Tag Archive: Ghost Rider


Join the Merry Marvel Marching Society

When LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was first announced, some of us less-open-minded comic-book aficionados had some questions about the idea of Warner Bros. (who owns rival DC) publishing a Marvel product of any kind. Luckily, it seems that developer TT Games has just as many mighty Marvelites on their staff as they do dedicated DCers (just don’t tell the bigwigs upstairs!).

Similar to the LEGO Batman games, TT started by making a LEGO-ized version of New York City, giving fans of the comic-book giant an open world comparable to DC’s Gotham. Sure, they’ve taken some liberties—the X-Mansion’s been moved to the North End and out of Westchester County, for example—but these changes were necessary to make everything fit logically into what’s a truly massive hub made of LEGO bricks. With well over 100 heroes and villains coming together in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, however, there needs to be a universal threat that ties this hub and these heroes together.

Fortunately, Marvel has exactly that in the form of the world-consuming Galactus. And he hungers for Earth. Again. Only a select few know of his approach, though, and some of Marvel’s most nefarious nemeses like Magneto, Loki, and Dr. Doom look to turn this global threat to their advantage. Marvel’s best and brightest heroes will now try to work together to thwart the master plan of these villains, as well as turn Galactus away.

If you’ve played any of the LEGO titles before—whether they were based directly on a movie or more loosely inspired by a property like this one—then you have an idea of what to expect. For this particular game, the action’s broken into 15 levels across many familiar Marvel Universe locales. As you make progress, you unlock gold bricks for performing certain actions, such as saving Stan Lee (who always finds himself in a perilous situation!) or collecting a certain amount of studs (the LEGO version of coins). As you unlock more bricks and play more of the game, you’ll add more heroes and villains to an ever-expanding cast of characters—who can then, in turn, be used to unlock more bricks. And the cycle continues until you 100-percent the game.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes features more activities than previous entries when it comes to acquiring bricks, giving the game solid variety and replayability. Some gold bricks require puzzle-solving and swapping of powers, but the game also includes plenty of fetch quests that are rather dull and populate much of the hub world. Escorting mini-figs slowly on foot from one side of the map to the other is not my definition of fun and could grate on completionists.

Speaking of swapping powers, your mini-figures can now wield more abilities than ever before. And not just the super-strength you’d expect from characters like the Hulk or the Thing—you can fire laser blasts with Cyclops, activate Magneto’s mastery of magnetism to move all things made of metal, or use Jean Grey’s telekinesis to move just about everything else in the world around. Mind you, wielding Magneto and Jean Grey’s power classes can take some getting used to, since they’re not as accurate as, say, a blast of flame from the hands of the Human Torch.

Since many characters can flylike Thor and Iron Mangetting around the hub world has also never been easier. The game even includes vehicles (some of which even having character themes, like the Green Goblin’s helicopterthough he really doesn’t need one, since he has his glider, right?) for characters that move around mostly on foot, such as Black Widow or Hawkeye.

So, some of the gameplay has changed to go along with the new IP, but one element remains mostly the same: the writing. TT Games usually does a tremendous job of finding ways to sprinkle in humor that freshens up the experience for older players, but they also inject plenty of slapstick and childish antics to ensure appeal to younger audiences. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is no exception, and its charm should warm the hearts of even the most jaded of comic-book fans.

Unfortunately, the technical problems that have plagued the LEGO series also return here. The camera remains a problem, especially in the hub world, and it’ll often lead to some unnecessary deaths. The rotating split-screen in co-op is also a distraction and detracts from the co-op experience, since two characters can’t just run off—they need to stay close to each other at all times. In future entries, TT Games either needs to make two static, horizontal split-screens or keep me and my buddy stuck within the same window. I started getting sick from the rotating line that appears when one player decides to run north and the other south.

While on the subject of co-op, the other big problem is that we still don’t have online 4-player co-op. The game includes many instances with four heroes in a group in the story, and I had to needlessly rotate through them all to try to progress. Even at my age, I can imagine having a good time with friends or my younger cousins on the other side of the country if we could do this online. And why limit the 4-player fun to the story? The hub world is easily massive enough to fit four mini-fig heroes in it.

Besides the legacy technical shortcomings, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is immensely enjoyable. It has enough side content, including bonus missions and challenges, that should keep gamers of all ages entertained for hours. But even if you’re just in it for the story, you should walk away happy. If you love LEGO, Marvel comics, or both, this game won’t disappoint.

Developer: TT Games • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment • ESRB: E10+ • Release Date: 10.22.2013
9.0
Some technical shortcomings aside, this is a tremendously fun experience that will appeal to LEGO and comic book fans young and old alike.
The Good Same humor and charm we’ve come to expect from all the LEGO games.
The Bad Same camera and technical glitches we’ve come to expect from all the LEGO games.
The Ugly Same wonton destruction of property we’ve come to expect from all the LEGO games.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U, 3DS, DS, PS Vita, and will be a launch title for PS4 and Xbox One. Primary version reviewed was for Xbox 360.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks folks, but we are back. A slow week comic book wise and so we look at a pair of Indies and only one DC title as the New 52 really continues to just disappoint on almost every front that isn’t a Batman book. Marvel continues their strong push with a bunch of Avengers books including one we’ll be featuring today. So without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – Venom #13.4: Blackheart has all the cards and has done the unthinkable and brought hell to Earth, literally. Even Earth’s most magically attuned heroes like Doctor Strange and the Ghost Rider cannot hold back the onslaught and only Venom, Red Hulk, and X-23 can hope to turn the tides. But at what cost? 

This has been an interesting adventure for Venom, the new Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, and X-23, and the fact it has been coming out every week has given a sense of a bigger event than it really is. The best part of this though is the fact that Blackheart, one of the more nefarious and powerful villains in the Marvel universe has been given the spotlight for the first time in a while. And where there is Blackheart, you know Mephisto isn’t far behind. Obviously this is something you should pick up the first chapters to, but this issue’s ending leaves you on a cliffhanger that means the next issue could really shake things up for all the characters involved on a permanent basis.

2) Marvel – New Avengers #22: Norman Osborn’s plan to slander the Avengers continues and the team led by Luke Cage has had enough after Jessica and Squirrel Girl left the mansion with Luke’s newborn baby. And the team is finally ready to start listening to Spider-Man and Victoria Hand looks to be their target at how to get to the bottom of this.

The team finally decided to go after Victoria Hand after they realized she had to have been the one setting them up, but Hand comes up with a story that is almost too unbelievable to be false. So now the New Avengers have to figure out how to take down Osborn while also trying to keep a raging Luke Cage in control as Jessica Jones has left with no trace. The resolution in this issue was key to a lot of loose ends that had been opened in early parts of this story, but it almost seems like things may be coming to a head a bit too quickly. Whatever happens, the New Avengers are going to be shaken to their core and the more interesting secondary story that may be developing is Luke and Jessica’s relationship after the fallout of this event.

3) DC – Batman Beyond Unlimited #1: Terry McGinnis returns with a pair of adventures kicking off this new book. The first sees him investigating a nation wide migration by various Jokerz gangs to Gotham City. The second part sees Terry team up with the Justice League again to take on the terrorist group Kobra who may be working out of Cadmus Labs.

One of my biggest disappointments of the New 52 was the fact that Batman Beyond had been put on hold and so this has been one of my more anticipated new titles to come out in a while. The fact the book is also double wide and features two concurrent story lines makes it easily the best bang for your buck of the week most likely. With each story subtly re-introducing a lot of our favorite characters from the cartoon and last year’s monthly comic run, hopefully this is the beginning of a long and prosperous run for our favorite Batman from the future.

4) IDW – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello (One-shot): Continuing the series of one-shots that look at each turtle individually, Donatello’s sees him attend a science fair incognito only to find out it is really a front for Baxter Stockman trying to draft scientific talent and now Donnie must save someone he once thought to be an internet rival while also escaping with his own shell in tact.

These one-shots from IDW are great ways to establish the turtles’ personalities for TMNT newcomers and this one continues the success started off with Raphael’s one-shot. Featuring a lot of fun action, great dialogue, and even a dig at Stan Lee and Marvel for the keener comic book fan, this one-shot is a must have whether you’re an old-school turtles fan or someone just starting out. It’s also a big plus for video game fans as we learn that Donnie is a big MMORPG fan and seeing him try to explain it to Leonardo to no avail is a great short scene in the book.

5) Image – PIGS #6: After finding out their inside man had failed at his assassination attempt, the sleeper agents realize they are going to have to get their hands dirty and break into the prison themselves and take out their target. It won’t be easy though as a neo-Nazi inmate is also the high-value target’s number one bodyguard.

We see another stunning form of the sleepers training as kids in a flashback in this book and it helps to explain the widening divide emerge between certain members. As loose ends are tied up by some members of the team, the others really work on the tension that is clearly there by the hesitancy of some members to go along with the more violent plans they wish to carry out. As plans continue to move forward, the big question that is looming is what will the pay off be for this series and these characters once the high value target is eliminated and what is going on in the global picture as hinted at in the first pair of issues in the series. I can’t wait to see the next issue to see just how the sleepers infiltrate the prison and if that long awaited pay off finally comes.