Ubisoft have really stepped up when it comes to supporting the Wii U with great examples like Assassin’s Creed 3 and ZombiU leading the charge as well as the excellent looking Rayman Legends due in just a month too. Yes there have been some so-so additions, but overall the performance has been likely the best from any publisher so far (Nintendo included). So where does Battle for Earth fall? Originally released on Xbox 360 using Kinect, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth is a fighter that wasn’t especially exciting on Microsoft’s console and doesn’t necessarily benefit much from Nintendo’s neither.
Battle for Earth is not your typical fighting game. First of all the camera is placed behind your character instead of offering the standard side-on view, and movement is limited to sidestepping left and right to dodge. Attacks are mostly mapped to the touch screen of the GamePad and in addition, the game utilizes a tag-team system in which fighters are switched at the press of a button.
Each character has three special moves that need to be charged before use as well as a projectile, and a kick which only require a partial charge. Attacking with basic moves simply requires tapping the icon on the screen, while special moves require a tap followed by tracing a basic pattern on the GamePad touch screen. Breakers meanwhile send an enemy to the ground and cease any ongoing combos, while Ultra moves are cinematic super-attacks that deal great damage by rapidly touching the touch screen. That’s pretty much all there is to Battle for Earth.
Using the GamePad is a novel and at first fun way of playing the game offering something different to the usual button presses of most fighters, but thanks to the overly simplistic gameplay this ultimately starts to become repetitive. The difficulty too isn’t especially tough with wins often the result of random tapping against your opponent.
In addition to the default GamePad play, you can also use your old Wii Remote and Nunchuk with moves controlled via a mix of motions and button presses. It works fine but offers nothing we haven’t seen before from the many fighters before it. Motion controlled manoeuvres also have a habit of being a little too pinnikity.
The game’s campaign features a story that focuses on the Secret Invasion arc from the Avengers. Complete with voice acted cut scenes between battles, what you essentially have is a series of fights padded out by a so-so storyline. The only real draw to actually playing through this mode is to unlock more characters. Also included is a standard Arcade option, Versus mode and perhaps the most interesting addition, Challenges mode. Here you must win fights whilst meeting certain requirements such as not using special moves. Overall the amount of content feels fairly slim and with little variety in the proceedings it only makes this flaw more apparent.
The roster includes a decent selection of Avengers, X-Men and villains so you’re bound to see some of your favourites make an appearance. The problem however is that there is little variation between each character. Everyone has the same style of basic attacks, same array of three super moves that it makes picking Spiderman over Wolverine or the Hulk over Loki seem irrelevant. The same can be said for the stages themselves which total a disappointing five in all and again offer nothing truly unique in each. Like the characters you’re just getting a change in backdrop and nothing more.
Presentation-wise Battle for Earth is decent. The characters look great and the colours are bright and bold. Special moves too pop and amaze with plenty of explosions, fire and other typical comic book style events.
Owners of the Wii U are itching to get their hands on the next big game at the moment but sadly a fighter like Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth isn’t going to satisfy said itch. What was originally an okay Kinect title is now an… okay Wii U title. While not outright bad, it’s tough to recommend Battle for Earth with its lacking content and fairly shallow gameplay. If you’re looking for a decent comic book fighter it may be better waiting for DC’s effort come April.