blob. There’s nary of hint of that creativity in MSHS’ repetitive goon waves and quick-time events. A four-player battle mode offers a spark of invention – arena- based fights act as boss battles – alas, what good is a beat-’em-up mode with only two moves? Imagine Street Fighter IV restricted to fireballs. No fun at all. Deep inside the mediocrity there’s a heroic alter-ego waiting to burst free – a sillier take on Marvel suits the Wii. But until said alter-ego decides to don a mask and cape, Marvel Super Hero Squad is the last group of people you should call for help.
Oct 20, 2009