When they announced that the next Scribblenauts game would include characters and settings from the DC Comics Universe, I was excited. That's a lot of history to pull from, and with Scribblenauts' reputation of including tons of things you wouldn't expect, I was hopeful we'd see more than just Superman, Batman, and a few of the Justice League.
What I got was so much more than I expected, and yet, was still a bit lacking.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (Wii U [reviewed], 3DS, PC) Developer: 5th Cell Publisher: Warner Brothers Games Released: September 24, 2013 MSRP: $59.99 (Wii U), $39.99 (3DS, PC)
So, how did the world of DC Comics and the game of Scribblenauts come together? For the uninitiated, Scribblenauts centers around Maxwell and Lily, a brother and sister who each posses a magical item. Max's notebook can conjure up anything he writes in it, and Lily's globe can take them to any location.
Maxwell gets the brilliant idea to slap a page from his notebook with "Gotham City" written on it onto the globe to be taken to their world. Unfortunately, the word "Doppleganger" was somehow on the back of this paper, and Maxwell's evil twin is let loose in the DC Universe, joining up with the villains. After a chance meeting with Batman, they are all now in search of the starite bits that escaped from Lily's globe that broke when they landed in Gotham City.
As you complete tasks around town you earn reputation, which allows you to unlock more cities from the DCU. Metropolis, Oa, Atlantis, and more are all available. Tasks range from the simple to the bizarre, such as a guy who wants to be taken to the Wayne Manor roof where there is a trap door ... that leads nowhere, or the security guard who simply wants a glass of ice water.
At Wayne Manor, Batman and Alfred give Maxwell access to the Batcomputer where he can pull up just about everything in the DCU for use in the game. Want to call upon Green Lantern? You can either write his name in the notebook, or pull him up via the Batcomputer. But that's not all, oh no. You can also specify which version of Green Lantern, be it Hal Jordan, Guy Gardener, Kyle Raynor, Jon Stewart -- the level of detail in the minuscule facts of the characters are amazing.
If you're playing on Wii U or PC, the Batcave also houses the Hero Creator, where you can design your own heroes for summoning in the game. Want to make some Marvel hero look-a-likes? Sad that Neil Gaiman's Sandman isn't in the game? Make them here. There are loads of tools and outfits available.
When in a mission, however, is when the game starts to fall apart. While there are tons of words in the game that can be used to conjure up items, heroes, and more, how they act in the game tends to be hit or miss. Want Superman to melt some ice with his heat vision? Well, you can summon him, but he may just stand there. Likewise, tapping on the ice and using the word "melt" makes it drip, but it never really melts away. It's as though the game promotes creativity, but only the creativity the programmers designed into it.
The game's main story missions are the most fun, where you'll interact with the characters from the comics and stop the villains from grabbing the starite bits, utilizing the book in the coolest scenarios. However, the instances between these where you earn your reputation points only seem to be menial tasks at best, used to stretch out the game length. Some don't even make any sense, and by the time you've figured out what you're supposed to do, some instances end without warning, such as the man beating up the guy dressed as Julius Caesar. By the time I figured out how to stop them, Caesar was dead, and there's no way to reload the instance as they're all randomly generated as it is.
Sadly, these types of puzzles must be completed, as the reputation you earn unlocks more places to find starite missions, but hopping from place to place usually opens up better missions if you don't like or can't figure out the ones you have presently. Also, you can only earn half of the reputation points for a task if you use a word you've already used on that map. Switching areas helps negate that.
From time to time, Mr. Mxyzptlk appears and issues a challenge for that level, such as not allowing you to solve any puzzles using a weapon, or only using words that begin with a certain letter. This certainly opens up the creativity, and these are some of the best moments of the game for me as it presented me with a more challenging way to solve things. However, I still would run into trouble with finding just the right way to solve certain tasks, as certain puzzles seemed to only want one answer. Scaring a snake was one such puzzle, and summoning a mongoose really was the only option.
Playing on the Wii U is kind of a silly thing, as you spend the entire game looking at the GamePad rather than up at the TV screen, so the HD graphics don't really make much of an impression, though they are fantastic if you do happen to look up. There's an option to switch everything to the GamePad to free up the TV, which I highly recommend since you'll never really need the TV to begin with.
Scribblenauts Unmasked, when it boils down to it, is a good idea wrapped in poor execution. The main missions for grabbing the starites are fun, but the puzzles that you need to complete to gain reputation to unlock those missions seem to be there to stretch the game to it's 8-12 hour length.
The inclusion of the DC license is very cool, and the level of detail included with all the characters, vehicles, and lore is astounding, allowing the player to spend a ton of time in the Batcomputer checking out everything in the game, plus the familiar characters done in the Scribblenauts style is just so frikkin' cute that it's sickening. Still, getting everyone or everything to behave how you want in a mission or a puzzle makes thing just extra aggravating. Though there is a certain amount of satisfaction when summoning Aquaman and having the game tell you "Aquaman is not useful here." Ain't that the truth.
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.
Solar Pony Django So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will helpAgent9 Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit. Mike Martin I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice. CoilWhine I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.Parismio Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.KingSigy Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.OverlordZetta Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.Niero Desu How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silenceAmna Umen Don't forget [img]http://i.imgur.com/AlijIqq.gif[/img]Mike Wallace I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."Rad Party God I just tried out Skyforge, and...
[img]http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--wCowrD8c--/1423499241920185774.jpg[/img]Pixie The Fairy Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img]http://operationrainfall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/koshosho-4.jpg[/img]Gamemaniac3434 I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it.
Soon I will dust it.
I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust. CoilWhine Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).Gamemaniac3434 This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal.
Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results. Nekrosys So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.Solar Pony Django Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!Sr Churros Listening to Pokémon SoulSilver OST while doing some college work. Suddenly I feel a great amount of guilty taking over me for loosing my PokéWalker 2 years ago... :(OrochiLeona Ok you thanksgiving motherfuckers. 5 favourite Arcade games (as in coin-op) No order necessary. Go!