26 November 2006 | film-critic
I represent the Justice League, the Justice League, the Justice League...
I remember when I was younger I used to love playing the classic arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was a game that memories were made of, and it definitely drained your Sunday of all the quarters that you had been saving. What made this TMNT game a memorable one for me was that you could really immerse yourself in the game and refine your strengths on a certain turtle. Did you like the bow of Donatello, or did you prefer the dual swords of Leonardo? The options were yours, and so when I saw "Justice League Heroes" released with the opportunity to play all the great characters from the series, I saw my youth days at the arcade spring back into action. This game developed by Snowblind, did not disappoint (at least not in most areas).
The world is in chaos, and you, the chosen elite that compose the Justice League, have been summoned to stop the evil forces of those like The Key, Brainiac, Queen Bee, and Gorilla Grodd (and even a special appearance by an ultimate favorite near the end!) to name a few. You fight as Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Flash, several Green Lanterns, and so forth to bring down hordes of mindless drones that want nothing but to fight you in a pre-destined way. This game is a no brainer, by that I mean you can mash the keypad as much as you want and as long as you keep an eye on your health you will be victorious. There is no deep thought involved with this game because if in the uneventful case of your death, you can still go back and do it all over again without any amazing AI to change it up. With unlimited continues you can finish this game with several RedBulls and a night off. I remember the Justice League always having huge challenges with the villains that they fought, but with this game, the challenge was not there. It was monotonous, it was simple yet somehow, I was enthralled by it. This was a simpleton's game. It was a game that one could come home, not devote so much time to, but thoroughly enjoy a classic "wham-bam" arcade style of youth to demolish the haphazardness of your corporate day. This was a game where you could be a superhero and "hover" (not fly) over cities and see villains do what they do best corrupt the world.
"Justice League Heroes" completed the task at hand allow for several hours of game play by a user without needing to step outside the box. Give them a twist here or there, make the fanboys happy, but don't over extend. They were not trying to recreate the wheel with this game, just provide for several hours of enjoyable gaming. The graphics were decent, but nothing to write home about. The voices could appeal to some, but I couldn't get past Ron Pearlman Hellboy himself doing the voice of Batman. That was a fit that didn't seem to match. The rest seemed to allow for decent moments. The controls of the game were
again without sounding repetitive decent. There was not much discussion or lead-into the reasoning for the speed power-ups and honestly, for me, they were unneeded. They may have added benefit to my characters, but as I continued to play I found that I just randomly attached them to a character, without any rhyme or reason. The super features were fun, but grew old over time and I found myself attached to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern more than the other characters because they had lengthy special abilities which came in handy for a boss or two. The cut-scenes were enjoyable, which provided for the storyline cliché enough to fall into a comic, but convincing enough for this game. I thought the story kept me going I wanted to see who was behind all of this, and what techniques would be used to stop him. I must say that my biggest gripe is that you could go through the game and not unlock all the hidden characters, and you can't really go back and try. I didn't get to half of the new characters or costumes because I was too busy trying to finish the game. I didn't see the need for me to buy three extra Green Lantern costumes before I could unlock a character. That befuddled me. I also seem to agree with the others making comments about this game with the construct that I could not pick my own heroes for each sequence. That was a fun element that only seemed to coincide with randomness. Characters were thrown together with no reasoning and I was forced to helm the stronger of the two. The AI is decent, but if you just a one player, beware your other character will just stand on a puddle of flames and die unless you continue to move. ARG. Think about it Martian Mindhunter!
Overall, I enjoyed playing this game, but would not find myself behind the helm of it again. I didn't go to deeply into the other games that could be explored in the game itself, mainly because I only have one controller and a very short time to play these games. I thought it kept with a classic arcade style of playing, but didn't redefine itself. I have not played the "X-Men Legends" game, but hear that it is modeled very closely. I also am going to try "Marvel Alliance" to see the similarities. I would suggest this game to friends because of the excitement of helming a mission as Batman or Zatanna, but after three hours of game play your thumbs will be tired and you will see the repetitive nature of the game. Give it a try, but do not prepare yourself to be blown away.
Grade: *** out of *****