Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects for PSP has you battling with 18 super heroes from the Marvel Comics and Electronic Arts universes. Some of the characters you get to play in the game are as follows: Wolverine, Thing, Venom, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Dr. Doom, The Wink, Hazmat, Johnny Ohm, Fault Zone, and more from both companies. The battles that rage between these heroes and villains take place in large arenas where you move around in 3D space and have the ability to pick up cars, crates, spears, and other objects to use as weapons to swing and throw at your opponents. All of this sounds cool, doesn’t it? Well, don’t get your hopes up or you may be disappointed.
When I first heard of Marvel Nemesis from Electronics Arts all I could think of was a 3D version of the Marvel vs. Capcom series and that peaked my interest. Well, once I played Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects I realized that I set my hopes too high and it wasn’t even close to that classic company versus company fighting game. Marvel Nemesis just isn’t that good, which is a shame. It is not like Electronic Arts had to have this game out alongside a movie or anything, so I don’t know why they didn’t take a little longer to get it right.
Marvel Nemesis has some good things in it, like its character selection, comic book style interface, and the collectable cards you earn by beating characters in the game, but it also has a bunch of problems that outweigh the good things. The level design is kind of plain and none of the levels really jump out at you. You can interact with the levels a little, but mostly this involves picking up cars, crates, and a few weapons scattered around the level. This would give you the false sense that the game is maybe a little like Power Stone from the Sega Dreamcast days, but it can’t even touch that game’s fun factor. The battles seem to last too long a lot of times and all you really do most of the time is press the attack button, super-power button, and special enhancement buttons that allow you to use the power-ups given to you by the cards you collect.
Marvel Nemesis’s graphics are okay, but nothing special and I have seen better on the PSP. The character models look decent but the whole level design and characters remind me of something a free roaming game like Grand Theft Auto or Spider-Man would have. These games have less graphic detail, since they have to keep the whole city and everything in it in the systems memory at one time to avoid loading in the middle of the level. You are able to move around in the levels in Marvel Nemesis, but they are not very big and you can easily see all sides of the level from anywhere you stand in them. Once again, Marvel Nemesis isn’t as impressive as you would expect for a high profile game like this.
The sound effects and music in Marvel Nemesis are decent and you will hear things breaking and punches and kicks landing on your enemies while instrumental music similar to what you may have heard in one of the blockbuster super-hero movies over the past few years plays. I don’t have too many complaints about the music and sound effects in the game, since they are decent, but sometimes the sound effects don’t seem to fit with what is happening on the screen for some reason. The music is decent and fit’s the super-hero style gameplay, but it isn’t anything special either.
Controlling you characters in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is also not perfect. You will lose track of your opponent sometimes and trying to throw things at them is also difficult more often than not. I also noticed myself just mashing the buttons and winning the battles and anyone that is into mastering all the moves in a fighting game probably won’t have much to look forward to in this game. You can also jump and fly with some of the characters in the game, but I didn’t seem to use that options much in the game either. The controls are not bad, but could’ve used some more work to make them better.
The gameplay modes consist of Quickplay, Multiplayer, and Campaign. Campaign is where you will spend most of your time, since you have to beat the game with different characters to unlock new ones. This is one of my biggest problems with Marvel Nemesis. You only start off with two characters (The Thing and Johnny Ohm), even in Quickplay mode, and you have to play through the game over and over to unlock more characters. Most fighting games allow you to unlock some characters as you play through the game, but at least they give you eight or more characters to choose form at the start. Having only two characters to choose from at the beginning of the game really narrows your selection and if you don’t like either of these characters, then you will have to play with them anyways just to unlock someone you like. I don’t know why Electronic Arts did this, since they have 18 characters in the game and could’ve easily given you eight characters at the beginning with ten more unlockable or something like that. Quickplay is just your normal versus mode and the Multiplayer mode lets you play versus one other person who has the game and a PSP. Even the story in the Campaign mode seems unfinished to me. The character cards, menus, and load screens have cool comic book character drawings on them to fit with the comic book theme, but the story is told on one screen with a paragraph of text between each level. They could’ve made this part of the game a lot better by having comic book pages that told the story instead of a paragraph of text in comic book font that you have to read to figure out what is happening in the simple storyline.
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is a good name for this game, since it is definitely imperfect and not up to the standards you would expect in a game made by Electronic Arts and featuring Marvel Comic book characters. When I first heard about this game I was excited to see what EA would come up with, but after playing it I realize that I will have to continue to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on my Sega Dreamcast if I want to play a good Marvel Comics fighting game. If you really want a comic book game for your Sony PSP, then I recommend looking for X-Men Legends II instead.
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