|Fantastic Four (2005)
Available for: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Box office success doesn’t always transfer over to video game goodness, so don’t expect “Fantastic Four” to be as enjoyable on the console as it was on the big screen. Instead, set your standards low and hope for the best with this beat-‘em-up button masher designed in the same vein as last year’s “X-Men Legends.” Boasting the voice talent of the film’s all-star cast and the addition of a co-op alternative, “Fantastic Four” may sound like a winner, but the final product is an unavoidable mess due to its buggy controls and uneventful gameplay.
Following the basic plot line of the film, the player is given complete control of all four superheroes as they take on the menacing Dr. Doom and other infamous Fantastic Four villains including Mole Man. Each hero has their own unique powers and abilities that can then be manipulated into powerful combos: Mr. Fantastic has the ability to attack enemies from far away; the Invisible Woman can, well, disappear, as well as freeze opponents; the Human Torch can shoot fireballs and ignite the environment around him; and the Thing is a walking bulldozer with powerful fists that dominate his enemies. The player can quickly switch between the different heroes by pushing a direction on the D-pad, but sometimes the game doesn’t recognize the appropriate selection and you’re left wondering which character you’re actually currently controlling.
The overall gameplay of “Fantastic Four” is rather uninspiring, and the lack of difficulty or any real strategy makes the experience a bore. The camera angles in the game are also some of the worst perspectives I’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t take long before you find yourself stuck in some wall or corner of the screen with nowhere to go. The one redeeming quality of “Fantastic Four” should have been in its cooperative gameplay, but even with two players controlling all of the action on the screen, it quickly becomes an incoherent mess with the player having to resort to button mashing just to make it through to the next level. While “Fantastic Four” appears to be a well-intentioned action/adventure game for fans of the comic book series, you’d be better off saving your money for a much more deserving, and fulfilling, rental.