Fantastic Four Review
Oh my, what do we have here? Hmm, seems to be a video game based on a movie. Sure, Iíll play that, what could possibly go wrong? I mean itís not like a company would produce a very average game and tie it to a movie just to make a fast buck...right? Surely, these gaming companies really care about making a quality product and would not try to take advantage of gamers...they would never have the gall to make a lousy game and just hope that people will buy it because of the name on the box. That just wouldnít be right. So, off I go to play what has got to be a game that can stand on itís own without needing a popular comic book and movie title on it. Yet, to quote a famous movie franchise, I have a bad feeling about this...
The game/comic book/movie in question this time is Fantastic 4 and it is being brought to the GameCube, and every other system, by Activison. In the spirit of full trust and disclosure I need to admit that I have neither seen the movie nor did I ever get into any of their comic books. I am not sure if this is a hindrance or strength but I am pretty confident that it doesnít matter because I think a game really needs to be enjoyable on its own. For those not in the ďknowĒ, Fantastic 4 consists of, you know this was coming, 4 heroes that started off as normal people then they all ran into a cosmic storm while in space. What, they donít have the Weather Channel on a space station? Anyhoo, after the cosmic rain cleared they all had neat new powers. Hereís the rundown. Reed Richards became Mr. Fantastic who now has a very stretchy body. (Is it just me or does the name ďMr. FantasticĒ come across as a bit egotistical? Or maybe someone that should be a wrestler...) Susan Strom became The Invisible Woman which is a huge shame since Jessica Alba plays her in the movie. OK, so sheís not invisible all of the time...still. Johnny Storm became a skateboarder in the Extreme Games...no wait, thatís not right. Oh, he became The Human Torch which means he can burst into flames and live to tell about it, unlike the drummers for Spinal Tap. And finally we have Ben Grimm who became a giant pile of rocks and is really strong. And how can we forget Victor Von Doom who turns evil (not a huge surprise given his name), can control electricity, and has some funky metal skin...hmm, doesnít Wolverine also have something like that going for him? Which I suppose is fair since Stan Lee created them both.
Well, we have met our cast of characters and have a little bit of an idea what they can do. The question is can they make a good game. Almost, but not quite. The game style is pretty much a button mashing fighting game also known as a brawler. Which is also something like another game based on a comic book that came out last year called X-Men Legends or The Hulk. It seems obvious that Fantastic 4 found a lot of inspiration from Legends, but was unfortunately unable to match the game in quality. Letís talk first about some of the areas that Fantastic 4 either does well or, more often, donít totally suck.
I found the strongest part of Fantastic 4 to be the voice acting. This is not a big shocker since the actors that were in the movie are also doing the voices for the game. What I didnít like about the voices isnít really the actors fault, but I got pretty tired, pretty quickly of the little one-liners each of the characters would toss out during the fights. I was thinking about giving some points for the graphics but the more I thought about them the less impressed I got. Wow, didnít take long to get into the parts of the game I didnít like did it? The graphics are pedestrian at best. I just expect more from games now. And, while technically not graphics, I saw a lot of slow-down when there were a bunch of bad guys on the screen. I canít be too impressed with a game that is based on taking on a bunch on enemies at once but hinders your ability to do so by having bad framerates.