The handheld-only, Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril, from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games, boasts many of the same features as its console sibling, Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Once again, players climb into the skins and costumes of a wide range of iconic characters, including Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man, each of whom has their own distinct abilities, e.g., Iron Man can fire laser beams and fly, Spider-Man can shoot and swing from webs.
Then there is the Hulk, who is enormous compared to the Lego avatars that came before him, and can toss around vehicles and all sorts of in-game objects with ease.
The console version had more of an open world feel, letting players roam and go on side missions. By comparison, Universe in Peril seems more straightforward, which is not to say it isn’t fun: In fact, its direct approach might be perfectly appealing to gamers who want to drop right into a melee with Doctor Octopus. Also, the Nintendo 3DS version makes good use of the hardware’s special features: For example, to make Spider-Man swing around on his webs, one simply makes an upward motion on the touchscreen.
As its own unique take on a superhero epic, Universe in Peril benefits as much as its console counterpart from a universe built on Legos. Players may cut a swath of impressive destruction through New York City and other locales, but when objects explode into colorful Lego building blocks, it somehow makes the events seem less violent, and more slapstick-y. Similarly, when a player’s avatar gets killed, it topples and reverts into component Lego pieces. The implied message seems to be that it’s never game over, just time for a quick rebuild.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril is available now for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.