Fantastic Four: One Lost Cause
Activision didn't do a bad job with the original Fantastic Four game, which included a script by the film's writer and the voice talent of all the main actors. Visual Concepts, best known for creating great sports games, on the other hand, should stick with what it knows.
The shoddy Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, based on the recent film, gets old long before you make it to the end -- an ending that makes no sense because the game omits Galactus, a major film character. The developer also somehow managed to make Jessica Alba look bad -- on next-generation consoles, no less. And that's not her voice, or any of the other actors', in this game, and you can tell.
Comic book characters are iconic because of their super powers. For some reason, those abilities are limited in this game. The Thing can crash only through certain walls. Sue Storm is invisible only to certain laser beams. Mr. Fantastic can stretch only to reach certain objects (usually levers -- oh, how fun). The Human Torch can fly only about 15 feet high. Toss in repetitive button-mashing against comic baddies and a plot that botches the film's story and you get one game to avoid.
Rise of the Silver Surfer can be finished in six hours, tops. Along the way, you'll see environments from the movie, such as Skrull lair, New York City and Shanghai, but they look only halfway-decent on the next-gen versions and horrible on the PS2 and Wii games. Although the game supports as many as four players, it's so boring that adding friends to the mix won't really do much to improve the experience. You're much better off playing Activision's Marvel: Ultimate Alliance from last year, which features the Fantastic Four and is far better than this super lame offering.
-- John Gaudiosi
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Teen; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($60); Wii ($50); PlayStation 2 ($40)2K Games/Visual Concepts