Written by Twisted Ideas
The Lego games have been moving franchise to franchise making a lot of entertaining games for fans of the respective series and for gamers a like. Instead of talking about one of their full games, I got the chance to play the handheld version. It’s a stripped down version of the main games but does this handheld experience hold up?
Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril
Developers: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS PlayStation Vita, iOS
What is it?
Galactus sends the Silver Surfer to search for new planets for him to devour. Silver Surfer finds himself on earth but gets shot down shortly after arriving by Doctor Doom. His board shatters into cosmic bricks where the heroes and villains of earth race to find before Galactus finds his way there.
How does it play?
Universe in Peril is a scaled down version of its console counterparts. The game is split into 15 level with 3 small 3-5 minute stages. You start the level with one fixed hero and one partner. Heroes and Villains can collect Lego studs for currency and to charge up their special attacks. Your partners can be called to assist you during the level. Unlike the console Lego games, if you lose all your heart then you will have to restart the whole level. After a level is completed “Free Play Mode” which allows you to play as any unlocked character through the level.
Each level has ten missions to complete to unlock characters, abilities and cheats. Most level has general goal such as collecting X amount of studs or defeat x amount of enemies. Most goals requires specific character abilities (strength, flight, telekinesis, etc) to complete and at times a specific character.
How does it look?
Lego are simple in design and translate well into video games. The Marvel Lego figures look great with a few exceptions and they introduced big figs for characters like the Hulk and The Thing.
HULK SMASH LITTLE LEGOS!
The environments look good, only using Lego when necessary. The levels in these versions are much smaller and parts lack detail but they are mostly recognizable.
How does it sound?
The music is in a similar type from what you would hear in the movies or TV shows, heroic, uplifting and triumphant. The voice acting is intentionally humorous and adds to the fun of the game. The voices are suitable for what we’ve come to expect from these characters from various incarnations and portrayals and works well with the game. The sound effects for attack also induce the same familiarity.
What do I think?
I do not like the Lego franchise games. They are overrated, under-tested, buggy and overly long. Universe in Peril is the only Lego game that I am close to liking. I like the puzzle elements and the replayability, even the fan service of the Lego games. These games feels like they could be a lot better but Traveller’s Tales makes their games overly long. The reason why I like this version so much because it cuts out a lot of the fat that I don’t like about the series. Levels are short and sweet and the puzzles are simple so not to give them the chance to screw things up.
Lego Marvel is still as tedious as every other Lego game. A big part of the replayability is going through the levels multiple times. That isn’t too bad considering the length of the levels of this game. The bulk of the game is the mission goals; They unlock new characters, special moves and cheats. The problem is that you can only choose one character to enter the level with the fixed partner. Unlike other Lego games where you could bring a group, you have to either remember what powers are needed or read the goals. The problem with reading the goals is that the only way to do so is to choose the character and load the level completely. The goals are sometimes specific enough so you can know who to bring before hand; Seeing that after the fact means that you have to load the level twice before playing the game.
I played this on the Vita but I don’t if this is a problem with the other versions of this game. This game really pushes the touch controls onto you; They barely work and you’ll be wasting a lot of time trying to get it to work. They pushed them so much that they didn’t even bother to tell you that the buttons can be used instead. When I finally figured it out I was boggled that it was never brought up ever.
Should you get it?
My personal bias says no but objectively it’s not the worst Lego game out there. Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril cuts out most of the repetitive or tedious aspects of the game. It focuses all the fun and good elements into bite sized chunks, good for playing on the go. There will be some characters that you have to go out of your way to play but the selection is very big. The repetition really only kicks in if you try to unlock everything in the game but other than that if you can find this cheap it’s the only Lego game I would recommend.