October 24, 2011

Become a Superhero


Lasting First Impressions of PowerUp Heroes from Ubisoft

PowerUpHeroes boxardOkay, 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!

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of The OMG! Hour, our weekly podcast. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.


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  1. Ben

    Hey Sean, do you think this will be something you pick up from time to time to play.. or it’s something you will finish and never pick up again?

    • Sean

      Really great question. In my initial hour playing the game, I only reached level 2 and, from looking at the achievements, there are 20 levels to increase to. This leaves quite a lot of gameplay left to go. In addition, PowerUp Heroes also has multiplayer available so you can battle your friends locally or on Xbox Live. You can just jump in and fight any opponent you want instead of playing the campaign too. It’s definitely a game I think will last much like any traditional fighting game does.

  2. Jeff

    My kids LOVE this game. What child hasn’t day dreamed about being a super hero? This is the first game I’ve seen that actually lets kids square off against villains in a way that really makes them feel like they’re part of the action. They punch, kick and perform all the super-move actions I played in traditional fighting games when *I* was a kid… it’s great fun to watch.

    It’s also got a great split screen mode. It’s hilarious to see my older two duke it out, throwing fireballs and whatnot.

    Great game. Well done Ubisoft!

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