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Gamer Tuesday

November 5, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights Thor Week: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Developed by: Traveler's Tales

System: Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, PC

Happy Thor week, everyone! I simply adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but out of all of them, my all time favorite is Thor. Yes, an unlikely answer, but I love the movie simply because it is an unique superhero story that doesn't deal with the origin of the hero or his powers, but rather about the hero redeeming himself and gain back his lost glory. The performances by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki, respectively, are some of the strongest in the entire film series, and I simply can't wait to see more of it in the upcoming Thor: The Dark World.

Lego Marvel

Now this is where I would pick a Thor based game and talk about it in celebration of the new film. However, the only game based on Thor was the licensed game by Sega released in 2011 alongside the film, and that film has been hailed as one of the worst ever made at the time. Clearly, the mighty Thor deserves more than that. Unfortunately, there aren't any other games under the Thor license, and Thor himself has been relegated to either a guest character or a side character in other Marvel games. In the end, I choose LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. While not a Thor only game, it does have Thor and Loki as main characters, and considering how important the two were in The Avengers, this shall do.

 

In the past, I have talked about the LEGO games through my article on LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean nearly two years ago. The LEGO games have since experienced some changes and improvements, though the core gameplay has remained largely the same. Much like with other games in the series, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes follows the world of the Marvel Super Heroes as retold through LEGO versions of the characters in a LEGO brick world. Only this time, rather than being told in humorous pantomime, the heroes can now fully talk and further develop the story. As in any other Marvel production, the Marvel heroes must do battle against the Marvel villains, which are running around LEGO New York city.

Everything about LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is character driven, from the story to the gameplay itself. In terms of story, the Marvel characters shine with delightful wit, self awareness and humor that stay true to the essence of the comics, the TV shows and the recent films. Tony Stark/Iron Man and Spider-Man are as snarky as ever, Wolverine is ever the grumpy loner, and of course, Thor is mighty and regal. It is the clash of these personalities that make the game, as well as the properties they originated from, a delight to experience. Even if in past games the stories and characters shined greatly through the silent actions of the LEGO games, the fact that they can talk and emote makes the story much stronger.

Gameplay wise, much like in past LEGO games, it is the characters that make the bulk of the title's appeal. Pulling from almost every single Marvel license, from the Fantastic Four to the X-Men, to the Avengers and, yes, even Howard the Duck, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes does a great job of making each character unique and true to their origins. Each character has a special power that can be used to complete various missions (of which there are over 40). Thor, of course, uses his mighty hammer to attack enemies, Mr. Fantastic can stretch to great lengths, and the X-Men can use their various mutant powers. Cooperating is often key in mission completion, and like in their comics and feels, each Marvel hero must cooperate with another hero in order to complete the challenges that lie ahead.

Lego Loki

A lot of these challenges are often the cause of the various Marvel villains, such as Doctor Doom, Loki, Magneto and plenty more. At the end of some of the missions, you'll do battle against some of these villains in spectacular ways, once again showing off the great usage of the license and humor the LEGO games are known for. And speaking of familiar LEGO tropes, collecting studs as the form of currency is still the name of the game in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Also returning from the classic games is the easy to learn, easy to master gameplay that has made the LEGO games so popular among children and adults. The level of challenge may have proven to be too low for older games, but the creative missions and usage of characters have pulled it above other licensed games, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes not being the exception at all. It is challenging enough that you will cringe when you lose some of your studs, but not impossible that you will stop playing. Finally, another player can join in and help a fellow player out at any time, a staple of the LEGO games since the very beginning.

Lego Thor

The visual look of the LEGO games have remained the same since its humble debut years ago, but as game technology has evolved, so have the games. Despite the characters looking like LEGO men, the attention to detail and design remains very impressive throughout. Even better, the development team have done a great job of emulating the cinematic look an feel of the various Marvel films, as well as hiring voice actors that are able to capture the essence of the original performances.

Thor Lego

In closing, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is another excellent entry in the LEGO game franchise, one that once again utilizes the license to its fullest potential thanks to amazing cinematics, creative usage of character abilities, and solid gameplay from beginning to end. If you are a Thor and Loki fan, make sure to check the game out. Just think of the other heroes as being very generous bonuses for being a dedicated fan.

Lego Marvel

 

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