Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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The LEGO series of games have had their fair share of ups and downs, providing fans with inconsistent experiences from game-to-game. While some have succeeded in recreating the success of their console brethren, others have fallen far short of this benchmark. Can the most recent Marvel themed outing brought over from the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita make the successful transition to iOS, or will our favorite heroes be left looking decidedly less super?
From the moment that the game begins it's obvious that LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a far cry from some of the other highly-polished LEGO games on the App Store. For starters, the fixed three quarters top-down camera proves to be a sticking point that negatively affects both the presentation and controls. Core elements of the environment like ledges are very difficult to determine from the perspective that the game implements. But who doesn’t like a little unnecessary backtracking, right?
Most likely it will be necessary for players to abandon the default control scheme. Using a single touch to navigate, while easier for input, lacks the precision that an on-screen D-pad can provide - and that the game necessitates. These touchscreen issues are further demonstrated when players are forced to perform gestural swipes and flourishes to use a hero’s signature move, like Iron Man’s taking flight. More often than not these vertical swipes end up being interpreted as dodges, which under some circumstances can lead to an untimely demise.
The original game’s sprawling campaign has been drastically streamlined for this mobile incarnation. Each world is broken up into two short platforming/brawler stages, followed by a boss battle. Each boss fight lacks the epic scale that should be associated with the villains that the player encounters in combat. Once again, another side effect of not having a dynamic camera at the player’s disposal. The one element that makes the overall experience somewhat worthwhile are the fantastic cutscenes that, go figure, just so happen to be the one element that this title maintained from the larger scale versions.
It is no small feat to adapt a big screen experience for mobile platforms. Unfortunately, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril tends to lean more towards the lackluster end of the spectrum. Players may be better off looking back into previous LEGO offerings rather than paying the premium price tag for this retread.