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Marvel Super Hero Squad

Marvel Super Hero Squad Video Game Developer Diary #3: Combat

Watch a video clip and check out this developer diary about the game's combat system.

Marvel Super Hero Squad is an Adventure-Brawler title coming this year to the Wii. The game is based on the popular Marvel Super Hero Squad toy series and will be accompanied by an upcoming new animated TV series of the same title. Marvel Super Hero Squad is developed by Australia-based Blue Tongue Entertainment, and will be published by THQ.

In this diary entry, we talk to Game Designer Phil Anderson about the combat system in the game.

 Q: Can you give us an overview of how the fighting system in the game works?

PA: All playable heroes and villains share the same fighting controls, but that doesn't mean that they have cookie-cutter fighting moves. Each character's attacks are themed around their super powers, for example, some of Iron Man's melee attacks combine a repulsor-ray blast with a punch, and Hulk has a ranged attack where he slams the ground and blasts out a shockwave that hits a distant target.

Melee attacks use the A button; reach or power attacks use the B button, and there are variations when you tap the thumb stick towards or away from your target. There's a free-form "combo" system that lets you link together three compatible attacks, and cap them off with a powerful Finisher move. You can fight on the ground or in the air (if your character can fly), and a simple lock-on system ensures that you stay facing your opponent for as long as you need to.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about these Takedown moves that players will be able to do?

PA:  Takedowns are like a "deluxe" defeat.  When you wear down your opponent sufficiently, they flash red - and that's the signal to move in close and perform your Takedown move. If you're successful, you get to see your hero or villain perform an awesome attack that KOs your target. Each playable hero and villain has their own unique set of takedown moves tailored to their powers and personality. 

Q: Some of the characters are able to fly while others can't. How does Marvel Super Hero Squad overcome the problem of flyer characters flying out of reach of the non-flyers?

PA: Even though you might think that blasting a grounded enemy from the air would give you an unfair advantage, every character has their own way of knocking down a flyer. Sometimes it's a ranged attack, or sometimes it's a surprise leap into the air followed by a big hit.

We've also implemented "Tactical Flight", where characters can still fly high enough to give you the feeling of freedom, but still keep you in the fight.

Q: There are a few power ups called Power Shards that appear during Battle Mode. What effects do these Shards have on the players?

PA: There are a few types of Power Shards that players use in Battle Mode:
- Speed (Makes you super-quick for a while)
- Knock back (Lets you punch an opponent into next week)
- Regeneration (Restores your stamina, and makes you temporarily immune to damage)
- Attack (Makes your attacks more powerful)
- Object (Gives you a big dangerous object to throw again, and again... and again!)

Different Power Shards are used in each battle arena. Their effects only last a short time and they respawn into the arena at regular intervals. Whenever a Power Shard appears, you can bet that heroes and villains alike scramble to be first to grab it!

Q: All the characters have very diverse set of powers, how did you take all their powers into account when designing how they would fight?

PA:  A lot of research went into both defining each hero's and villain's powers, and in balancing them against each other. There are a lot of Marvel fans here at Blue Tongue, and we really wanted to make sure that players felt characters really felt authentic. Now not all Marvel characters have balanced powers, but to make the game fun and accessible, we made allowances to give each character a fighting chance against the others. In the end, we think that we struck a satisfying balance, and you quickly discover that fighting against Hulk is a very different experience then fighting against Doctor Doom!

Stay glued to Marvel.com over the next month as we spotlight all the characters in the game, present some developer diaries from Blue Tongue (the team creating the game) and much more! And don't forget to get your copy of "Marvel Super Hero Squad" on October 20 for Wii, PS2, PSP and DS.


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