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Previews

Justice League Heroes

We slip into spandex and battle evil in Eidos' answer to Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

With a Superman game still hanging out there in the ether somewhere, fans of the Man Of Steel are probably pinning their hopes on Justice League Heroes for a little Kryptonian-style ass kicking.

You saw a man fly at the cinema (well, about five people did), so here he is in glorious tiny-render-rama! It's a shame really, because although we sort of enjoyed this guilty slice of camp, it has been upstaged tenfold by the far superior Marvel Ultimate Alliance (a whole galaxy of characters rather than a handful). It also seems a little slow in comparison, especially poor old Supes who, rather than do his famous 'speeding bullet routine' looks more like he's being pulled around on a kite.

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Justice League is shaping up into a solid enough experience. Superman can interact with just about every facet of scenery, which includes the ability to pick up cars and fly with them (or swing them about like baseball bats) while the other superheroes are just as formidable. Wonder Woman has the rather handy knack of being able to render enemies useless by lassoing them together to prevent further attacks. They won't actually be killed but it helps the other player and takes the heat out of a combat situation.

Unlike Marvel, the re-spawn option is rather interesting. If a character dies in Marvel it's returned to the character menu to 'rest' for a period of time before becoming selectable again. Justice League requires that you hit re-generating checkpoints throughout though. These must first be triggered by walking past them (or else you fail to hit a 'checkpoint'), but if a member of your team dies, you have to retrace your steps to regenerate them again. This can be pretty tricky, having to wade back through trouble to save your buddy, but it's an interesting aspect of the game. It's just a shame they didn't give us one or two checkpoints mid-boss battle. But that would be cheating wouldn't it?

See, the first boss we encounter is Brainiac. He's a hard bastard if ever we saw one, and throws lasers, trip wires, walking mines and a serious aural blitz at you. Taking him on with two players is hard enough, but with just the one it's nigh on impossible. Justice League Heroes, it can be safely said, works much, much better as a two-player experience. Trust us on that one.

The benefits of having a mate play (apart from making it easier of course) is that one of you can be a flying character, tackling trouble from above, and splitting the enemy's attention in two (united they stand, divided they fall and all that). We loved the fact that Superman could happily spend the entire game in the sky, while the likes of Flash or the Green Lantern duked it out on the ground. It makes combat easier, and makes earning those all important power-ups that much more satisfying.

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Once Superman's laser-vision was honed he was able to melt just about anything by blinking at them. What a guy! It's just a shame his voice-samples were stuck on loop. All he'd ramble after EVERY successful strike was: 'NOW we're getting somewhere!'. If you say so Supes.

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