Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (Available on Kinect for Xbox 360, and Wii U)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Parent Talk: While the ESRB rates Battle for Earth T for teen because of fantasy violence, and mild suggestive themes, I would easily allow children to play this one. It’s a motion game based on the Marvel comics event Secret Invasion. You know Secret Invasion right? No, OK here’s the whole story in a nutshell. The Skrulls, those evil green triple-chinned alines have taken over the identities of multiple Marvel characters. When Electra is killed, it is revealed that she is a Skrull which starts this huge Marvel event where “who can you trust” is the main slogan, and indeed virtually every other character is revealed to be an alien. It caused huge shock waves across the Marvel universe that are still being felt today. You now have the chance to play a fighting game within this wacky setting.
Plays Like: This is a fighting game that plays very similarly to PowerUp Heroes, another Ubisoft Kinect game. Players move their arms and legs as if they were really fighting, although they have the twist of being able to mimic their comic-book characters’ special moves. Extend your arm to replicate a blast shot as Iron Man, for example.
Review Basis: Played through the entire game, and had a surprising amount of fun while doing so.
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth isn’t going to win any awards for its unique gameplay, but that doesn’t mean what’s offered here isn’t fun. It is fun, in fact it made me feel like a child again. While it gets old extremely quickly, which is an inherent problem with most Kinect games, I found myself coming back for more simply because I’m such a huge Marvel nerd. If you’re looking for a great party game, or a game your children will love, this is the perfect stocking stuffer for this holiday season.
Being able to play as 20 different Marvel characters, using your own body as the controller is hilarious, and lots of fun. All those classic moves your favorite characters pull off are yours try and perform yourself. Better still, you can yell different commands while doing these moves to grant extra damage buffs. So for example if you’re playing as Hulk and you do a hand clap, you can scream “Hulk Smash” and will be granted extra damage. What’s not to love about that?
+ The body tracking works perfectly. I only had issues if I got overly excited, or moved too close to the camera. I tend to do that when I’m acting like a five year-old.
+ Versus and co-op modes will keep you coming back for more, and this might actually become a staple at parties, which I really didn’t expect. There’s just something cool about beating on your friends as your favorite Marvel heroes.
+ Presentation is top notch, from the art design to the great soundtrack, Ubisoft Quebec did a really superb job. I even love the box art ;)
+/- Ubisoft had a lot to work with in terms of background stories. There were literally hundreds of comics released during this event, and yet I found the story to be mashed together just so certain characters could fight others, even if it didn’t happen in the books. It’s as if this was done solely to extend the game’s already short campaign.
– While the controls work great, there are only so many moves you can perform before every character starts to play exactly like the last, save for a special move or two. Ultimately this is the type of game best played in short bursts rather than extended periods.
Jessica Drew a Skrull, that’s just wrong.
I’m a huge comic-book fan, everyone knows that, and I’m also a huge Marvel fan, so perhaps that’s why I enjoyed Battle for Earth as much as I did. That said, I’m also a huge videogame fan with years experience reviewing games, and when these two sides of me clash, I know I need to find some middle ground. My final take is this, if you enjoy these characters and this universe, and can overlook some rather simplistic and repetitive gameplay, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth might be your next mild obsession.
Final Score: 7/10