Wednesday, December 5

Fantastic Four (2005) Review

Available on: PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, PC
The price I paid: £2.75 (eBay)
I played on: PS2
Notes: N/A

The Fantastic Four have not had much luck with their cinematic appearances as both incarnations of Marvel’s first family were a flop with fans and critics alike. The question is will they fare any better in the world of video games?

We start our story with the gang in space in order to monitor a cosmic storm. Of course, there are some miscalculations and the storm hits earlier than planned which leaves Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, Ben Grim and Victor Von Doom exposed to the cosmic rays. They then wake up in a hospital with brand new superpowers. This story is one most people will already know and it leads to the creation of the Fantastic Four, a group I’ve never liked. I find their leader Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic not to be of my taste, maybe it’s his male chauvinism or the fact that he has in the past hit his wife Sue Storm/Invisible Woman. The Fantastic Four were created in the early ’60s and because of this age, they have always felt behind the times and rather conservative. Both this game and the film it’s based on have done nothing to change my opinion on Mr Fantastic and his friends.

The gameplay is just your most basic action adventure game, you have simple combos and super moves. You’re able to switch between members of the team but they control almost the same just with different animations as well as certain missions locking members away from you anyway. The Fantastic Four does nothing to stand out from other games of the same genre leaving it feeling hollow. This is not helped at all by some of the dumbest AI I have ever seen in a game. At one point I had a boss get confused and face away from me allowing me to just stand there and use the same combos over and over until he fell down defeated. Another time I was playing as Mr. Fantastic with the AI Controlling the Invisible Woman and it kept walking her onto spikes causing her to lose health.

Visually this game ranges from mediocre to broken. For the most part, it’s just another PS2 experience with no unique art style setting it apart from other games similar to it. I will admit that the level set in an underground Shield base overrun with an AI looked stunning and was easily the highlight of the game. Then it’ll start to glitch or the camera will decide it’s had enough of all the violence and hides behind a wall or character. I had so many fights where I was just button mashing in a corner unable to see anything. The music is terrible with the same bland pop punk instrumentals playing again and again throughout the game. Most sound effects will not play leaving you in a world that feels too silent.

I had to restart levels numerous times due to being stuck in an area unable to progress only to replay the same section and have an event trigger the second time. During the Doctor Doom fight at the end of the game, I hit 0 health and just didn’t die becoming seemingly invincible. The game is filled with bugs from audio dropping out, the audio mixing changing at random and lots of other issues.

I don’t know what else is to be said about this poor excuse of a game. It’s just a generic action adventure game that feels unfinished and untested. If I had to sum this game up in one word it would be lazy. In summary, the four are anything but Fantastic in this adventure.

Recommendation Rating: 2 out of 10.

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