Marvel Super Hero Squad

Common Sense Media says

Loads of fighting with heroes but has funny, spoofy vibe.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While fighting is at the heart of the game, the team spirit and camaraderie between the characters is actually very sweetly good-natured. Playing cooperatively in "adventure mode" forces kids to get along in the same way.

Positive role models

It's hard to call anyone who resorts to physical fighting a role model, but these heroes -- in these incarnations -- are very likable. They always express desire to help one another, as well as the populace at large.

Ease of play

Controls are simple to grasp, although there are some unfortunate camera problems that make it difficult to see where you are going at certain times.There's an easy mode that lives up to its name, and plentiful health-bar power-ups make staying conscious a simpler task.

Violence

Superheroes punch, kick, and shoot energy beams at villains (and each other during "battle mode"). Wolverine has sharp claws, but his attacks don't appear to damage people in a  way different from other combatants. Some villains use laser rifles and energy bazookas (all beams, no bullets). There are grunts and shouts of pain when characters are hit, but defeated villains simply disappear.

Sex

Some of the female heroes wear slightly revealing uniforms (mostly in the thigh area), but the characters are all depicted in a very unrealistic, cartoony style.

Language

Silly (and sometimes hard to decipher) insults, like "canary head."

Consumerism

The game features the long-running Marvel Comics characters. More specifically, it ties into the new Cartoon Network series, The Super Hero Squad Show, which is animated in a spoofy, unrealistic style that this game shares.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Not an issue.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this bright, colorful adventure, featuring a pantheon of well-known superheroes -- depicted in more childlike, cartoonish style than usual -- will appeal to kids far younger than its intended audience. In comparison to other superhero games -- especially other Marvel hero games, like the recent Ultimate Alliance 2 -- Super Hero Squad is far more family-friendly. However, it is still a fighting game, full of beatings and explosions and laser gunfire. Parents should just know what's in store if they plan to let children younger than the targeted audiance of age 10 play.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD takes familiar characters from Marvel Comics and presents them in humorous, half-spoofy adventures. The game's main plot revolves around the evil Dr. Doom, who resides in Villainsville, and his search for the pieces of a special crystal which he wants to use to power a giant ray gun. He plans to use the ray to threaten the good people of Super Hero City. Fortunately, those folks are protected by the Super Hero Squad -- Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, Falcon, Silver Surfer, and other surprise heroes -- who race to collect the crystal shards before Doom's henchmen can find them.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Marvel Super Hero Squad is a good, solid game that attempts to put some techni-color fun back into the superhero genre. Co-op play adds to the enjoyment, and the arena battles (for those who want to eschew the story and just go toe-to-toe) are well done.

Just like comic book movies, comic-based games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 have gotten darker and grittier of late, but Super Hero Squad goes in the opposite direction. The heroes are depicted as squat, almost toy-like figures; the villains are hapless goons with squeaky voices; and jokes fly along with the punches. Sure, there's still plenty of fighting in the game, but it's nice that (slightly) younger fans can finally have a chance to play with their favorite heroes. It might not be the greatest superhero game ever made, but it's a truly refreshing change of pace.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a hero. The heroes in this game act very differently -- the dimwitted Hulk, the wisecracking Wolverine, the noble Thor, etc. -- and yet, they are all heroes.

  • Parents can also discuss violence in the media in general. Why do so many shows, movies, and games revolve around fighting and conflict. Could there be another way for superheroes to have adventures without violence?

Game details

Platforms:PSP, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DSi
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:October 20, 2009
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP)

This review of Marvel Super Hero Squad was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 9 and 10 year old Written bydochnwillow November 10, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Neat Game Lots of FUN!!!

Kids get to work together as their favorite super heroes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old February 19, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

a good game.

a nice game.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old April 28, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

what I think

I think there's a lot of violence because you are trying to kill the other player
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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