I expected an awesome game.
I have been "DC-eived"!
Coming off my first real introduction to the 5th Cell's Scribblenauts series with Unlimited at the Wii U's launch, I was ecstatic when word of a sequel was heading to the platform. The good news did not end there. The sequel would have the DC license attached to it, offering over 2,000 superheroes and villains from DC Comics' illustrious history, such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, The Joker, The Riddler, Darkseid, The Cheetah, and many more. Unfortunately, with a game series that already has thousands of unique objects to bring into protagonist Maxwell's world, the addition of DC Comics characters is nothing more than a novelty than anything else.
Scribblenauts Unmasked takes Maxwell, the owner of a coveted and powerful notebook, and his sister Lily on an adventure through the pages of DC Comics' various franchises. A doppelganger of Maxwell teams up with supervillains of all shapes and sizes to cause havoc. It's a cheerful tale that does its best to stay cutesy. Nonetheless, superhero personalities like Superman and Batman, built from decades upon decades of comics and inner monologues, end up lost in the generic and all too wordy text dialogue of Unmasked. There's little to distinguish characters from one another personality-wise.
|It'd be a dog-gone shame if the Joker|
and Harley got away.
|Isn't that the dream of every superhero?|
|"This is Captain Maxwell of QNBC reporting|
no accidents for your evening commute home."
When you have a series that has had more than a few sequels already, it's always nice to see some effort put into changing up the formula. It's actually quite admirable on the part of the designers, who could have easily went with an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type mentality. However, even those with the best of intentions can create something less than desirable.
|Hey Flash, didn't your mother ever tell|
you not to run with scissors?!
Many times in stages I would automatically fail a random challenge just because something totally beyond my control would happen, such as an AI interacting with an object that, without my having clairvoyant powers, I couldn't even try to know what I was supposed to do before it made me fail the mission.
|Wonder Woman's wonderful home of Themyscira.|
|...Have we met before?|
For those seeking a starting point to the Scribblenauts series, there's far worse entries to jump into than Unmasked. However, for those who want the pinnacle of the series, Unmasked is also not the game you're looking for. Sure, the novelty of summoning DC Comics heroes and villains is interesting at first, but it's an interest that quickly fades. Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure just has too many faults to recommend as a must-play game, such as its flawed reputation system to unlock stages and its randomized missions being more often a bust than a boom.
[SPC Says: 6.5/10]