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Marvel Heroes: Breakout DVD Game

Score: 80%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Brighter Minds
Developer: Giant Interactive
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Board Games/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Marvel Heroes: Breakout DVD Game uses 2D stills that fly across the screen to give a very comic-book feel to the game. When you capture a villain, some pre-rendered clip of that villain being found and thrown behind bars is played, but the villain's stance never actually changes. Since the developers could obviously have gone with a whole lot of pre-rendered cut-scenes, the fact that they stuck to this style means that they were trying to go for the comic-book feel, and they succeeded.

The game's narrator, though never actually claiming which superhero he is, sounds like he should be Peter Parker/Spider Man, but maybe that is just a personal prejudice since, like I just said, they never actually say who he is. Anyway, he does a good job of explaining the rules of the various mini-games in clear and concise ways.


Gameplay:

Marvel Heroes: Breakout DVD Game is part board game, part DVD game. You and up to three friends move around the game board trying to re-capture escaped supervillains. You do this by taking part and completing various mini-games. Your turn begins with a roll of the die, moving your piece and selecting the activity that is represented by your location on the game board. If you complete the activity, you get a villain. You can play as one of four characters: Captain America, Spider Man, Storm and Wolverine. The mini-games take place at seven locations around the city.

In The Business District, you will control the Fantastic Four in a maze. The camera will pan over a bird's-eye-view of the city's streets starting at the scene of the crime and the panning down to the start locations. You must follow the streets and choose the beginning location that will get you to the end. At the Waterfront, you will play a memory game where you try to match pairs of heroes with their team members from The Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four. You keep playing until you either match three pairs of heroes or one pair of villains.

The Superhero Scramble in The Subway shows three spinning panels, one with a hero's head, one with a body and one with feet. The player must stop the spinning panels to form one of the many heroes in the game. Meanwhile at Empire University, you go are asked three questions about the Marvel Universe. These questions were unexpectedly tough and the average player might not be able to handle most of them. Thankfully, the developers have thought of that and balance things out a bit, but I'll explain that in the Difficulty section of this review.

At The Avenger's Tower, you will watch clips from classic Marvel cartoons (like Spider Man and X-Men) and will be asked questions about what you saw. This was one of the more nostalgic parts of this entire game since I remember watching these shows growing up.

The last two locations, West Side Rooftops and The X-Mansion, offer a couple of slightly different gameplay styles. At The X-Mansion, you will go to Cerebro's room and help locate villains. As the villain becomes clearer, you are suppose to shout out who it is. After a little bit of time, the other players are allowed to shout out their guesses as well. At the end, the game tells you who it is and the person who got it right first gets the villain. The other mini-game has you timing a jump from one building rooftop to the next in order to catch your crook.

The game goes until one person gets five or seven villains, depending on which game mode you chose.


Difficulty:

Marvel Heroes: Breakout DVD Game lets each player select one of three difficulty levels: Sidekick, Hero and Superhero. For the most part, there aren't any differences between these modes except for a couple of the mini-games. Sidekick needs to match only one pair of heroes in the Marvel Team Up game, while Hero needs to get two pairs and Superhero needs three. The other place where this setting is used is during the Marvel Quiz at Empire University. The easy setting requires that the player answer just one of the three questions while Hero needs to answer two and Superhero needs all three questions to be answered.

Game Mechanics:

Marvel Heroes: Breakout DVD Game can be picked up and played by anyone who can hold a remote. Breakout can be popped into any DVD player. If you aren't in a car or somewhere else that doesn't have a flat surface, the instructions suggest that you ignore the board, and just play through the game without worrying about rolling the die and moving pieces. Playing the game is as simple as making your various selections with the arrow buttons and the OK/Enter button on your remote.

If the game involves just timing, like at the Rooftop Jump or Superhero Scramble, then a click of the OK button at the right time is all you need, while others like the quiz and Marvel Team Up mini-games, require you to move over a selection with the arrow buttons before hitting OK.

Marvel Heroes: Breakout is fun for both casual and hardcore fans of the Marvel Universe. While some of the questions in the Q&A sessions are pretty tough, the three difficulty settings tend to even out the playing field some and make the game accessible to a wide audience.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:



Any computer or game system with a DVD ROM drive or a DVD Player
 

Test System:



Standard DVD Player, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated