Itâs time to hero-up as the race is on for the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet. Join the short and continually wise-cracking super heroes Iron Man, Wolverine and all their friends as they battle against Doctor Doom, Thanos and a veritable whoâs-who of Marvel super villainy in the ultimate showdown to take control of the universe and organise Thorâs birthday party.
Recreating the characters and flavour of the television series, the big-headed, wise-cracking squaddies join forces to battle it out with all of their familiar foes. From Super Hero City to Mount Olympus, the bobble-headed heroes have to combine all of their powers to fight hordes of Skrulls, Doombots and giant bugs from the Negative Zone, to collect all the Infinity Gems needed to power the Infinity Gauntlet.
Released by THQ, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is about as standard a team co-op beat âem up as you could imagine. It's one of those games you go into feeling âthis could be really bad...â - but thankfully it's not. Although there are the standard camera issues, repetitiveness to the button-mashing combat and no depth to the character's special abilities, the game is pretty enjoyable in a Lego Star Wars kind of way.
You begin the story mode controlling Iron Man and the Hulk. If youâre by yourself, you can switch between them with the select button or a second player can drop in to help out. Each character has a melee attack, a ranged attack and a special attack to knock down multiple opponents. They also have a unique ability which has to be used to get through various obstacles. For example She-Hulk can knock down giant stone columns or Falcon can use his speed to skip across fiery pits.
The story mode is broken up into several locations. In each location you are only able to use two characters to battle a final boss and collect an Infinity Gem. So Falcon and Thor fight a confused Hercules on Mount Olympus in order to get the Rhythm Infinity Gem away from Loki and the Enchantress. While later, the Scarlet Which and Quicksilver confront Magneto and Doctor Doom on Asteroid M and Wolverine and Black Widow chase after the Silver Surfer on the Skrull home world.
The introduction of new characters for every level gives the gameplay a fresh little kick - at least, it does the first time through. Which is pretty good because anyone who has played any of the X-Men Legends or Ultimate Alliance games will have seen most of it before. Also included on each level are simple little puzzles that require a characterâs special ability to pass. These puzzles donât take much puzzling to work out. In fact, they probably donât even rank as puzzles. I mean, when controlling Iron Man and the Hulk it doesnât take much to figure out who smashes through walls and who hacks computer terminals. But it gives a good indication of the gameâs fairly low-level difficulty and the age group itâs aimed at. Even if things do get a bit more difficult and slightly more complicated towards the end.
But nothing about it is really difficult. If one of your characters takes enough damage they will be knocked out, but you can easily revive them with the other character. While they are down, mashing x will regenerate their health so getting knocked down is often a good thing because they come back with full health. However, breaking up the standard âbash-bash-shoot-shoot-special move-repeatâ fight mechanic, there are some simple but fun diversions. Among these are some race challenges and a number of space-based shooter sections, where you have to destroy incoming missiles or fire hamburgers and ice-creams at a rather friendly Galactus to fill him up before he decides to munch on another planet.
After you have completed the story you can replay all the levels. Second time around you can switch between all of the characters. Throughout the game there are tons of collectable bits and pieces that unlock costumes, upgraded powers and add new maps to compete on in the gameâs challenge mode. So Thor can unzip dimension pockets while Invisible Girl can use her telekinesis to get to all those areas that were unreachable the first time.
Although the game offers nothing online apart from a few leaderboards, in challenge mode four players can battle it out for Squad superiority. You begin by selecting a sequence of events to play. You can start with couple of rounds of survival, then onto blast-a-thon and finish up with a race. While you donât actually fight against each other, you collect points and at the end a winner is declared.
So Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet might keep the kids busy between Christmas and New Yearâs Day (hold on, thatâs six days - you might have to shout them to the movies a couple of times and take them to Nannaâs for a day as well). Itâs goofy fun, just like the television program. It has the odd fart joke, a Wolverine who says âsnickâ every time he fights, and a strangely theatrical Thor who might be taken for a bit of a Glee enthusiast if it wasnât for his obsession for the Enchantress.
In the end, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet is pretty short and very easy, and like any game aimed at the younger market you go in reluctant to pay full price and still come out the other side feeling a bit ripped-off. But there are a lot of playable characters and plenty of unlockable content. The game also gives a friendly nod towards classic Marvel while still being firmly placed in the post-Ultimates era. And while the bobble-head proportioned super heroes give it all a very light hearted tone, even with a big head, big hands and big feet, Black Widow is still pretty awesome.