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Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects Nintendo DS

Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, an introduction.

A few weeks ago now we reviewed Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects for the PlayStation 2. The game was below par to be fair and to make it worse the game was also unsuitable for deaf gamers. Here we have the Nintendo DS version of the game and thankfully there are no problems for deaf gamers here. However there are other problems that make the game even less appealing than the PlayStation 2 version.

What's the game about?

Whilst the PlayStation 2 version of Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects has a fully fleshed out story, the DS version simply feels like a game for one-off battles with no real plot to tie them all together. Game modes are limited to Play Now, Arcade Mode and Multiplayer. Play Now is essentially a one-off battle mode where you'll pick your character, rival and arena before battling it out. Arcade Mode is, rather confusingly, the game's story mode. Here you'll pick your character and take part in battles with the various Imperfects. You'll earn credits for winning battles in the Arcade Mode and you can even place wagers (up to 500 credits) on you winning the battle, which will result in an increased win bonus should you defeat your enemy. These credits can then be used to unlock items.

What's good about the game?

It's good to see multi-layered levels in a handheld game especially with the technological limitations these consoles place on developers. With 18 characters on offer in the game there should definitely be a character that everyone appreciates. Initially you'll only be able to fight as Wolverine and the Human Torch but characters such as Spider-Man, The Thing and Venom, to name but a few, will all be available to play as when you've unlocked them. You'll also be able to unlock extra battle arenas, costumes and comic art which Marvel enthusiasts should appreciate.

What's not so good about the game?

The game lacks a quality story. Between battles in the Arcade Mode there are snippets of dialogue shown in a single comic-strip style screen. These snippets of dialogue do nothing at all to create a semblance of a plot, which is disappointing and leaves the Arcade Mode feeling a little hollow. The controls don’t feel as intuitive as they should and don't really take advantage of the touch screen. The enemy AI doesn't feel right and even if you play on the hard difficulty setting (there are easy, normal and hard difficulty levels) the game isn't that much of a challenge. The AI also does some crazy things such as, seemingly attacking fresh air at times whilst at others going off the screen as if to avoid conflict altogether. The method for unlocking items in the game is rather gruelling. The credits you earn from winning battles in Arcade Mode are not sufficient and you'll need to win many battles before you can afford to unlock an extra character.

How does it look?

Graphically Rise of the Imperfects is not as good as it could have been. There are a few graphical glitches in the game but even if you ignore these the game still doesn't do the DS justice. The battles are carried out on the top screen and actually look very basic with no impressive effects to speak of. The character models look quite basic and the environments they battle in don't look that great either. It would have been better had the game adopted the classic 2D side-on perspective rather than the half-hearted 3D style that's present here. The comic book style artwork that's used for snippets that tie the battles together in the Arcade Mode look OK but are nothing special.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Whilst Rise of the Imperfects on the PlayStation 2 was a very poor experience for deaf gamers, on the DS there are no such problems. Of course due to the relatively small space on the DS game card it makes a lot of sense to use text instead of speech so the dialogue is probably delivered in text rather than speech out of necessity but still it makes for a better experience for deaf gamers. There aren't any captions or subtitles for any speech that occurs during a battle but this doesn't cause any problems.

Final thoughts.

Essentially Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is a game that just doesn't fit the DS. The game makes practically no use of the handhelds unique design and abilities and this results in a disappointing experience. The enemy AI is rather weak and has tendencies to do strange things. There's no real story to string the various battles together and to top it all off the game and the process by which you unlock the characters is simply drawn out. Had the game been enjoyable this wouldn't have been a problem. With a host of great games appearing for the DS this Christmas, it's difficult to recommend a game that just doesn't do the console any justice at all.


Overall Game Rating: 4.2/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects just doesn't suit the Nintendo DS at all and makes no real use of the console's unique features. The enemy AI does some really silly things and there's no quality story mode here to keep you interested.