LittleBigPlanet PSVita is a virtually unlimted supply of gaming packed into one little cartridge. I loved it when I reviewed it in September. The amount of imagination that some of you have is simply unbelievable. There is an almost infinite supply of levels to choose from the community. But if you wanted another few from those that made the game then this little piece of DLC may be right up your alley. Especially if you are a Marvel Comics fan.
The Marvel Arcade Pack is in effect three created levels themed around the Marvel characters and in typical LBP style will see you pushing yourself to unlock every single sticker, asset, decoration or trophy that each contains. That’s right, I said trophy. I should say trophies, since there are 30 in total spread across the three levels, ten per level.
The first game is Hero Rush which is a side scrolling level in which you choose from three Marvel heroes and try to cover as much ground as you can whilst avoiding the obstacles. The characters and graded in difficulty and you have one of each available through the level, when one dies then next jumps in and again until all three have been defeated. With a variety of jumping or shooting you keep going along until you meet a “boss” and then continue until you cannot anymore. Every so often there will be a barrage of missiles to destroy and/or avoid, and the game will gradually increase in speed. The characters available to you are Iron Man, The Human Torch, Nova and Storm in the “easy” section, Thor, Star-lord, The Invisible Woman and Black Bolt in the “medium” and for “hard” you have Elecktra, Punisher, Spider-man and Hawkeye. They essentially handle the same in each class though. All shoot projectiles, but the difficulty is graded on how much they can jump. Those in the first class can all hover repeatedly by holding the button, the second class can also reach the top but you have to tap the button and the third selection can only jump twice. This obviously makes for jumping over obstacles very difficult.
Of the three games, this one was my least favourite, but that may have had more to do with me not being that good at it than anything else. It is the one game where you do get a sense of being one of the heroes though.
Mainly because in S.H.I.E.L.D Interceptor you just control the Avengers Quinjet – rather than any characters – through multiple waves of Chitauri ships and you must hold off the invasion. Over a campaign of 25 missions you can upgrade your ship with special moves and better weapons, some of which are familiar Marvel character signature moves. Every ship you destroy will yield a coin, and you can get quite a pretty good score multiplier going, especially in the later waves. This is essential if you want to get the gold medal. The coins earned can then be exchanged for upgrades and so on. This one is very addictive, a nod to the side scrolling shooters of old and as you progress through the campaign you will encounter many different and more difficult enemies with shields, and the world around you will shoot lasers and all sorts at you. It can get crazy with so much shooting at you, but it’s all good fun.
There is another mode too, which is called Gauntlet. This is a survival mode with no health regenerations or breaks, just an onlaught of enemies with increasing difficulty. The aim here is to score as high as you can.
Avengers: Ultimate Escape is themed around a maze and you tap the screen to move your heroes around and towards the exit. The aim is to collect every single coin within each arena, and you have four avengers available to use, and each is grouped in their own “issue” of mazes. Captain America is able to move freely and us his shield to block lasers. He can also move crates around. Hulk literally smashes through the maze and stops whenever he hits a wall and you cave to coordinate him around. Iron Man uses his thrusters and skips over a block/obstacle and you need to use teleporters to line him up correctly with the exit and Thor is able to speed to where you tap and charge power switches to help manouvre the arena. Each character has two sets of missions and then after that you get some more to unlock which require the use of multiple characters, pairing Captain America and Hulk, and then Thor with Iron Man. Making the best use of the abilities is essential as both parties need to make the exit. As you successfully navigate these ones you see that the best has been saved for last. All four working together.
All three levels share the same theme of complete the objective and earn coins to unlock the bonus materials. Completing sections of the missions may be reasonably easy, but getting the perfect score, longest distance and reaching the best scores will take you quite a while. The visual style of the game is very much a comic book feel and suits the levels well. If you were looking for any criticisms for the game, then you may cite the price for three levels or that you may have to repeat the levels many times over to try and get the trophies. Perhaps those of you that already had a platinum in LBP may feel that they have to get it to not miss out.
But you should get it, because it’s a near perfect addition to a near perfect game, and if you have been looking for a reason to fire LBP back up, this is surely it. Even more so if you are a Marvel fanatic.