|System: Wii, X360, PS3, DS|
|Dev: Griptonite Games|
|Release: November 16, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p|
When you tire of the single-player game, you can jump on over to the Challenge Mode. Challenge Mode offers gameplay elements lifted right out of the single-player game and can be played with up to four players. There's not a single challenge that's even remotely entertaining, and at least one of the games is borderline broken. Iron Man Robo Racing put me behind the wheel of a kart so tiny I initially could not make out what type of game I was actually playing. Once I found my character on the track, I was left to bounce wildly off the track walls in a desperate attempt to make my way around the course five times. Super Smash, on the other hand, is simply more mindless button mashing – oh joy!
Cradling all this uninspired gameplay is a presentation that is almost criminal. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy the super-deformed appearance of the heroes of the Super Hero Squad, the visuals here look two generations old. The textures are blurry, and the environments are bland and blocky. Characters animate with an abrupt, robotic gait.
As I delved deeper into the adventure, I kept hoping the game would eventually get better. Instead, I was appalled by just how bad some elements of the game look. Close up, certain assets give the impression the game could have been an N64 title from over ten years ago. There's nothing particularly sloppy about the production values; the game just looks very low-budget, outdated, unoriginal, and somewhat vacant.
The audio components really do go hand-in-hand with the rest of the game's poor presentation. Musical themes are completely forgettable, and the sound effects do absolutely nothing to lend weight to the gameplay. The voice acting is perhaps serviceable in light of the tone THQ and Marvel seem to be going for with this game, but I was far from entertained.
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Ward is a pretty big disappointment for me. Though I have little interest in the related Cartoon Network series, I do relish pretty much all things Marvel – that is until now. The characters have been utterly ruined and the gameplay isn't even moderately entertaining. The package feels completely slapped together, with production values unfit for this generation of gaming consoles. "Good for Wii" is one thing; good for N64 is something altogether different. The extras are paltry, and the main gameplay component is pedestrian. Do yourself a favor and find another hero to rely on this holiday season.
CCC Freelance Writer