Marvel fighting games are held to a pretty high standard with previous greats like the Marvel vs. Capcom series. But, as history has shown us, when in the hands of any other developer besides Capcom, things can get pretty rough around the edges…or in this case, just damn exhausting.
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Released: Oct. 30, 2012
Platforms: Xbox 360
Xbox Kinect games are, for me, pretty hit and miss. Thankfully, Battle for Earth falls nicely in the middle, and really the game’s only fault is that it’s a Kinect game.
There’s a great arcade feel with the standard three-on-three matches amongst Earth’s mightiest, and that nostalgia only fades once the gameplay starts. Ironically, this game’s worst problem is its motion controls. The Kinect sensor has lag issues picking up on motion commands, and in fighting games, such lag can be extremely costly to your progress. You can imagine how frustrating it is. Great Kinect games like Dance Central have virtually zero problems picking up specific movements, and the difference is palpable. Sore arms and legs are pretty much guaranteed the next day.
Essentially, every character plays the same. Simple strikes, signature attacks, which require charging, knee lifts, and a finishing move that adds a little extra salt to the wound when you call out the name of the finisher. Once you’ve had time to toy around with the gameplay, the real challenge becomes figuring out the precise speed and posture the Kinect sensor looks for to execute your attacks.
The game’s story derives right from Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu’s Secret Invasion, with panels of the comic driving the narrative. As your team of Avengers, you’ll travel to some of the Marvel Universe’s most iconic locations battling Skrull counterparts of team mates. Usually, I prefer comic book games working with comic book publishers and writers to create a new story, but for this game there was something comforting about reliving an old classic.
The roster is fairly healthy with about 20 characters, and lots of extra costumes, but even though this is an Avengers game, it’s still disappointing not seeing Marvel favorites like Daredevil or Deadpool in the game.
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth is a fun enough game to enjoy with your friends for a weekend, but there’s no rush to play this game immediately. Even if you decide to skip it entirely, you’re not missing out on much. But a decent, if not perfect, Kinect game nonetheless.
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