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Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects Review

Developer: EA Canada Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: September 20, 2005 Also On: DS, GCN, PS2, PSP, and Xbox

Nearly every time you see a new fighting game come out you usually can find Marvel characters at the focus of it. Many of the Marvel titles in the past have been nothing to be excited about. They were merely 2D fighters which belong in the arcades or even early PlayStation games. These titles, however, were in the Capcom era of making the Marvel games. Now EA has their with the Marvel games. Ever since Spiderman 2, the popularity of superhero games has grown tremendously. With a flurry of titles that have recently been released (i.e. Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Ultimate Spiderman, X-Men Legends 2) is Marvel Nemesis the game for you superhero fix?

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If you look back on the rest of the Marvel fighting games, you find nothing too thrilling you couldn’t have seen last generation. Marvel Nemesis is a huge leap from these games, but still has room for improvement. There are some unique lighting and shadow effects to be found as well as some great looking character models drawn mostly by Jae Lee. The characters are aimed to appear in more of a realistic light rather than their true image in the comic books. So this means no yellow jumpsuit for Wolverine. The environments are decent and quite destructible for superhero clashes. There is a bit of a problem with clipping however. Sometimes your character will disappear for no reason as well as parts of the level you’re playing on. The characters also seem to blend in a bit with the sky, giving them a dark blue tint that really shouldn’t be there. For the most part however, the cut-scenes are well done and dark to fit the mood of the game’s story mode. With the entire game taking place at night, you would expect it to be dark anyway.

Nemesis is a huge step up from the arcade in sound. It’s nothing groundbreaking, so cranking it up on your home theater system is something you might not want to do. The voice acting is done by professionals, so they do sound alright. If it wasn’t for the extremely repetitive dialog, it would be very well done. If I hear “a web slinging ass kicking� one more time I’ll crack. The score is good and fits into the mood of the Nemesis, but still has you wanting more. You basically have the same score for each level and it will tend to get annoying. That’s why you can crack up your home theater system with a CD to make it more enjoyable. Sound effects are your simple kicks, punches, and explosions.

The game handles quite simply, but it is too simple for my tastes. You are really limited in what powers you can use and how you even attack your opponent. “X� button is used for a kick and punch combination that varies between your character. “B� throws your opponent across the map or breaks the hold if you’re being held. “A� jumps and “Y� dodges and blocks. “L� is used to increase your mobility while “R� activates your limited usage of superpowers for your hero. It really is a shame at how limited you are in your attacks after the recent Marvel games that have been released have allowed you to do so much more.

The story mode is well told as you will play through multiple viewpoints of the same story. You start out as The Thing and then move on through other characters trying to survive the attack on Earth to test out new warriors: The Imperfects. You get to play as superheroes and super villains trying to do their part in saving the world. The story mode has an expansion on the actual versus levels, having you beat up mindless enemies with very little variety. It does get confusing however when you find yourself going back to the same place you just were with another character for another level. This becomes quite the chore due to the simple gameplay that makes battles difficult.

If you get swarmed by attackers, you will get a good smacking and die more times than you can count. The only reason you’d even play the story in the first place is to unlock venues and characters to play with. It’s longer than many fighting games which is a huge plus. Once you get to the boss battles however, things just get more fun. It is a spitting image of versus mode that will be your biggest draw to Marvel Nemesis.

Versus mode is the better part of Marvel Nemesis that will keep you playing for at least a little while. You can take on the computer or your friend in a one-on-one battle on a condensed version of the maps you find on the story mode. They are big enough for four players to do battle in and a shame that it wasn’t made for that many. You will be able to throw objects at your opponent that range in size from a parking meter, park bench, car, or tank. Depending on your character’s strength, you could be limited as to what you can throw.

Xbox Live play will keep you playing against other opponents, but will find challenges in winning battles. With the simple combat elements, every character basically plays the same. If you take the time to learn some combinations with characters, everyone else already figured them out as well. If you think you’d like Marvel Nemesis, rent it beforehand and see if the versus mode is enough for you, but I’d wait until it goes down to $20 to buy. A rental should be enough for your fix.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6.5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 6.3
Written by Shawn Review Guide