Featured Columns

March 18, 2010

The Comics Console: Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

Marvel returns to fighting games, but unfortunately it’s not against Capcom. So who’s Marvel taking on this time? The DC Universe? No (I can only wish). The WWE Universe just made it’s return to comics with WWE Heroes…Marvel vs. WWE? Nope (Again, I can only wish…and I think I’m the only one wishing). No, this time Marvel takes on a challenge bigger than Skrulls or Beyonders or issues with civility. Bigger than Capcom, other comic book publishers or professional wrestlers! They’re taking on (wait for it) THE IMPERFECTS!…Um, the Imperfects?

Yup, EA and Nihilistic Software came together to create eight all-new characters for some of comics’ greatest to compete with. Characters like Dr. Niles Van Roekel, the alien master mind behind the Imperfects, Johnny Ohm, a bar room brawler who wields electricity, and the Wink, a master of dark magic.

The story of the game is pretty simple and useless. Dr. Niles Van Roekel, an alien living on Earth, discovers a coming alien invasion by another race of extraterrestrials, and scouts out a group of individuals to experiment on, then tests them out against the heroes of Earth. As you can probably tell, something, or maybe several somethings, is missing from the story.

Things like sense.

The game is interesting because it’s both a fighting game and a third person action game. Sadly, the game stops being interesting once you start playing the single player beat-em-up levels. These stages are very linear and mind numbingly simple missions like throwing enemies into a pit, or moving objects around. The enemies you’ll be facing are faceless cookie cutter alien invaders who take all of one punch to kill, and flying alien robots who are nearly impossible to touch and take away a criminal amount of health. You do have a rage meter that gives you a boost in power once filled, but it only helps a little. You probably won’t play through all of these levels for the epic story, but you will to unlock characters like Iron Man, Daredevil or other Imperfects for play in versus mode and online.

Versus mode is a lot more fun than the single player, but is still riddled with glitches that keep it from being great. First, unlike other Marvel fighters, Marvel Nemesis is an arena style fighter set in 3D environments. The places like George Washington Bridge and Avengers Mansion are full of breakable and throwable items and weapons like cars, explosive barrels, bookshelves, etc. It’s a magical feeling crawling up a wall as Spider-Man, snatching up a statue with your web and throwing it at your opponent across the room.

Each character has one or two special moves and combos, some of which have a unique cinematic which you’re unable to skip; this can be annoying after you’ve seen the same combo video 100 times. Also, the camera picks very odd moments to quickly zoom in and out and can make pulling off precise attacks disorienting.

Aside from the GameCube version not having any, online is really solid. Frame rate stays consistent on and offline for all three versions of the game, and the animations look great. The developers put special care in some details, like when The Thing jumps he’ll crack the concrete beneath him. The over all presentation of the game is great. Everything just looks cool with its dark comic book style layout.

The sound design is substantial, and the music is pretty forgettable, but fits the mode; epic encounter super heroey synth orchestras and keyboards.

If you’re a big enough Marvel fan then you can probably get some real enjoyment out of this one, but if you’re not, be cautious. It’s not the best fighter you’ll find on last gen consoles.

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects gets a 3/5. Imperfect indeed, but fun.

Captain America and Dr. Doom are exclusive to the PSP version of the game (lucky bastards), but the roster for the rest of the versions are as follows…

The Thing
Human Torch

Fault Zone
Johnny Ohm
The Wink

Why can’t they just come out with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 already?! They have the engine with Street Fighter IV, all they need is the license to make millions of fan boys giggle like Nick Fury at a Skrull burning party.

Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming of the Marvel vs. DC fighting game I’ll most likely never get.

*la sigh*

Andrew Hurst



  1. infinite speech

    I played this game a lot when it came out and it became a chore playing the story mode because it pretty much was a waste of time. Kind of like the mini series of the comic that went with the game. Like you said though Andrew the presentation was great it just fell short on the other important things. Like fun and longevity.

    A new Marvel vs Capcom on the SFIV engine would pretty much have me use about a month of my vacation time from work!!

  2. There was a comic for this too. The art was amazing. The story was awful.

  3. infinite speech

    I actually didn’t get past the 3rd issue. Did you actually make it through the entire series?

  4. I bought the little digest TPB.

  5. Never played it nor read the comics, but this review had me all a-giggle!

  6. billy

    I’m with Andy. Sounds like a good idea but poor execution.

  7. Aron White

    I played this game for a minute. Well, I rented it. It was fun until the individual character missions seemed to go on and on and on and on and on. I got tired of being Thing after 14 missions and wanted to be somebody else. Then I got tired of being somebody else for 14 missions and wanted to be somebody else, but couldn’t because I hadn’t finished the entire mission lines of the characters that I already got bored with. Grr. Arrg.

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