A few weeks ago, Dena Games released MARVEL Mighty Heroes for iOS & Android. It is a rather innovative game, in the sense that it allows 4 players to play simultaneously together to beat missions. Mighty Heroes is a 4 player MOBA style game that teams up 4 players to take on various missions, such as defeat the boss, survive, defend the structures, or destroy the structures. Mighty Heroes features a wide variety of playable characters as well as a enemies. Currently the enemies and missions are based off the Infinity arc in the comics.
Visually the game is very well designed. The models are “chibi-ish” with compressed bodies and large heads, which makes it look a bit cartoonish without seeming too childish. They also do well to give characters scale, for example the Hulk has a noticeably bigger model than Rocket Racoon. The levels, although basic, still look detailed enough that they differ from each other. The fluidity however greatly depends on your connection and your device. If you get a text while playing, you might as well kiss your momentum good bye since the screen will appear to freeze before catching up to the match.
The game play is simple and intuitive. Touch to move, touch to attack, touch an icon to switch characters or use a special ability. Unlike Contest of Heroes, each character has unique moves, models, and movements; Hulk leaps to places, Spider-Man swing, Captain America rolls, etc. The special moves look different from each other too, though many have the same affect. Each hero can be leveled up by using them on missions, or just having them on the active mission team. Your performance, or damage output, determines your rank among your comrades and how many event points you will get for the completed mission.
Event points determine your rank on the leader boards, and your rank on the leader board determines what rewards you will get as well if you will climb to higher tiered ranks. Also you are awarded in game items for acquiring certain amount of points. These items range from extra energy to play the game, experience boosters for your characters, or even new characters. There are also 4 types of characters (Range, Defender, Striker, Generalist) which have strengths and weaknesses to each other, that help determine what characters to use on missions.
Players are awarded a free character recruit every 24hrs, and have the option to purchase rarer characters with increased chances if they use their gold. More gold can be slowly and rarely earned by playing the game, or can be bought via in-app purchases. Characters can be upgraded by using ISO-8 to increase the level of their special attacks, or by recruiting other costumes of the same character. However if the same character is recruited with the same costume and that character’s special is maxed out, it will be converted to ISO-8. I’ll explain in a bit why this is a horrible system.
Overall, the game is fun and worth the download, but it is not without it’s flaws.
This game like previous Marvel games: Contest of Heroes and Puzzle Wars, will hit a point where you have to have higher leveled and rarer characters to play. You start off with the Hulk who can get to level 30, but level 30 soon becomes extremely weak and the player will basically be a distraction while stronger characters do all the work.
Also the power scales of the characters is annoyingly off. There is no way a level 20 Hawkeye should have a higher attack then a level 24 Hulk. Hawkeye and Punisher have some of the highest base and max attacks out of all the characters I’ve used. It makes no sense. The character type system also plays a very inconsistent role in the game, so I do not know how to really react to it. It never hurts to follow it though.
The point where it becomes an obvious cash grab is the character level up system. Players receive a free daily recruit, which usually winds up being Gamora or Nick Fury. The problem comes with the leveling up. If you recruit a character you already have it either increases the character’s special ability level, give a special ability, increase the character’s max level, or turns into Iso-8. If it would continually increase the max level of the character and upgrade them to higher tiers, it would be a great game. But what usually ends up happenings is that, once the specials are maxed, it just gets converted into Iso-8, which is mainly used to upgrade special abilities. So it’s pretty pointless when you recruit the same hero.
A few other annoyingly things that make it an obvious cash grab, when the new events start the earlier levels are not any easier than the later levels. So a maxed out character will have trouble fighting the enemies and bosses in the first level of the next event. Again, there is not way to get stronger except for shelling out money and hope you get higher tiered characters. You do have the option of spending energy points to multiply your attack, but it quickly becomes necessary if you want to be a contributing factor in game for those who do not buy the higher ranked characters.
Skill quickly becomes pointless, because it is impossible to be the best without spending money. Also the log-in bonus clock is on a 24 hour cycle so you end up checking in later and later into the day, which is a way to mess up your daily log ins which you so patiently wait for. The obvious tactics to get players to spend money is insulting and really takes away from what would otherwise be a great mobile game.
Marvel Mighty Heroes starts off as a fun little game that lets you team up and take control of your favorite Marvel characters, sans the ones owned by Fox. It allows you to team up with your friends and all play the same game together. It is a fun, and slightly addicting game that doesn’t immediately feel like it’s trying to take your money. However it eventually falls into the usual cash grab of Marvel Mobile Games, where you can’t be good at the game unless you spend the money to get the good stuff or wait for some random lucky draw where you get a decent character. The game does vary the missions and events which do give it some longevity. I say the game is worth checking out, but definitely not worth investing any money into.
Marvel Mighty Heroes: 5/10
+ 4 Player Live Cooperative Gameplay
+ Intuitive and fluid controls
+ Rotating Events and Missions to keep from being obviously repetitive
– Free Fun ends fast, and becomes obvious cash grab
– High demand of phone resources and uses quite a bit of data
– Connection and game play easily affected and will ruin game play.