Super Types

July 12, 2012
 

The Comics Console: Justice League: Heroes

Comic Con 2012 has begun! Though the onslaught of announcements and news of the next year’s big comic book video games has yet to fully swell and pop, we’ve been treated to an early juicy little rumor concerning Rocksteady Studio’s next installment of their Batman series. Variety reports that ‘Arkham 3’ will possibly be a prequel surrounding the first meeting of Batman and the Joker, and even feature the Justice League with a bit of Silver Age flavor.

The idea of a prequel is very interesting, and introducing heroes outside of Gotham City limits seems like a reasonable evolution, but the speculated Silver Age aspect is most curious. A Silver Age Justice League immediately brings to mind Gardner Fox stylized bouts with the Mad Maestro and the Sportsmaster in Happy Harbor, with Snapper Carr cheering on the World’s Greatest Heroes. But I can’t see Rocksteady making such a campy turn from their dark and mature version of the DC Universe…though it would be kind of awesome.

If adding more JLA to our diets is Warner Bros.’s way of getting us ready for an impending Justice League movie, then I’m pretty okay with that, as long as it’s done properly and with respect. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us (I can’t get over what a weird title that is) are great steps in the right direction. But if I end up dropping cash on disappointment like the last big Justice League game, then it could be the last time anything JLA related steals my money ever again.

Justice League: Heroes

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developers: Snowblind Studios
Released: October 17, 2006
Platforms: Xbox, PS2
ESRB: Teen

Did you play the X-Men: Legends games? At any point did you say to yourself, there should really be a DC version of this game? Well, here you go. The hacking, slashing, and dungeon crawling format of this game is one we’ve seen in countless other titles throughout the last decade of games, and unfortunately, JLH doesn’t do anything to add to the formula or make it unique in any way. This is the game’s biggest downfall. The dungeon crawling style, at its best, can be an amazingly fun experience, however, when done poorly, it can be an absolute bore. Personally, being a massive JLA fan, I was sure nothing could make me dislike this game…that was until about the fifth or sixth stage of repeatedly beating up the same henchmen cannon fodder over and over again. There is two-player co-op, which helps with the excruciating repetition, but eventually even your friend will start to grow sick of it, too. In a game where several comic book icons come to life in your console, why the four-player co-op capabilities of both the PS2 and the Xbox are not utilized baffles me.

There is, however, a great thrill during your first hour of the game. Playing as either Batman or Superman and pounding Brainiac droids with a stocked utility belt and decent usage of Superman’s Kryptonian gifts is like a dream come true. A dream compounded by eventually having Green Lantern, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, and later, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Huntress, and others at your finger tips. Though the gameplay is snooze worthy, what kept this disc in my console and not forever in its case never to be touched again was the excellent story. Dwayne McDuffie, the man responsible for some of the best Justice League stories of our generation, pens the narrative, and it’s well worth the journey.

There’s a great deal of DC heritage taken advantage of in the form of villain boss battles and story twists that are worthy of a DC summer comics event. Gorilla Grodd, the Key, Prometheus, White Martians, and other modern and classic characters take your X button beat down, and are one of the few highlights of the gameplay.

The sound quality and graphics are both pretty low rent, but the voice acting is good, considering it’s an all new cast and not the familiar voices of the Justice League animated series.

Justice League: Heroes has a lot to offer the hugest of DC fan boys and girls, but anyone outside that bubble won’t likely have the patience to give this game too much of their time. Even at the discounted price you’ll find it at today.

For more of The Comics Console, click here!

Andrew Hurst
andrewhurst@comicattack.net

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