This game is based on the 2005 movie Fantastic 4. A computer game being based on a movie license will instantly put off most jaded gamers who have any sort of long term memory, and that surely applies here as well. The basic premise is that of an action-based beat em up, with characters walking around levels and beating the ever loving crap out of foes. You can control Mr Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing. Settings change, new villains are fought, and minigames are encountered within various levels, but this doesn’t save Fantastic 4 from its rushed, bargain bin production.
Even if you’re a complete fan of the movie, the three-button mash masquerading as a fighting system will likely bore one to tears a few levels in. A much more robust set of combos would have helped liven things up, but no such luck here. Instead you unlock all of the cool stuff immediately, and then just upgrade your character stats.
Worse still, there’s a steady stream of bugs to ruin your fun, possibly due to the rushed development that we so often see with movies. Halfway through most boss fights, the game presents the option of a finishing move that will remove the rest of the enemy’s health in one instant. At times, however, this doesn’t work as it should, since many times you other enemies run in front of your character and the animation gets broken. Yet another bug in the first level seemingly prevented my progress as well, forcing a restart in that case.
The one interesting bit is the implementation of co-op mode for two players. Co-op takes the solo adventure and simply allows you to complete the game as a team. This works fine until you enter situations where one player has to do something which the other can’t, (example: turn invisible to pass a stealth segment) leaving at least one person to just wait while the other one clears the path forward. There’s really little else to tell here, other than once again we are presented with a half-baked, rushed, and not that interesting movie to computer game rendition. Throw this on top of the pile, as Fantastic 4 gets a fantastic 4 out of 10.
System Requirements: Pentium III 1 GHz, 256 MB RAM, Win98
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