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Nintendo Wii Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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Sharing only the basic concept from its current generation counterparts, the Wii is the recipient of a different Fantastic Four title based off yet another 2007 summer blockbuster. While not a great game by any stretch, the tight combat and mild RPG sensibilities are fun to play around with, even when the motion controls are not. It’s a decent alternative to Ultimate Alliance if the shaky controls of that action RPG are too much for you.

As with Ultimate Alliance, this quarter-view hybrid title is a rapidly paced adventure, with simple puzzles and straightforward action. All four characters are at the players disposal to deal out damage and gain experience points. All it takes is a flick of the D-pad to find your favorite hero.

Unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, combat here feels more controlled. You know when a hit has connected, instead of flailing fists around hoping to make contact in other editions. Fully performing a combo requires a specific movement of the Remote at the end to dish out full power, though the standard hit by tapping the A button seems to do just fine on its own (especially when leveled up).

Fusion attacks are the only control issue. Here the team combines for a heavy-handed attack, but the timing and various requirements on the motions are too much. This is where the controls feel tacked on, though playing through the entire game and avoiding these is completely possible.

Level design is standard dungeon crawler style, meaning plenty of door opening and switch pulling. There’s no question the game is monotonous, and leveling up is strictly controlled by the number of enemies in the level. You can’t sit around and farm if you’re having trouble.

Earning some new standard moves would have opened this up. As it stands, the minor RPG elements will turn off those looking for something deeper. It feels limited by the license since weapons or upgraded defense wouldn’t fit with the characters. The engine deserves a second chance, only in a dedicated action RPG.

Puzzle solving is also not a problem for even a child. The game tells or shows the player exactly what needs to be done and how to do it every time. There’s simply no challenge or thought required, further lowering this to the level of button masher when there was potential to be quite a bit more.

The only carry over from the PS3 and 360 versions are, sadly, the cinematics. These low rent pre-rendered scenes are simply terrible, and not all of the actors have their likeness or voice from the film. Graphics are otherwise clean without the minor coat of gloss noticeable on other platforms.

For beat-em-up fans not afraid to have their intelligence insulted by the hand holding, this is a decent licensed effort. While unremarkable, the combat does come together to provide some okay creature and robot smashing. If you require any level of depth, Fantastic Four is not what you’re looking for on the Wii.

Note to parents: The ESRB rating for this one was a bit much. The violence is minor, and any 10-year-old who saw the movie would have no problems controlling their favorite characters.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS, PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.