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The Fantastic Four (PlayStation)

45
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  ETJB (447)
Written on  :  Feb 02, 2010
Rating  :  3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars
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Summary

A Confusing Disappointment

The Good

Prior to the box office films, The Fantastic Four had made few video game starring appearances, and I was certainly excited at the prospect of control the famous Marvel Comics superheroes.

The characters and storyline provide plenty of great material and the first Marvel Comics superhero to make it to the Playstation 1, Iron Man, had turned out very nicely.

The basic game play is not creative, but it works. You get to control any of the Fantastic Four, plus the Incredible She Hulk, through several side scrolling levels with the levels and super villain bosses taken from the pages of Marvel Comics.

Each character has their own offensive and defensive fighting moves along with their famous special powers. The game has the characters grow larger or smaller depending on how close they are to the screen and the retro music is pretty cool to. Heck, you can even pick up items (even minor thugs) to toss at enemies or objects in the background.

The Bad

While the game treats you to some nice CGI animated sequences at the beginning (without the She Hulk) the actual storyline is incredible incomplete.

Somehow Doctor Doom has created a device that transports the Fantastic…er…um Five to various locations. Later on it is described as some sort of time machine, but it does not appear to be one, and it feels incredible weak and confusing for a Fantastic Four storyline.

The controls are generally responsive, but most of the complicated fighting moves are too difficult to pull off. The super powers use up a separate energy bar and are also difficult to pull off. Basically you spend most of long and (to their credit) cool looking levels punching, kicking and tossing stuff into the background.

Yet, if you use the same attack or defensive move often, a useless little icon appears on-screen to tell you that you are being cheesy. Hmm. This coming from people who managed to take a cool comic book franchise and produce this confusing mess?

The programmers gave us a strange race car mini-game to play while the game loads the levels and (I kid you not) totally bizarre battles with the likes of Dragon Man and (yes) Iceman.

I suspect that Iceman was originally supposed to be the Silver Surfer, but these battle sequences between levels are just strange.

Eventually you travel to Doom’s tiny kingdom for a final battle. If you manage to beat Doom you are treated to a horribly short ending.

The Bottom Line

I loved the Iron-Man/XO game and had high hopes for the Fantastic Four.

So many of the mistakes are just so obvious, that you have to wonder if this game was somehow rushed or drastically edited, because it just seems like a giant, confusing mess.

On the plus side, it is one of the few Playstation 1 side-scrolling games that allow you to play with a friend. If you love the comic book series, you may want to get a hold of the game and play it over a weekend with a friend. Yet, be prepared for confusion and disappointment.