Lasting First Impressions of PowerUp Heroes from Ubisoft
Okay, I never saw this one coming and I had no idea what it was when it arrived. PowerUp Heroes seemed to fly under the radar and just stealthily appeared in stores one day without a word. My first instinct, to be completely honest, was to pass this one by and not give it another thought. The box cover, after all, didn’t tell me much and the back didn’t elaborate too far either: “Unleash your powers to save the universe.” From that I still had no idea what kind of game it was and with games like Batman: Arkham City and Rocksmith releasing the same day, this game seemed to just get lost in the shuffle.
It’s really too bad because, surprising as it is, PowerUp Heroes is a fun little game and not one we should let slip by. Yes, it is a game for the younger audience, or the young at heart (which, I’m sure, is most of us) but it is also another quality Kinect title, of which we still have so few. Ubisoft has truly taken to the Kinect and, with titles like this one, their previous Kinect game, Child of Eden, and their premier fitness program, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, they are truly becoming known for the studio to beat when it comes to quality Kinect titles.
PowerUp Heroes tells the age old story of the Earth being attacked for the fifty billionth time. Only this time around, all of our heroes are otherwise occupied so there is only one hero left: You. PowerUp Heroes, to my pleasant surprise, is a fighting game along the lines of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat except that it uses Kinect. Using your Avatar as the in-game character, you basically perform specific actions to unleash powerful attacks on your enemies. Defeating each enemy as you progress through the campaign will add their unique powers to your available arsenal building you into the most powerful hero the earth has ever known.
The actions required to perform each power seem very natural and truly make you feel like you’re actually a super powered hero. Think of the famous Hadouken fireball attack that Ryu can perform in the Street Fighter series and imagine yourself performing it. Yup, that’s in there. Reach straight up and throw down in front of you to perform a massive lightning attack. Jump straight up to create a massive boulder out of the earth, and then push it forward to pummel your opponent. Each of the available powers are clearly displayed on screen so there is no need to remember all the different poses. Of course, basic punching and kicking are also available if you prefer the up close and personal melee attacks.
Currently, my avatar is dressed in a Batman suit, so seeing Batman fighting in this game and being superpowered at the same time brought a gleeful smile to my face. This game was such a simple joy to play. The menuing system is simple, straight forward and very responsive. Everything about this game is perfectly designed for Kinect. It is, without a doubt, one of the best Kinect experiences available today.
Ubisoft, I gave you an hour and I am joyfully IMPRESSED!