These days, when the average person thinks of DC, they tend to picture the dark, ‘gritty’ tone of the DCEU movies (along with the infamous ‘Martha’ scene, of course). Despite attempts to break away from this with the mildly enjoyable Shazam! and the frankly dire theatrical cut of Justice League, miserable undertones is seemingly what DC does best right now. It’s actually refreshing, then, that the DC Super Hero Girls animated show is the absolute antithesis of this; a cartoon show focused on the lives of some of the most popular DC Super Heroes as they navigate their teen lives at Metropolis High School.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power is the direct video game adaptation of the TV show, developed by TOYBOX Inc. (of Deadly Premonition 2 fame, of all things) and published by Nintendo, and you know what? It’s actually pretty good! Granted, its target audience is a very specific group who enjoy watching the TV show, but for those folks there’s a lot here to enjoy, not to mention the game feels exceptionally polished and well crafted throughout, complete with excellent voiceover work for all the main characters.
The primary cast of superheroes from the TV series feature in the game, including Wonder Woman, Batgirl, SuperGirl, Zatanna, Green Lantern, and Bumblebee, but you mainly only play as the former three. The gameplay is a fairly linear affair in which you go back and forth between the girls’ duties as superheroes and their social lives together, and the game does a surprisingly good job at balancing these aspects, with no section ever outstaying its welcome.
Progression through the story is broken up into nice, bite-sized chunks where you play as one specific character before moving onto the next (although eventually, the game lets you switch between the three at will depending on the situation). The social aspect of the game consists of moseying around the streets of Metropolis, shopping for new clothes, chatting with citizens, and posting photos to Superstapost, the game’s fictional social media app.
The city itself is reasonably well constructed, if a little barebones. The overall size is more than manageable, particularly for a younger audience, and the social missions never tend to last more than a few minutes at a time. These are surprisingly varied throughout, including helping old ladies cross a busy road, finding a lost wallet, and tagging graffiti throughout the city. Completing missions — both social and hero missions — grants you money that can be spent on new clothes for each character. This whole aspect of the game is very well implemented, with separate clothing items available for purchase, including hats, tops, shoes, and more.
Combat initially felt a bit ropey at the start, but the developers spend quite a lot of time easing you into it, pitting you against just one or two enemies at once. As you progress further into the story, the action ramps up nicely, and although it’s incredibly basic compared to more adult oriented action titles like Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, it absolutely does what it needs to do.
Combos are mapped to ‘Y’, and each successful hit is accompanied by a handy icon to show the number of moves you’ve landed. After a certain amount of hits, you automatically perform a ‘smash’ move, which effectively wipes out the enemy you’re facing in one go. Dodging is also extremely useful, and a well-timed dodge slows down the action, allowing to to perform an instant smash attack on the enemy you successfully evaded.
Completing tasks and missions not only nets you money, but also skill points. These can be spent on new abilities and core stats such as HP. The additional abilities add a nice new layer to the otherwise fairly basic combat; for example, Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth can pull multiple enemies into close range, stunning them for a brief moment of time while you pummel them into the ground. Bonus skill points can also be earned by completing certain parameters within each hero mission, such as pulling off a certain number of combos, or gathering collectibles.
So far, so positive, but the game also has its share of faults and a lot of these fall under its overall presentation. The graphics are pretty decent for the most part, and are a good representation of the art style seen in the TV show, however a lot of the character design outside of the main cast of characters is just a bit boring and samey. With combat, there’s a handy lock-on feature you can use, but this does little to resolve the often erratic camera, which can get in the way of the action and cause you to fall off buildings or bridges.
From an audio perspective, the voiceover work is fantastic throughout; most of the voices are typically high-pitched and so might not resonate with everyone, but they sound clear, and it’s pretty easy to distinguish one character from another. The music, on the other hand, can get pretty grating after a while; the same track plays on repeat as you explore the city, and while it’s certainly a catchy little number, we got absolutely sick of it after just a few listens.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power could have easily been a disaster; a cheap cash-in with little or no merit. Thankfully, it’s actually a surprisingly comprehensive and satisfying experience that fans of the show will absolutely love. There are plenty of characters to interact with, an excellent shopping feature, and lots of fun little tasks to keep you occupied. Don’t get us wrong, the game knows its target audience and caters to that younger demographic, so older gamers may not gel with the overall tone and simplistic gameplay. However, kids who might not yet be ready for the ‘grimdark’ ("MARTHA!") DCEU, this might be the perfect alternative.
Fist! Woo hoo! Hard pass on this tho.
This game got a higher score than World's End Club. RIP
Higher score than World's End Club. Yet people still believe reviews.
seriously my little girl already wants this but no coop seriously
Watched the first chapter and it looks like a lot of fun for me. I really like the show (it's on UK Netflix btw). But I've definitely got to hold off for a sale.
60 bucks is way too much for a game like this.
You can’t even play as Martha Wayne. What kind of game is this?
I always thought this looked ok for what it was going for- still a hard pass for me though
@rockodoodle Thank you for extending your fist for a fist bump.
7 is higher than what I was expecting and the screen shots look alot less barren than what I've seen before. I may actually get this now!
Seems neato, but not really something that warrants a launch purchase, prolly get it later on when there's nothing to play or I see it for cheap
I gotta say, reading all of what you described, that 7 score is suspicious.
Was expecting a 5 or 6 by what I read.
Thanks for the review, I’ll pick this one up.
Really appreciate this review, it’s been impossible to get a firm grasp on the quality, but a seven works just fine; especially since my daughter has decided we’re getting this regardless of whether it’s any good. I’ll prob wait out at least a small digital discount.
I think the game looks solid, but it should be $40 and have co-op
I don't know how I immediately recognised it, but they're using the same font from the pause menu in Wind Waker.
@JokerCK To be fair, the games are reviewed by different reviewers. So that might have something to do with it
@JokerCK I didn't realize they were both action adventure games.
More and more girls are getting into gaming, so this is a nice game for them. I have zero interest in it, but I see where the interest would come from.
At first I was shocked this got more than a 2...but then I remembered this game was published by Nintendo, this is a site called NintendoLife, and it says they got sent a review copy so nevermind it makes perfect sense
@nessisonett "WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME??!!"
Kind of a shame there isn't a DC version of a MUA3 equivalent.
@Doofenshmirtz Yes, Nintendo bribed the reviewer to give the game a good score by giving them a free copy of the game. If only Nintendo had given them 20 bucks too they would have given the game a 10/10.
This is the greatest scandal since Hugo Chávez stole the election! ;p
I mean, I'm not gonna buy it, but if somebody managed to make a cute superhero game for kids that is actually good at being a cute superhero game for kids and not garbage - cool! Well done. I hope the kids whose parents and grandparents were gonna buy it for them either way can have fun with it instead of having to suffer through a crappy game.
Don't really buy new games like this anymore, I'm not that into something like Zoobles DS. And yes, I have Zoobles DS.
@Doofenshmirtz If a reviewer you like waits for embargos to lift to post their reivew, then they got a free review copy.
The reason Nintendo published this is that it's SO clearly a Nintendo game skinned to work with the DC IP.
What's both hilarious and awesome about that is that Nintendo is strongly against licencing characters, so this would have been DC approaching Nintendo and offering to PAY them to feature their IP in a game.
Almost like taking your comic books targeted at children and making them into dark dystopian 4 hour films was a bad idea and now they are flat out desperate to get some kid friendly optics.
Dude world ends club got a lower score then this, your not telling me this game is better then worlds end club.
Edit: The open world looks like it holds up at the least, but the combat looks like it would get stale pretty fast, It almost looks like it could be a DC online for kids.
I applaud Nintendo for more girl friendly IPs. Now use all that Zelda horse gameplay experience to make a actual good riding game for girls. Seriously gold mine.
Removed - unconstructive
yeah it is nice to hear it is good at what it does, there's a (not unearned) stigma surrounding the quality of "kids" games or media in general, it doesn't help that there's a lot of shovelware and the like aimed at kids. its kind of like the whole thing surrounding video game movies.
though it doesn't have to be this way, and it is nice to hear that this game doesn't seem to be the case.
its still a way from being able to dispell said stigma, people are still surprised the game ended up not bad, but it does go a way towards helping.
Will get this when it drops in price a bit so my kids and I can play it together.
@Snatcher I think what they are trying to tell us, is that this game succeeds at what it is trying to do better than World's End Club succeeds at it's goals. If you are not an 8-year -old girl, it could very well be that you will enjoy WEC more.
Oh come on, Switch already is super girl friendly, there's even a whole subcategory on the Nintendo.jp website for Otome games. Honestly I wouldn't mind some more male pandering here and there...
Ah...published by Nintendo. I knew there was a reason for the inflated score.
Glad this turned out to be a decent game. Not for me personally, but the audience is there for sure. Don't understand the salt towards this game, just don't buy it and move on.
@Snatcher Here's the thing, and I know this is difficult to grasp, but just go with it...
I reviewed THIS game. I didn't review World's End Club, and I'm not making any comparisons between the two. Does that make sense? I don't consult every single review NintendoLife has published before I decide what score to give a game. Do you know how long that would take?
If you think this game deserves less, then hooray for you. I gave it a 7 because that's what I think it deserves.
@Olliemar28 @ThomasBW84 Thank you for undertaking to do this review; it is appreciated, and quite justified on a site like this.
The number of grown adults tossing their toys out of the pram
@0nett My Ignore list must be working wonders for me, because so far, I only see Doofenshmirtz behaving that way (surprise, surprise). I totally know what you mean, though.
The nonsense I was actually expecting to see was moral panic-type noise from Kotaku readers, who always find reason to attack when female characters are involved ("how dare they depict breasts!!!!1", and such).
@Snatcher Different genere, different target audience. Different reviewer
World's End Club its focused more in the story, and its targeted to older teens/young adults (PEGI 16). While DC Super Hero Girls is more focused in action, and its targeted to kids (PEGI 7)
Nice, sounds like a good time. Will get later on this year on a sale. I just cleaned out my game budget buying 10 games.
Don't care that much about the game just came down to comment that Shazam! is amazing
@judaspete And in that regard I would agree, But TBH What I wrote wasn't meant to be taken too seriously, I was more are less joking. But I think I made that hard to understand as I was mixing my feelings in there as well, I mean me comparing A MHGU reviewer (Who wasn't the same) was pretty stupid but I was kidding, sorry I didn't mean to offend anyone. @Olliemar28 I know you worked hard on this review, I wasn't trying to crap on it or anything, It does sound like its an actually good kids game.
I’m not really sure why people keep talking about Worlds End Club here but to be honest from what I played the puzzles and platforming were poor so it’s not hard to imagine a different game getting a higher score.
In any case Worlds End Club has nothing to do with this game being better than expected in its own right.
"WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!?"
What's with all the Worlds End Club comments? Did I miss a meeting?
@GrailUK IDK people are mostly making fun of (Including me) On how DC Kids game got a higher score then a Game made by a man who made amazing visual novels.
@0nett Thanks for the catch up. Not sure how I missed that email.
@Snatcher Ah. So it's tongue in cheek. With ya.
Wait no thats eh Uh Gotta go!
I get what this is and who it's for. But I wish shows and games alike would put the effort in to writing new characters for their works, instead of taking established characters and changing them until they fit whatever story you want to tell. In my opinion, if a story is compelling enough to tell, if the game is fun enough to play, you shouldn't have to rely on "borrowed" IP.
@jump I've heard that Nintendo sent review copies on special bamboo cartridges so that you can tell which ones are authentic or not under UV light. We should force the reviewer to hand it over so we can inspect it.
@RareFan Idk why its wrong to have a crush on a guy, As long as the dude isn't being a huge prick and just picking on her, if she is standing up for herself then I don't see anything wrong with that.
"Comments need more stability."
It can be entertaining at times, but overall the comments started pretty dull and didn't seem to really open up at all throughout the entire article. It could have used more positive replies instead of the same cynical, snarky approach to things they don't enjoy. I'm giving the comments here a 6 out of 10.
"Ewww, icky weird girly game got bigger number than cool big boi game"
@RareFan Did they actually kill him or? bc damn that Is one F*** up roll model for girls.
@thegametb TBH I think you should do more reviews for comments, There fun to read.
It's a programme for under 10s.
***** off! That doesn't change the fact, that this show is very anti-male and teaches little girls to blame everything on the opposite gender.
No, but they almost were ready to kill him. They only reason they didn't do it, is because another girl had a better idea of getting rid of him without murdering him.
@RareFan ummm...why are you watching a show intended for pre pubescent girls...?
I heard this show was very anti-men, so I checked out the most controversial episodes of it. And sadly it is a terrible show for kids and girls.
Totally agree with you, but I think comic characters are a bit different, esp DC and Marvel. Their characterisation, motivation, and ethics can and do change over time.
@Doofenshmirtz so delusion I think it's a half way good game.i paid for my copy but I better quit my job so Nintendo can pay .e now
If you really can't realize how awful this show is towards men, then you are more blind than I thought you were.
Wow, to see Nintendo published both a Marvel (Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order) and DC Comic (DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power) game in this gen is interesting. It's too bad they never made a crossover game with both IPs though, Nintendo you got one chance to make it happen and you wasted it. Marvel vs. DC Universe would had been fantastic. One fantastic game wasted, two mediocre games existed.
@ErraticGamer The kids who enjoy quality games (even if they're cute and simple) will appreciate and support good games when they're older. When my daughter was a toddler, she LOVED Kirby and seamlessly graduated to BotW as she got older.
In other words, it is okay to hate boys because they are male. Great teaching skills you have here. Hopefully you never will have a daughter.
I'm not buying it, look at me, do I look like the target demographic for this game? At least I know that it's passable.
...and this comment thread has gone into the bizarrely hostile territory that I come to a site like this to avoid. Some folks would be happier on THOSE subreddits, I think.
@Muddy_4_Ever Yep i'm taking my leave.
@RareFan Good lord that show sounds anti male to me.
My hunch is that physical copies are gonna go up in value. 🤔
It is. But to be fair, I only watched the episodes where they had this kind of message.
@Doofenshmirtz GIRL GAME BAD! EWWWWW!
Wow. I’m just really hoping these sad, delusional little kids are in the minority, and that they don’t ever reproduce; which doesn’t seem likely, but still.
There was a 2 for 1 offer on infant milk formula at the supermarket the other day. I took one look at it, and yelled “HARD PASS!!!” at the top of my voice. All the other shoppers stopped and stared. I said, “WHAT!? I’M NOT A BABY! I’M NOT GONNA DRINK BABY MILK! I’M AN ADULT!!!”.
They looked confused, but I bet they were really thinking, “Wow… that guy’s a real man’s man. He’s not gonna let infant formula threaten his masculinity. Plus, he had the guts to say so, right there, in the middle of the supermarket. Nice. I bet he drinks REAL milk. From a REAL cow. Maybe even a goat, or a water buffalo! PHWOAH!”.
Then I came on the internet and told everyone about how I didn’t buy the baby milk.
…What were we talking about again?
Wow. Pretty solid review. I was eying this for my daughter but thought no way would it review well. Glad to be wrong. I’ll definitely add this to her library.
I didn't at all expect this game to be actually good, color me surprised.
@FeverDreem what if I told you it scored a clean 7? Would you play it then? It's cool dude, your secret would be safe with me..
@Orpheus79V It's 60 dollar shovelware. That's why.
@Rambler That's the thing though, both Marvel and DC are especially guilty of this. They'd rather take an established character, that's already popular, then change that character to fit a new story they want to tell. It's an ironically lazy habit from companies that are responsible for so much creativity in the past. And in the present. Because they are still fully capable of making great stories. But they don't put that effort into new characters anymore.
It's also the kind of corporate thing I dislike with regards to IP. I know they own the characters, but generally these changes aren't made by the original authors. Just because they have all the legal rights too, I think they shouldn't make such drastic changes to established characters without the original authors still around.
It's just me nitpicking in the end. I know that. But still.
@0nett You've been Reported, and you are henceforth Ignored. You made this personal when you didn't need to. Before you accuse others of bigotry and malformed thinking, be sure you don't evidence any of that yourself.
@RareFan Where did you find a list of controversial episodes? I’m looking for one as the idea of this show being controversial in any way is intriguing to me. I found an article that found it racially troubling, but nothing on it being anti-male. Genuine curiosity…
why are you watching a show intended for pre pubescent girls...?
@Bizzyb Why are you reading an article about a video game intended for pre-pubescent girls? Or responding to comments about a video game intended for pre-pubescent girls?
It cuts both ways, you see.
I left a comment in the original thread about this game, and professing my interest in the concept. I don't have a daughter, but I know people that do. In addition, I very clearly remember being told that girls don't play video games, and aren't supposed to be interested in them. That is reason enough for males to comment on a thread like this. No one needs your permission.
@Doofenshmirtz yeh not because its actually a good game ya *****
@NintendoByNature LOL, maybe I was being overdramatic. 😅
I wouldn't have thought a videogame about superheroes aimed at young girls would be a flashpoint for so many edgelords. sigh Gamerz gonna gamer, I guess.
Anyway, I originally clicked on this because my daughter likes games and these characters, and it surprised me that it might actually be good. I'm not sure it's worth dropping $50 for, but doubtless it will go on sale someday. So, I'm going to leave this garbage fire now and add it to my wishlist.
This seems like a perfect gift for my daughter.. if I had one. It seems like a nice game, gives me some Teen Titans vibes so I might go for it sooner or later down the line.
Also.. DAMN. What a comments tread. I think I'll see myself out now..
@Maxz You are my new comments section hero. Nice one.
I’ll watchlist this or maybe pick up a copy and hold as a Xmas gift for my daughters, as we’ve watched plenty of Teen Titans and were somewhat interested in this game’s trailer.
I’m glad to hear it reviewed ok.
But really no multiplayer?? And the Green Lantern girl isn’t playable? I would hope she and some of the other teens seen in the trailer are unlockable. The little Super Friends fan in me wants Giganta as a playable character 😁
@Heavyarms55 It's definitely true that there is a huge lack of effort put into new characters and IPs, particularly in anything comic related. I agree that original characters and stories have a lot of potential and it's wasted on rehashing or remaking existing stories/characters.
However, there's at least one major element to consider, particularly when making a new $60 video game. Consumers have shown with their buying power that they often prefer the familiarity of known IPs. Even when a completely new character takes up "the mantle" of a previous character/story, it tends to be more financially viable than a truly new concept. It's a frustrating situation to be in from a creative standpoint, but it's also one that consumers fuel by throwing money at popular IPs over new, untested ones.
@Anguspuss What about Lego DC Villains? It's on sale very often for less than 30€, there's CO-OP and it's full of DC comics heroes and villains, you can even customize your her or villain and it's a very very fun game IMHO
@Cesco thanks we have that already kids love it. but daughter wants this and 2 kids like play together.
@Deltath You're not wrong that people do have a tendency to buy known IP over new IP. With games, movies or books, it's that comfort provided by "hey, I liked this author or studio in the past, so they'll probably make something good again"
But I feel like that's turned into a crutch for games and movies. (Less so with books because there isn't as much financial investment in books - usually). Look at all the remakes, reimagining's and sequels we get in games and movies these days. I don't mean we shouldn't get that. But devs and studios need to be willing to do new things again eventually.
Using established characters in new settings with drastically altered personalities and personal stories is the coward's way of doing that.
@Heavyarms55 I certainly wouldn't advocate against inventiveness and originality. It feels so rare these days to see a truly new franchise in gaming, particularly from already established developers.
Why do some posts keep comparing this to the World's End Club review? They're 2 different games, not even vaguely similar. And reviewed by 2 different people. I get the impression that there's certain people here who took one look at the trailer for this game, decided it was trash/shovelware/whatever, clicked on this review looking for a low score to laugh at and now they're confused and don't know how to handle it because it's seemingly decent and above average. If it doesn't interest you, then fine, don't buy it. Games like CoD & Battlefield usually get higher scores than the kinds of games I like playing (mostly visual novels and niche RPGs) and you know what? I just accept that they're probably good games even though I never buy them, and that gamers into online multiplayer FPS games will probably have a good time. I nod, and I smile, and then I go back to the games I like and don't whine and complain endlessly because Modern Warfare reviewed slightly better than Code Vein. Heck, maybe you'd even enjoy this 'girl's game' if you gave it a go (although I think that idea scares a few people as well). I actually enjoy a fair few otome VN's like Code: Realize and don't feel robbed of my masculinity when I go through them 😂 I've got World's End Club, BTW. And I like it. But I don't hate this game just because I'm not the intended audience.
THIS! (What up, Dogg?!)
Heck, maybe you'd even enjoy this 'girl's game' if you gave it a go (although I think that idea scares a few people as well).
This is the paradox: they “know” they don’t like this game, because..reasons. If they tried it and liked it, they would realize they might not know themselves as well as they think/boast. Avoiding that kind of potential identity crisis and subsequent embarrassment is likely one of the reasons they find this hobby comforting in the first place, So they puff, seethe, defend (offend?). This, for these types, is not limited to video games, unfortunately.
This game I have no intention of buying tied/beat tons of Switch games I love; like you said-sunrise, sunset.
The game is not developed by TOYBOX, but Appci Corp. Second TOYBOX are also not the developer of Deadly Premonition 2. It's Now Productions and White Owls. In both games TOYBOX is like producer / assistant, but not lead developer (aka designers, programmers etc.)
@VoidofLight Care to explain how the game is shovelware?
@Dog Low effort kid series tie-in game.
@VoidofLight Can you elaborate further? Why do you believe that?
Why is there not multiplayer on this, I really wanted to buy it to play with my daughter who is obsessed with Batgirl...but I guess this isn't the title for that...
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