Build Me Up Buttercup: Legos are Still Fun

Author: Jay-Rey (@jay_rey)

The Avengers pounce on Loki

(Via Geekstroke.com)


Game
: Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Platforms: PC, Nintendo 3DS, PS3 (Reviewed), PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: November 15
Rating: 9/10

I just finished up my review on Batman Arkham Origins’ multiplayer. The verdict? Eh. Much like B:AO’s multiplayer, Lego Marvel Super Heroes can also be summed up in one syllable: Wow. I am in love and I don’t care who knows it! I haven’t enjoyed a video game this silly since the first Lego Star Wars. Maybe I have a slight Lego fetish, but that’s a story for a different blog. And now, on to the review.

The Lego games are fairly well known at this point. You get a ton of characters to choose from in a universe that is oddly familiar but blockier than you remember. Such is the same for Marvel Super Heroes. You get to traverse the entirety of Manhattan, soaring above the clouds as Iron Man, swinging between building as Spider-Man, wrecking havoc on the streets as Hulk, and so on. You also get a pretty extensive Shield Hellicarrier to play around on. But I am getting ahead of myself, lets dive in…

The gameplay is very similar to other Lego titles. Your characters are tasked with going through a level and destroying everything that can be destroyed for studs (not myself, C.R., and Naz, the in-game currency. Sorry, ladies.).Diving deeper (that’s what she said),  you encounter enemies and puzzles as you traverse familiar game locales. Examples of these locations are  Oscorp, The Baxtar Building, The Statue of Liberty, and The Raft. While the minions are generic looking Lego people with different powers or weapons based on their boss, the boss fights themselves are fun and challenging. They often coincide with a puzzle, using the characters special powers to affect the world around them.

One thing I noticed early is that they want you play levels over. Gold statues that can only be melted with heat rays stare at you in a mocking gesture. “You must unlock Johnny Storm or Cyclops before you can take me down” says the voice in my head tauntingly. Areas accessible by characters with certain powers will appear in every level and free world area. Certain puzzles require you to change your character after using a different one to gain access. This hasn’t been a problem thus far, as I have been playing free mode for hours and haven’t lost interest at all.

Surprisingly, there was no usual feeling of monotony that usually accompanies destroying everything in a level after a while. Using Cap’s shield to throw across the screen at multiple targets is fun. Stomping around as The Thing is even more fun. Iron Man and his suited brethren feel the most conveniently suited (no pun intended. Or was it?) for this job. Simply float up, auto target as much as you can, and swoop in to get the studs before they vanish.

(Via Comicsalliance.com)


Unsurprisingly
, gameplay gets a bit redundant. Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage are all very similar, though they have different colors, idle animations, and sounds. Regular Spider-Man can turn into Peter Parker and take photos for missions. Venom can turn from the tendril- toting version to the bulky, Eddy Brock version. Carnage.. Well, he doesn’t do either, but whatever. Human Torch is fun, but Nova is basically the same character.

As I was planning to write this review up, what comes to mind is Marvel Ultimate Alliance. A ton of characters to choose from. Mix and match to put them in whatever level, but ultimately, they feel like re-skins for the same move sets. It seems a bit unfair that certain characters have skins that took a bit more work. Iron Man Mark I is the ol’ tin suit from the cave. It barely hovers over the ground and only shoots rockets. The Mark 6 (I think thats it) suit can fly, shoots missiles and proton blasts, as well as a chargeable uni-beam. The Mark 42 swaps the uni-beam for a steady stream of laser destruction. These are all considered the same character. You can also unlock the Hulkbuster suite, though this is its own character, and a good mix of the Mark I suite and Hulk. I eagerly look forward to unlocking more skins for other characters. I get that Iron Man is their cash cow, but I wanna be current AND disco Iron Fist!

Then you get the inevitable “regular” characters: Damage Control person, Magneto minion, Gwen Stacey. It’s fun, but I am not really going to be Gwen hailing a cab. At least I would spend little time doing these things.

You can drive cars! How did I not mention this earlier!? Your traveling challenged heroes such as Agent Coulson and Nick Fury run a bit faster, but have no upward movement. You can hijack a car (its occupants will gladly give it over, since you’re a hero) or stop at the many Shield Vehicle Request Points. Here you can pick your usual automobiles, or select one of many unlocked vehicles. Helicopters,  Quinjet, you name it. It’s pretty dang satisfying. Controls are the same all around. Some vehicles have onboard weapons, some have built in boosts. You can destroy light posts and mailboxes. You can break other cars. Bigger characters can actually pick these cars up and chuck-em.

You can unlock certain buildings by collecting those golden statue bricks. The first one I went to was the Marvel HQ. Here you get a short intro, narrated by Deadpool, and you are given a brief level to fight or puzzle through. Easter Eggs are everywhere in this game. Tom Brevoort (executive editor for Marvel Civil War, among other things), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), and Agent M (Real name Ryan Penagos, Executive Editorial Director) are running around waiting to be saved.

Also, it’s funny. Most of the story is closely related to the movie universe, introducing us to the Sam Jackson Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Hawkeye-Black Widow team up. Even though the world is at risk by being eaten by Galactus (the main baddie) there is a lot of humor. Hulk gets really upset and rips the back of his pants, Fury tells one of the Hellicarrier’s staff to go to the cargo hold get some darn snakes of his Hellicarier (Get it?), as well as some shwarma and other food jokes.

This game isn’t like Last of Us, or Bioshock Infinite, or as hardcore as an Arkham game. It is, however, a great change of pace game. It’s light, silly game, where some of Marvel’s most iconic heroes save the world in the only way Lego knows how: Fun. You won’t find in-depth gameplay, deep story telling, even totally accurate depictions of your favorite character. It’s a Lego game. My 9/10 at the top of the article is rated based on what it is. It is one of the few Lego games that made me want to pick it up lately, and it didn’t make me regret it in the slightest. While I am already bored of Gotham’s dreary grays and find-all-the-riddler junk that is left, Lego has created a world that I don’t mind going over with a fine tooth comb.

See the trailer below:

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