Time to save the world!!
Posted 1 year ago By - Rory Young
When one thinks of the term “marriage made in heaven”, a few examples come to mind: peanut butter and chocolate, a road trip and the Tragically Hip, Bogart and Bacall, me and Jo Garcia, etc... However, there’s another beautiful friendship that has given hope to all of those motion-peripheral doubters within the gaming community: Ubisoft and the Xbox 360’s Kinect motion sensor. If there is one developer out there who knows exactly how to harness the power of Microsoft’s little black Wall-E, it’s Ubisoft. Their stellar Kinect line-up includes Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Child of Eden, and Just Dance 3, to name a few. Not one of them, however, holds a candle to the pure Kinect-harnessing power of the recently released PowerUp Heroes.
Simply put, PowerUp Heroes is a third-person, turn-based fighting game that uses your Xbox 360 Avatar as the protagonist. You are a superhero, given the responsibility of stopping an evil villain named Malignance. He has invaded Earth in order to enslave the entire human race, with an eye towards total domination of the universe. An intergalactic hero crash-lands on Earth in pursuit of Malignance, and before he dies, he passes on his powers to the nearest human being, which happens to be you.
There are four game modes to explore in PowerUp Heroes. The campaign allows you to start from the beginning of the story, and as you defeat each enemy, you gain the powers of their respective suits, along with experience that can be spent later on to unlock upgrades and reach new levels. The Versus mode can be played with a friend via split-screen for some local PvP action. The Tournament mode is played with three or four players, where each can use their own profile and avatar in an attempt to determine who is the best fighter. There is also a very-necessary Practice Mode, where one can learn the ropes, so to speak, by getting some hands-on time with the suits, chains and combos. There is also an online component in which you can challenge friends or random players to a fight, either ranked (with leaderboard support) or quickmatch (i.e. unranked).
Before taking on an opponent, you can choose two Supersuits that you’d like to use. Each suit has three different Super Attacks. The player performs the attacks by doing specific moves and poses with their body. In the lower righthand corner of the screen, there is an animated character above each attack icon, showing you how to pull off each one. After using a super attack, it needs time to recharge. When the player performs the correct move, the animated instructor will move to the next Super Attack to continue the assault. Super Attacks can be chained together to inflict huge damage to your opponent, and you are even able to switch between the two suits to perform different combos. The Supersuit can be changed at anytime by raising the left arm above the head. While the Super Attacks are recharging, there are a couple of basic moves that can be performed to keep your enemy at bay. The player can launch projectiles by punching forward towards the screen, or raise their knee to enter into a close-combat sequence, where you can follow the on-screen prompts to punch and kick your opponent to wear them down. Of course, the enemy can also launch their own attacks, so it’s best to know how to defend. You need to follow five successive moves that are in the middle of the screen, in order to successfully defend yourself. You can also dodge attacks by leaning your body left or right. There is also a Rage mode, which can be accessed when the gauge is full. Rage gives you more power and more resistance against attack. It also instantly recharges all Super Attacks. As I noted earlier, each enemy you defeat in the campaign mode gains you the powers of their Supersuits, which can then be used in future fights. There are twenty suits in total, and it’s a complete blast to discover all of the different Super Attacks!
Is there anyone who didn’t want to be a superhero when they were a kid? Ubisoft has given us the power to do just that with PowerUp Heroes. It is much more satisfying to perform the gestures and movements needed to pull off the Super Attacks and to knock out an opponent, than it is to mash buttons, desperately trying to remember complicated combos. The campaign is a ton of fun, and each opponent gets more challenging as you go along, but not so challenging that my seven-year-old daughter couldn’t defeat the enemies in the later stages. The campaign is relatively short by today’s gaming standards, but it is infinitely replayable, as you can go back and fight any opponent and gain more experience as many times as you want. As with any Kinect title, there’s always a question of responsiveness, though there is certainly no worry here. With twenty suits, and three super attacks per suit, one would think that Kinect might have trouble differentiating between moves. Yet, I didn’t have a single issue with the sensor picking up all our various body positions, and that speaks volumes about the expertise that Ubisoft has with the Kinect peripheral. Visually, PowerUp Heroes is impressive. The Super Attacks are fully realized, both in sight and sound, allowing for a totally immersive and realistic experience (well, as realistic as a superhero can be, anyways!). But, as with all Kinect titles, this game is about the gameplay, and PowerUp Heroes passes with flying colors!
Ubisoft has nailed it! By no means should PowerUp Heroes be considered a game just for kids. With the Versus and Tournament modes, this game is perfect for parties, and perfect for showing off what Kinect can do. The fun factor is immense, and it’s a real treat to slip into the different Supersuits to unleash attacks on your enemies. PowerUp Heroes now ranks with Rise of Nightmares and The Gunstringer as must-haves for Kinect owners!
+ Lots of suits and powers!
+ Perfect for individuals, or families
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Release Date : 2011/10/18
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Montreal
Category : Action
ESRB : E10+
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