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|Release||September 30, 1997|
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
Fantastic Four is a PlayStation video game developed by Probe Entertainment and published by Acclaim Entertainment. The game was released in 1997, and is based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name.
Doctor Doom has developed a device that transports the Fantastic Four (and the She-Hulk) to various locations to do battle with various monsters and supervillains. One or two players (or up to four with a special adaptor) can control Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Thing, Human Torch or She-Hulk through various side-scrolling arcade levels until Mr. Fantastic is able to assemble a time machine that allows him to transport the team to Doom's tiny kingdom for a final battle. While Galactus does not appear in the game, it is clear that he is behind the destruction of the Skrull homeworld.
The format of the game is similar to arcade games such as Golden Axe, Final Fight or Streets of Rage. As the player controls the superheroes through the various levels, groups of thugs, robots, and mutants will appear on each screen and need to be destroyed before the player can advance. Each character has various short-range fighting moves (i.e. punching, kicking, jumping, and even tossing enemies into the back or foreground) that can be used to destroy the various minor enemies and the bosses. Some of these minor enemies will leave behind icons that give the player an extra life, or restore their health or superpower energy bar.
Each character has a circular "super power" energy bar; this allows the use various special fighting moves. At the end of each level, there is a supervillain to defeat, i.e. Mole Man, Super-Skrull, Attuma, Sub-Mariner, Psycho-Man, Doctor Doom. After the defeat of the boss, without the loss of any player life, there is one of three bonus rounds. The fights here are set against Dragon Man, the Incredible Hulk, or Iceman. During the loading time between each level, the player is able to play a mini-car racing game.
During the game (or when there is a loss a life) the player can switch between any of the superheroes (not already being played), and announcer's voice-over tells which character is chosen. Some of the major bosses will also speak briefly before they fight or are defeated; this is affected by the choice of player.
If you use the same move too many times, a "cheesy" icon appears, but otherwise has no impact on the game.
Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it one star out of five, and stated that "Like the worst of Acclaim's licensed games for the last eight years, this one takes a venerable piece of pop-culture property, in this case Stan Lee's Fantastic 4, and reduces it to dismal side-scrolling action – using 'action' in the loosest sense of the word."
Fantastic Four received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Many criticized it for its weak storyline, difficult enemies, and short missions, while some praised the game for its graphics, soundtrack, and controls.