REVIEW – Scribblenauts Unmasked – a DC Comics Adventure
After months of anticipation the latest Scribblenauts adventure is out, taking the popular series in a new direction, namely into the DC Universe. Series hero Maxwell and his twin sister Lily have a debate over who’s the better hero, batman or Superman, and decide the best way to find out is to go there and find out. So with the help of Maxwell’s magic notepad that can create anything he writes in it, and Lily’s magic globe that can transport them anywhere they like, they head for Gotham City, where things…so not go smoothly.
To answer the most important question first, the library of DC Characters the game can create is outrageously exhaustive. No Watchmen and no Milestone characters, but The Legion and the Substitute Legion, the Doom Patrol, the Challengers of the Unknown, the All-Star Squadron, and damn near member of the Justice League you can think of is in there – and yes, that means Ted Kord – all three Blue Beetles, in fact. It’s not perfectly complete: Eyeful Ethel, a failed Legion of Super Heroes candidate didn’t make the cut. And while Ralph Dibny, The Elongated Man, is in there, his wife didn’t make the cut. Which is odd because Jean Loring, in Eclipso form, did. While I found a few characters who weren’t in there, I was far more impressed with the ones who were.
The Big Bad in the game is Maxwell’s long-time enemy, Doppleganger, an evil version of Maxwell who sides with the DC Villains. In a happy change from past adventures, Maxwell’s sister Lily plays an active, albeit support role, providing Maxwell with news and assistance from the Batcave.
While the game is adorable to see, the characters chosen are not all cutesy-tootsie. One of your first missions in Gotham is to transport serial killer Mr. Zsasz to a prison helicopter. Oh, the fun as I had to explain to The Kid who he was and how he came to be…
The mechanics of the game are largely the same as usual for the series – presented with a number of puzzles to solve, you must surmount obstacles by creating items with your magic notepad. So, if standing before a cliff to have to scale, you could write “ladder” and a ladder would appear. Similarly, you could write “Grappling Hook,” “Jet pack” (at which point it would ask if you wanted Adam Strange‘s jetpack, Space Ranger’s, or a choice of several others), all of which would get you up the cliff equally successfully. Special bonus missions with special limitations offer extra bonuses. More than anything else, the game rewards creativity, both in the point values, and the sheer joy of success when you need to call for a doctor, and Dr. Mid-Nite appears.
In this game, a lot of the challenges are more combat based. Random villains will be causing mischief, and you are required to either arm yourself, or crate a hero to combat the spandex-clad menaces. The game has hundred of mini-missions to beat, and the missions change every time you enter a new location.
And WHAT locations – Starting in Gotham City, you slowly earn the chance to travel to Metropolis, Central city, Atlantis, and even Oa. More and more characters and props become available as you pregress, allowing you to wear gear and costumes of dozens of heroes.
The story is the same in both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game, with small gameplay differences on each platform. The Wii U version allows other players to interact with the game by using a Wii Remote while the main player uses the Gamepad. The 3Ds version uses streetpass, allowing players to unlock special uniforms and gear by exchanging data with other players automatically, just while walking around.
An already fun game series will get an introduction to a whole new audience who will not be disappointed with the story, or the selection of characters. Easy to pick up, and just as easy to stop and save when the real world beckons.Well worth your time.