Review By: Siou Choy
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Growing up as a diehard Marvel comics fan, it truly breaks my heart to see just how far the company has fallen over the last decade or so. One would be hard pressed to believe, perusing their blatantly right wing, facelessly bland cookie cutter releases of late, how there ever could have been a time where Marvel was both relevant and influential on generations of hippies, college students, and both contemporary and future musicians, writers and filmmakers, many of whom were well respected and critically acclaimed. Rather than speaking to and influencing generations of youth and young adults as they did back in the 60’s and 70’s or providing the plots and characters for countless films of recent vintage as they did back in the 80’s, the company has slid into following the sorriest of current trends and most backward of viewpoints, becoming a follower rather than a leader. They’ve even stooped so low as to actively recruit television and movie directors and screenwriters to scribe what amount to pathetic printed recapitulations of their already plotless, soulless and inane televised and cinematic progenitors.
In short, while comics as a whole are in a pretty sorry state of affairs in the new millennium, it’s patently obvious that DC has at least made an attempt to retain some of the faded glory of days gone by, driven by a similar politicosocial stance to Marvel in its better days and a far greater reverence for its past achievements. Similarly (and possibly consequently), they have managed to both achieve and retain what amounts to a complete market dominance of quality cartoons, television, and even, to some extent, cinema over its no longer distinguished competition (and yes, I know I’m deliberately turning the tables here with the usage of that particular term…it’s quite appropriate, under the circumstances). Hell, even in terms of DVD re-releases, WB/DC is so far ahead of Marvel, it’s positively staggering (come on, 3 Spiderman movies, and still no Nicholas Hammond TV series, Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, etc. etc.?).
All in sum, it’s very hard to believe that there once was a day (much less a few decades) where Marvel left DC far in the dust, by all standards of measurement. In fact, given the complete reversal of both fortunes and style of the two companies, it’s positively baffling that there still can be found the occasional “Marvel zombie”…clearly, that term has become applicable in far more literal terms than when originally coined.
Unfortunately, this sorry state of affairs in relation to the once-great comics publisher has filtered down to other arenas, the video game arena inclusive. Marvel Super Hero Squad for the Nintendo Wii is a prime example of this sad degeneration.
Marvel Super Hero Squad is based on the ubiquitous toyline and associated cartoon of the same name, revolving around various Marvel characters delineated in a more humorous, anime derived super-deformed style. In Marvel Super Hero Squad (the game), you can play as one of 20 Marvel heroes including such overexposed “fan favorites” as Wolverine, The Hulk, Iron Man and Thor alongside such less frequently marketed characters as the Falcon and the Silver Surfer. Up to four players can take part in the game at a time.
In accordance with the toyline and cartoon, character designs are extremely cute, and the color scheme is appropriately bright and eye popping. Sadly, that may be the only positive thing that can be said about the game. A particularly turgid and boring slugfest, the entire gameplay revolves around moving from one level to the next beating up and smashing everyone and everything in sight. Once you’re done hacking and slashing the entire screen 5 times over (more on that in a bit), then you get to move on to the next level and do it all over again. Needless to say, the proceedings turn irritating at a very early stage.
Posted: 2011-11-16 19:59:18 PST