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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – Lego Marvel Super Heroes

I would never label myself a gamer. Hell, most modern consoles scare me. I’m only 30 years old but there was a point where I needed to adapt or die and lord knows I never made that jump. It didn’t matter though, because retro games and systems were more my speed anyway and are still what I enjoy playing the most. One day on a whim I decided to buy a Wii U, yea the controller looked stupid and cumbersome but I knew that if anything this console would be home to the new Mario Kart, Zelda, Smash Brothers and those deliciously retro styled Mario Brothers games they’ve been putting out recently. Even if those were the only games I ever bought it would be worth it. When I heard about Lego Marvel Super Heroes I thought I’d give it a try.

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Being the Evil Geeks resident Lego fanatic and a Marvel zombie I had figured that this would at least be entertaining.  The only Lego video game I had previously played was one of the Star Wars games years ago which historically was a very early licensed property game for them. I remember thinking it was ok and the concept was cool enough, but it ultimately didn’t do much for me. While those thoughts were in the back of my mind, the idea that I could use a roster of marvel heroes was too much for me to pass up.

The games start off in story mode as the Lego Marvel universe encounters Silver Surfer for the first time. Doctor Doom shatters his surf board into powerful Lego blocks scatted around NYC. Nick Fury gets S.H.I.E.L.D. on it immediately and meanwhile Doom hooks up with Loki so they can harness the power of Silver Surfer’s Lego block fragments. The Lego Marvel universe plays to the strengths that the general public are familiar with and draws from the Marvel Cinematic U mostly but also with a good mix of the classic Marvel universe and the Ultimate Marvel universe. Each board in the story mode allows you to control a set hero usually containing 2 or more starting with the Hulk and Iron Man. You can alternate between each character allowing the computer to pick whichever one you’re not. There’s some mild action throughout the boards, but a lot more of this game would be considered problem solving or puzzle based. You have to figure out how to use a certain character’s strengths and special moves to advance you to the next portion of the board and/or make it accessible for the other character. Each time you complete a board you unlock the characters you played with (if it’s there first time and usually the villain if they don’t escape).

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The story is engaging enough as is the voice acting. It seems like for the most part they’ve got the characters personalities down pretty well. The roster included in story mode smartly relies on recognizable faces and classic Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor etc. as well as famous NYC Marvel landmarks. Stark Tower, Oscorp, the Raft, the Baxter Building and the X-Mansion are all different levels you can play.

Now if that’s all that was included the game I think would be decent enough but the open world portion is where it really shines. After beating any board you are granted the ability to play through it again using different characters that you couldn’t the first time through. This will allow you to unlock a bevy of different secrets and items. The real fun starts though once you unlock NYC as a whole for free play. At that point you are given free reign of the city to do as you please with any character at your disposal and there’s SO MUCH to do. There are so many different side quests, easter eggs and other things to unlock it’s nothing short of amazing. The roster of unlockable characters is in the 150 range, including classic heroes and villains,  fan favorites and deep cuts. There are people you can unlock in this game that I’ve never heard of. Want to be Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man, go for it? What about Winter Solider? J Jonah Jameson? Bullseye? GALACTUS? Yea, it’s insane. Some are pretty easy to scoop up while others will take you hours trying to accomplish the mission they are a part of. The down side of it is some of the characters cost some dough in game money. It may get frustrating, but it’s never not fun and that’s the key for me.

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Besides characters there are other things you can unlock chief among them is gold Lego bricks. You earn 1 for each level you beat in story mode and another one if you can get “true believer” status for each level (which I think amounts to destroying as much shit and getting as much money in the board as humanly possible). There are a total of 150 Gold Bricks you can get with a possible 30 from story mode. That leaves 120 scattered around NYC and therein lies the fun and adventure.

This game is also 2 player which certainly can aid you in story mode by not having to switch between characters so often but it’s even more beneficial in free play mode. The split screen allows for the both of you to wander through NYC on your own, meaning the two of you can cover more ground faster. Unlock secrets, characters and get cash (lots of it!) in half the time.

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Wandering around Marvel’s NYC without agenda with your pick of characters is easily the best and most fun thing about this game. Not just that, but the way they’ve captured flying and not to mention web slinging is incredible. I don’t want to sound like a little kid, but they’ve really made it feel like you are flying, the take offs, the landings, zipping around Stark Tower it all feels natural. I should also mention the controls are all very easy to use and intuitive which only helps to further the games playability factor. I’m not even going to get into the fact that you can create your own character based on a plethora of power sets, costumes and accessories, but yea you can do that too.

Physicality is one of the only issues I have with this game. In story mode when you finally get to a big villain like Dock Ock or Sabretooth you can’t go for it and just wildly attack them. It’s based on a series of other puzzles you have to unlock to effectively strike them. The same goes for the open world, you can bash and break a lot of different items you see like lamp posts or food carts etc. but unlike GTA you can’t attack civilians or cops and have them pursue you back. Being a family friendly game though, I can forgive it. Oh and the music is a little lack luster in my opinion. But honestly, these are small prices to pay for such a cool game.

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I might be in love with this game. I haven’t been actively excited about playing a video game and willfully devoting hours to it in years, but man I can’t say enough about it. Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a must have for any comic book fan. It got me thinking though; since Lego owns the license to both DC and Marvel could we see a crossover game in the future? We can only hope…

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on February 19, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, Video Games, What's Killing My Social Life This Week and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Reblogged this on _Justpressplay and commented:
    I love this game, as does my 2year old (for what she can play) Plus Lego Marvel! That says it all lol

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