Video Game Review: Easy to Kinect with ‘Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth’

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CHICAGO – Good but not great, “Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth” falls cleanly in the kiddie category of superhero video games, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Set in a solidly interactive array of environments, twenty different characters from the Marvel Universe duke it out in a variety of play styles including co-op, arcade, and vs., and the end result is dynamic, hi-energy, ham-fisted fun. My favorite, the Campaign mode, utilizes highly recognizable comic art and the “Secret Invasion” plot to offer fans the chance to Kinect (the motion-sensor Microsoft equipment is required for this title) with the all-out chaos of multiple superpowers at war with one another, and, let’s face it, once you get Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man duking it out, the feeling of invincibility is sure to follow…at least until you get clobbered. Video Game Rating: 3.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 3.0/5.0

The menu gets you into play quickly although I did notice a little lag.(I loved having to say, “Assemble” to use the voice commands.) For those familiar with “Secret Invasion,” expect a little deviation in terms of who fights who, etc. The bottom line is there is a lot of replay value here. The mode is setup so that you have to finish half the missions in each of the five stages before you are allowed to finish the other half. It totals out to 40 total levels in this mode alone and they are all rock ‘em, sock ‘em. Difficulty definitely increases as you go along but again, the game starts out pretty easy, and I wonder if the designers should have included the option to ramp up difficulty from the get-go.

Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Photo credit: Ubisoft

Fighting games being what they are can be pretty repetitive. The challenge is always to keep them interesting. Instead of relying merely on the fact that the Marvel-verse has built-in appeal, the game allows you to tap team members in and out and just generally interact more. In fact good luck being able to memorize all the necessary moves associated with the various villains and heroes. It’s one of the things that will have you back for more. Especially since the need for speed is so evident. React quickly and precisely, the moreso as levels progress, or suffer the consequences.

Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Photo credit: Ubisoft

At least the designers had the foresight to give everyone specific moves. Even when the characters share similar abilities, the activation moves are different enough to help give the player a sense of special identity. This was one of my first times using Kinect and I was really into it. The unit kept up with almost anything I threw at it once I got used to making the technology.

“Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth” feels too slight and too simple for most adults but it’s easy to make yourself feel like a kid when you’re jumping around a room pretending to “Hulk Smash.” This is a great game to have laying around for when younger relatives come over, or maybe to play when no one is around to make you feel self-conscious when you have to yell, “It’s clobberin’ time!”

“Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth” was released by Ubisoft on October 30, 2012 for the Xbox 360. The title is also available for the Nintendo Wii U.

By Dave Canfield
Staff Writer

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