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Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Franchise based games are generally a mixed bunch, usually ending up average at best, but Nintendo 3DS has experienced very few of these titles so far. Enter Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, to tie in with the recently released movie - can this help raise the bar for 3DS’ licenced games early in its lifespan?

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a side scrolling 2.5D outing on 3DS. The story revolves around an android race of interstellar police, aptly named Manhunters, which were created by the Guardians of the Universe eons before the Green Lantern Corps. The Manhunters were eventually exiled after corruption seeped in, but now they’re back and the Green Lantern Corps, including main hero Hal Jordan, are out to stop them at all costs to protect the universe.

The game starts off with comic book-style images used as cutscenes, with the image on the top screen and dialogue on the bottom; the system turns the 3D completely off for these sequences as they don’t make use of it. After a short introduction you’re made to fight one of the Lanterns, who wants to see what skills you have. It’s a 2D action adventure that plays like a mix of Metroid and Dragon Ball Z and, at first, you’re limited to simple melee and ranged attacks. As the game goes on Hal gains more attacks, and through earning and spending experience those attacks can be upgraded, along with his health and ring charge gauge.

Screenshot for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Hal receives construct abilities as he progresses, the signature skill of Green Lanterns that allows them to create whatever they need with green light from their power rings. There are four of these: a ground pound, used with the jump to crush enemies; a smash, using giant weapons to do just what the name implies; missiles, where Hal charges his energy attacks and shoots down enemies with projectiles; and the claw, which can grab enemies and objects and toss them aside. Each of these constructs offers up many items that can be added to Hal’s inventory for use against enemies. These constructs can also be used to move blockades that appear throughout levels that can only be removed with specific light attacks.

There are six worlds to explore: the training planet Oa, four other planets you can travel freely between to save from destruction by the Manhunters, applying newly gained skills to create new routes Metroid-style, and a final planet. Travelling between planets triggers a 3D shooting game in the sense of Star Fox, where you must avoid or destroy meteors as well as various Manhunters. This gets repetitive, since you have to play through exactly the same level to get to each planet, which isn’t always pleasurable. Each level generally plays out the same, with no real change in pace or sense of emergency; the goals are usually to destroy certain objects or enemies before moving on to the next map after besting a boss - which, once their patterns are figured out, are not hard to defeat. Another disappointment is that each world uses the same music, which isn’t too great in the first place.

Screenshot for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Each world has various objects and constructs unique to each, with the items being easier to find once you’ve found a map which points out objects you haven’t found with a green question mark. Once you’ve found an object you have to use the ring of power via the touch-screen to make it solid before Hal can make use of it. Objects are not limited to constructs, though, and there are collectibles in the form of mementos - profiles for characters in the Green Lantern comic - so whether you’re totally into the Green Lantern universe, or want to learn more about characters not in the game, this may be worthwhile.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters' gameplay is mainly on the right track despite its repetitive nature. The controls are generally responsive, although changing the direction of an energy attack can be more delayed than you would expect. Another complaint would be some slowdown with melee attacks, which happens even without 3D on; it’s not enough to interrupt play, but it’s there. There are also some collision detection issues when flying through doorways, which appear tall enough to get through but sometimes still block your character.

Screenshot for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The graphics are on par with mid-level GameCube games, and the art style really helps it. Some of the levels look great, with the 3D adding a slight depth to the backgrounds, though it could be used more. Meanwhile others look generic; sometimes you’ll have a background with magma flowing into a volcano, other times you’ll have a plain metal wall, though overall you can tell that the hardware isn’t being pushed to its limits.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is a good game that can be completed in between five and eight hours without collecting everything, but grabbing all the unlockables will take quite a bit longer. The game’s storyline is very much like the comic, so fans of Hal may enjoy going along with the storyline but, despite the progression being easy to follow, non-fans of the Green Lantern series might wonder what certain characters are talking about since they’re not directly involved in the game’s storyline.

Screenshot for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on Nintendo 3DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Plays well; there is some slowdown from time to time, but it never truly affects the game. You may however get annoyed with the reaction times of some energy attacks.

Graphics

Looks great in some places and the art style really helps, however there is slowdown and the occasional graphical glitch where an enemy flashes on screen before they actually jump in. The 3DS isn’t being pushed to its limits with this one.

Sound

Samey music throughout, setting a darkish comic book mood, but overall not really noticeable. Most enemy grunts are the same, with few occasional differences.

Value

The main story isn’t hard to complete with 5-8 hours of gameplay, but you might have trouble unlocking everything, and that’s where some extra value lies. There are a lot of Character Profiles and some nice artwork to look through.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters on 3DS is a bit on the easy side, and there are some shortcomings such as occasional slowdown, especially within combat. If you’re a fan of Metroid-style exploration, though, or the Green Lantern series itself, and are prepared to accept some flaws, this is not a bad buy.

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19.07.2011

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Developer

Griptonite

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Skelepound (guest) 29.03.2013 01:59#1

Sounds awesome to me, but I am a DC comics and Green Lantern fan already, so I am likely who it is aimed towards

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