is truly nothing quite like the enjoyment to
be found in taking your opponents head in your
massive, rock like hand, crushing him to his
knees, and flinging him from the Brooklyn Bridge.
games are a tricky thing because so many games
of so many kinds fall into the category in different
ways. Marvel Nemesis: Rise of The Imperfects
falls into a style that isn't well explored
at this point. It comes to us with an amount
of freedom previously unseen in almost any game
of this day. You are free to roam the entire
environment, not just side to side, or even
front to back, but up and down as well. This
game is truly a 3-D fighting game in truly 3-D
environments. No more side stepping in circles,
toe to toe with your opponent, only to realize
you haven't really moved anywhere except into
a slightly different background.
complex finger movements with ridiculous combos
that hold the opponent in the air until they
die have caused fighters to become less than
accessible to average gamers and more than boring
for intelligent gamers. I never cared to memorize
the "Special" moves that took more
thought to produce than they did damage to the
opponent. Marvel Nemesis is designed to bring
both those classes of player back to the genre.
most inexperienced gamers will find solace in
the fact that you don't need to know the deepest
intricacies of video gaming in order to pick
up your controller and compete with experienced
gamers. My fiancé has never picked up
a fighting game in her life, and doesn't play
much else, but not only did she give this a
try, she enjoyed it and managed to put up one
heck of a fight against me, a 20 year veteran
of video games. This accessibility makes the
game an excellent choice for company, because
a 2-minute crash course is enough to setup any
gamer with the opportunity to win with any character.
controls are "the same" for every
character. You have buttons for strike, throw,
jump, and block, as well as one button for mobility
moves and one to activate your "Super Powers".
The mobility button allows fighters to fly,
swing, zip, sprint, and even blink about the
arena, depending on the characters abilities,
and some characters can even climb walls, or
run up them, setting your self up for devastating
dives onto your prey. The "Super Power"
button gives new meaning to the other buttons
on your controller. A normal strike may do a
limited amount of damage, but power it up and
the characters do what they do best; claws come
out, web-balls let loose, lightning crackles.
Your average jump becomes an amazing leap and
your up close and personal throw takes on spectacular
personality, including ranged throws. Combine
the two and send your opponent hurtling to the
ground or snatch up the nearest taxi and send
it hurtling up. With a normal tap of the block
button you throw up your hands to stop a strike
or shift your body to avoid the oncoming barrage,
with a flick of the Control stick added you
begin to flip about dodging and flipping or
rolling and blinking and utterly confusing your
opponent. Add your super powers and you go into
an all out, 360 degree, "shoot me, I dare
you" block that sends ranged attacks ricocheting
back at their sender. Mind you, all of this
drains your super meter (wouldn't want to make
your opponent cry), but if you find a place
to rest and hold down your "Powers"
button it fills back up pretty quickly and of
course there's always "Rage" mode.
If you successfully pummel your opponent you
will be rewarded with a little red flashing
meter right below your energy that, when full,
allows you to go ballistic with no limit to
how much power you use, for a short while.
of course, what fighting experience would be
complete without your own personal finishers.
Each character can do their very own once certain
conditions are met, not after you have already
beaten your opponent, allowing you to really
"finish" the fight on your own terms.
The health meter is comprised of a health bar
and an overlapping stamina bar; when your stamina
gets low you get a "danger" warning
and if your opponent has enough juice left in
his abilities don't let him grab you or it's
all over with one super throw. Stamina rebuilds
over time, never going higher than your health
bar, which decreases as you get pummeled and
won't increase, unless you are Wolverine or
Paragon, until the fight is over.
about veterans, what challenge is there for
us?" you ask, quite simply, everything.
The accessibility of the controls allows gamers
to really experience the hero, by really learning
the character and not just the button combinations.
Like the real thing, the heroes in the game
are very unbalanced, some having far more power
than others, giving you the real "Who's
the Greatest" feel of the game. Learn to
overcome the disabilities and prove that no
matter what Iron Man brings, you will have your
day. Victory is so much sweeter when you know
you have truly earned it. Beyond the power structure,
you also have combos to create and perfect by
figuring out which moves can string together
and how to make them more effective by mixing
in power moves, throws, air throws, and-and
this is the big one-finishing moves. And what
would any fully 3-D fighter be without the levels
themselves, two guys floating in space?
environments are dark and dreary places, full
of flames and debris, and lots of goodies to
throw at your enemies, but watch out for what
they throw back. Objects break and explode,
columns crumble and crush you, pits await your
missteps, antenna and parking meters can be
ripped up for a game of squash, and your opponent
will be looking to use it all against you as
he vies for dominance in the Marvel Universe.
The darkness of the environments also serves
as a solid contrast to the appearances of most
of the fighters, allowing them to 'pop' from
the pages as it were.
are two things that make super heroes the iconic
figures that they are, their abilities (special
and human) and their appearance. Spider-Man
just wouldn't be the same with out his red and
blue tights, nor Torch with out his bright orange
flames, but some characters have changed costumes
a number of times over the years and different
costumes relate to different fans. Wolverine
falls into this category, I remember his brown
and yellow costume and others remember his yellow
and blue one, and in order to avoid the issue
he has been stripped of his costume and left
with a basic "jeans and t-shirt" look.
For fans of the movie this may not be a problem,
nor will Magneto's lack of cape and helm, but
other fanatics might take issue. Aside from
this, how the characters look, is impressive
to say the least, how they sound, however, is
a bit of a mixed bag.
in on your opponent, you activate your special
powers and 'sssshhing', that oh so familiar
sound as Wolverine prepares to do what he does
best. The sounds that go with the powers, although
a bit quiet under the music, are perfect. Each
distinct sound let's you know what's coming,
which can be a lifesaver if you've lost track
of your opponent. If only you could turn down,
or off, that frantic and somewhat eerie music.
The music isn't bad, it sort of reminds me of
the kind of battle charge played in films like
Excalibur, only on speed, but I would rather
be able to hear the cool sound effects that
go with the characters. The voice over work
also has its ups and downs. On the upside, some
of the characters really sound good, and their
catch phrases are right on the money, but on
the down there are more that don't sound quite
right or say things that just don't fit the
character. Several of the characters say things
that are just plain wrong, and most of the characters
only have one (two at the most) comment for
before the fight and one for after, so don't
expect too much variety.
other fighting games, Nemesis doesn't cram the
menu with a load options that, when you get
down to it, are basically the same or only slightly
different. You get your Versus Mode, Story Mode,
Rewards(cards, comics, and movies), and options.
Mode, like in most fighters, is the meat and
potatoes of the game. This is where you will
spend your time, and it is time well spent.
You start with the basic "Player vs. Player"
or "Player vs. COM" options, but once
you pick that the choices branch out again.
You are offered two modes of battle, a "Lives"
match and a "Timed" match.
match lets you pick from 1 to 99 minutes and
you fight, again and again, to see who can get
the most wins before time runs out, unless of
course you're tied and then it becomes sudden
death with no more chances. Choosing lives match
sends you to the character select screen (as
does timed once you set your time limit) where
you can pick from one of 18 (some need to be
unlocked, more on that later) Super beings including
10 Marvel Classics and 8 new Marvel characters
designed for this series. None of these characters
are to be taken lightly and most of them are
truly great characters. Once you pick your character
and one of two costumes (semi-color changes,
although some are very cool) you will be prompted
to enter the number of lives (Timed matches
move on) for each character. That's right, I
said each. This means you can set up matches
where it is three lives a piece (the default)
or 1 for you and 10 for them (the min. and max.)
or anywhere in between, making for ultimate
handicap matches for you and your friends or
Survival matches against the COM. Once all that
is done you move on to select one of 7 venues(4
to start), ranging from the oh so familiar Daily
Bugle Roof, Brooklyn Bridge, and Avengers Mansion,
to the less recognizable but stock comic book
levels; the streets, the power plant, and the
bad guy's HQ. Each have different lay outs with
different kinds of items, some with ring out
areas (pits, the edge of the roof, etc.) that
only the best high fliers (and swingers) can
recover from, and some with out. Choose wisely,
and choose to win. Let the fight begin. If you
win enough you will unlock new characters and
venues, as well as other unlockable content.
Mode is the basic "Ladder" of opponents
that you see in most fighting games, but with
a twist. Instead of watching the little icon
of your fighter move up the ladder to a fight,
or wandering through wide open "story"
areas waiting to find an opponent to challenge,
only to return to the basic Vs. setup, you will
find yourself fighting your way through the
streets of New York (and across the roof tops)
against hordes of generic enemies, each with
abilities similar to some of the main characters.
This is quite literally where you learn your
characters. Each hero has a set of missions
to complete while training you with the moves,
and then an arena (Vs. Mode) fight against one
of the other characters in the game. At any
point between missions you can switch and play
the missions of other heroes that you have reached
the missions for, and then go back to finish
the ones that you left on the other fighter;
only four mission sets can be running at one
time. You will also reach points where the game
lets you choose a "Special' fight, most
of which have you play as Imperfects against
an established Hero. Not all of the special
fights can be completed in the first play through,
so remember which ones you picked and finish
the others on a second round about. Paragon's
Missions will also be interspersed through your
play, until her full set becomes unlocked and
you work your way toward the finale. While you
will unlock goodies by playing through story
mode, you don't need to play it to unlock characters
or venues for versus mode, although you can.
I recommend you at least get the hang of the
controls before tackling Story Mode, or you
might get frustrated a bit. The mode is not
intended to be an Epic single player campaign
and is sort of a throw back to the classic days
of Double Dragon and Streets of Rage. Some might
love it, some might hate it, but there isn't
anything horridly bad about it, although the
camera (if you don't know how to use it) can
cause a little confusion.
every game, this game has it's flaws, but they
aren't stand out game killers, they're "We
tried something new" flaws. Sure more unlockable
content like characters and costumes would be
well received, but again, the game doesn't really
suffer for lack of it. Marvel Nemesis takes
minutes to learn and months to master, and it
provides a well rounded and, most importantly,
fun experience, if you know what you are getting
into. This is not your standard "toe-to-toe",
best of three 90-second matches, combo cruncher,
this is "kill or be killed" Marvel
do you go about creating the perfect licensed
product so that casual gamers who love the characters
and hardcore gamers who love fighting games
will both be satisfied with the end result?
You don't - because it's an impossibility. That
was a trick question.
Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is the perfect
example of this vexxing conundrum. EA has taken
an interesting premise that was brimming with
potential and delivered this weak in the knees
one button beat-em-up that has absolutely no
teeth. The fighting engine is so watered down
that only geeking Marvel fanboys will elicit
any enjoyment out of spending any time with
it and even that camp will probably be largely
polarized on what EA has created. The ones who
do manage to keep the power on for longer than
the time it takes to check out a few of their
favorite characters, will most likely short
circuit their controllers after a time anyway,
due to their incessant drooling.
biggest mistake EA made was thinking that they
could create characters that would be as exciting
as the pop culture legacy that the House of
M has produced over the last few decades. Had
EA had simply worried more about the gameplay
than trying to infuse their own creations and
left Marvel Nemesis a standalone comic book
character brawler featuring all Marvel characters,
the end result might have been a tighter, far
more interesting experience. As it stands I
defy any gamer to care about the Imperfects,
their backstorys or their unique powers as this
is all about pitting Wolverine against Venom
or Spider-Man against Ironman. Even a DC versus
Marvel game would have been a far more interesting
clash than attempting to introduce new characters.
It worked for Capcom years ago because the Street
Fighter II characters were already heavily ingrained
into pop culture.
the gameplay falters inexcusably is the primary
one button gameplay. It is suggested this was
done so that players could easily move from
one character to the next without having to
re-learn difficult "movesets" for
each fighter. The last time I checked, most
gamers weren't brain damaged to the point where
they couldn't function when having to learn
a few new button commands. Has EA even watched
some of you kids play games? Most of you gamers
were raised with controllers in your hands -
and yes, we salute you (but get outside once
in awhile!) - and games like this are just completely
insulting to your skills. Even casual gamers
aren't afraid of learning some cool new moves,
so why EA would pander to a demographic that
I'm not even sure exists is a complete mystery.
Is this the same demographic that is going to
prefer playing games with a remote control because
a controller is too icky for them? WTF, dudes?
it's fun to play as Spider-Man, Venom, Wolverine,
Thing etc while you make your way through the
games relatively short Story mode, a few versus
battles and online. And man, they look great.
The graphics are excellent and while the enviroments
aren't as plentiful as I was hoping for, they
are quite diverse. Marvel Nemesis takes place
in a war-torn New York and the fighting is actually
a quite a bit darker in tone than the usual
superhero game - but that still doesn't make
it any better, so get those hopes down. Each
level features quite a bit of environmental
destruction which is interesting for awhile,
but ultimately it all comes crashing down on
the shoulders of the "Fighting For Dummies"
control config and the mind-numbing repetition
of it all.
terms of actual fighting, you'll find that melee
characters such as The Thing, Wolverine and
Daredevil are always at the mercy of projectile
fighters. The game is criminally unbalanced
and you'll be lucky to even get close to some
opponents at times during a big boss battle.
When you do manage to get close to an opponent,
God forbid the camera should stay in one place.
Without a lock on button for attacks - which
should be a given in a semi-open environment
like this - heroes will attack thin air, garbage
cans, cars etc. as they go through their canned
animations because you completely missed your
target, leaving you wide open for attack. Other
times you'll be engaging in a boss battle and
your opponent will just stand there with their
back to you. This happens to be a bonus as you'll
usually be attacking an inanimate object at
that moment instead of sucker punching them
like you should be.
mode which is played out like a Final Fight
type Beat-em-up offers players the opportunity
to wander the streets of NYC, fighting hordes
of cookie cutter aliens and performing repetitive
attacks. It reminded me of a much nicer looking,
but surprisingly shallower (if you can believe
it) version of Maximum Carnage.
took the game online and because I only had
one copy of the game, couldn't really find anyone
to play against because the game had just been
released and most players were probably returning
it back to the store. When I did find someone
to play against, I have to admit that it was
fun, but only for awhile. Make that an extremely
short while. EA knows their way around online
and MN doesn't suffer from any particular ethernet
maladies; it functions equally as well online
as it does offline.
Nemesis could have benefited from a variety
of different moves because what you're stuck
with is barely enough to get the job done. With
dumb-downed controls, terrible camera, rampant
imbalance issues and no target lock, Nemesis
can be needlessly frustrating. It's not hard
in a challenging way though, it's hard because
you can rarely execute the attacks you intended
to, either because you couldn't see your opponent
due to the camera (that pulls WAY out leaving
you a tiny dot on the horizon), were being air
juggled by a projectile fighter, couldn't lock
onto an enemy or generally just found the limited
control scheme useless.
but with X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse,
Ultimate Spider-Man and the recently released
Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction on storeshelves,
EA's collaboration with Marvel just pales in
comparison in every department, save graphics.
If you have trouble figuring out the intricate
mechanics of turning the pages of a comic book,
Marvel Nemesis might sink your battleship, but
the rest of you should avoid it like being tickled
by Logan's claws. If you're a diehard Marvel
fan, by all means rent the game and get your
flame on, but don't be investing cash in this
for the long term.