|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: n-Space||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 15, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Also, the action doesn't feel as frantic as it should in a good beat-'em-up, and there's little sense of momentum. The reason for this seems to be that the animations are very slow; a single button press locks your character up for some time, putting the brakes on the fighting. This also means that it's hard to time your attacks and blocks, and as a result you'll find enemies hitting you while your animations play out. This doesn't make the game impossible, but it makes the too-frequent difficulty spikes even tougher - at the outset, to be fair, you can choose between three difficulties.
Speaking of tough parts, this game makes a mistake that's a little too common in games today: it lets you revive downed allies (at the cost of a Fusion Star). This is fine in a game like Gears of War or Rainbow Six Vegas, where you only have one or two friends to worry about. When you have three or more allies, however, it interrupts the game too often. The hard sections become not merely difficult, and not even frustrating, but simply irritating, because whenever you get yourself in a pinch you end up spending all your time reviving instead of fighting. It's tempting to die on purpose just to start over. Here, the characters have long enough lives that this doesn't ruin the game on its own, but on top of everything else, it adds to the overall mediocrity of the title. It doesn't help that you have to go through the whole Fusion process (hold Z, shake the Nunchuk, and select your unconscious allies with the Wii-mote pointer) to perform a revive, either.
There are a few minor issues as well. For one, you can't play with friends online. Also, the breakable items take too long to give in to your punches. A few of the cutscenes seem to be exclusive to the Wii version, and are replete with aliasing and poor texture work.
Lots of Wii owners were excited about this title, and for good reason: its predecessor was a great example of what Wii versions of next-gen games can be. Unfortunately, they'll be sorely disappointed with what the developers churned out this time around. Despite the acceptable graphics and high-quality story, this one's not worth your while.
CCC Freelance Writer