So usually when I write articles about Marvel Heroes 2015 I’ll have a part at the top where I state how biased I am towards the game because I freaking love it and play it all the time. Well you notice there isn’t one this time… kind of. That’s because I will definitely be critical about the heroes Gazillion releases if I have to be. Luckily for them, they have really hit it out of the park with Nova in my personal opinion. I will do my best to convey my feelings as well as others opinions from the game forums.
Nova is and probably always will be my absolute favorite comic book hero of all time, so when I heard he was going to be in Marvel Heroes (at that time it was still early beta testing and only the Sam Alexander Nova) I immediately signed up for beta and knew I was going to play Marvel Heroes just for him. Well after over a year and a half of licensing issues and other things from Marvel, which caused Nova’s release to be delayed, Gazillion finally released him! They could have released Nova as Sam only, but a huge outcry for Richard Rider (who is currently dead in the comics) caused Gaz to put Nova on hold until they could work out a deal with Marvel to allow Richard into this (canon to the comic universe) video game. Well let me just say, they didn’t disappoint. Not only did they give us two Richard Rider costumes for Nova, with the amazing Troy Baker as the voice actor (Logan Miller who voices Sam in the Disney cartoon voiced Sam!), but we also got different energy beam colors (Rich always has an orange-ish color to his powers while Sam has blue). So needless to say Gaz did a lot of work and fan service on this character. So after all of that work and over a year and a half of waiting, there was a ton of pressure on Gaz to get this hero right. So did they? Here’s a fellow MH2015 player’s opinion:
“So far I’ve played him up to level 30 and had fun along the way. The pulsars are interesting and require a little more strategy than I’m used to but seem to be very effective. I love the feel of the “Blast Off” move which recreates his iconic rocketing through bad guys moves from the comics. I’m having fun with him and that’s what counts!” – Punchclops
Look: Nova’s default costume is his Richard Rider Nova Prime suit from the Annihilation comic event. This costume is gorgeous! The gold metal is super polished and his eyes and chest “nodes” glow a bright blue. This costume is ripped straight from the comics. The alternative costume is a Sam Alexander Nova costume from the Disney cartoon. I say the cartoon and not the comics because he’s got a more cartoony look to him than the comic version does. While it’s still a good looking costume, it seems like this was the skin they created back in beta. It has less detail than a lot of the newer costumes, but wearing this costume gives Logan Miller’s voice acting which is incredible. I don’t watch the cartoon, but Sam’s lines are hilarious and give Nova a complete different energy when playing him. Lots of WOOHOO’s and jokes that a teen would make while blowing up cars. The third costume I have (others will be able to buy it in stores hopefully by the time this article comes out) is the Original Nova Costume. The costume he wore back when Richard first started flying around. This costume is another ripped from the comics, as his eyes are matte white with black lining. It is my favorite costume of the three. His powers are slightly more yellow than the Annihilation costume, and it gives him a less shiny look than the other two skins. This skin also has Troy Baker’s awesome lines (as well as World Mind’s lines which technically shouldn’t be on this skin, but I love World Mind’s lines so much I won’t complain!). Lastly Nova’s powers look fantastic! Each Nova skin has different colored powers and icons but the powers themselves look fun and like the comics. Beams of energy are hard to get wrong, but they also nailed the “comet” like tail Nova has when he flies. Overall, this fan is pleased with Nova’s looks! 9/10
Powers: So this is the big part of Nova Gaz didn’t need to mess up to please the community, and after looking around the forums a bit, the reactions range from loving them to mixed feelings. Nova’s unique because they gave him the ability to fire pulsars. These are three different powers that fire a ball of energy that acts kind of like a ticking time bomb. After six seconds they explode, all three causing damage and debuffing the enemies in an area in some way. If you won’t want to wait the six seconds (which I think is a bit too long of a timer) you can use certain powers and hit the pulsar with said power to detonate it. Some people on the forums have a problem with this system. They don’t really care for powers that take two different powers to do damage with. I myself am really loving this feature and have read a ton of positive reactions as well. Nova’s signature “Supernova” gives him unlimited power and no cooldowns on powers for five whole seconds, so I love spamming all the pulsars I can in the middle of a group of enemies then detonating them all for massive damage. It’s not just me who likes his powers either. Marvel Heroes’ top streamer on Twitch DegenTP told me his opinion:
“I have had a ton of fun with him and he has a pretty unique mechanic with his Pulsars. That really surprised me on how fun they were. I didn’t think I would like them at first, but it surprised me with how fun they turned out.” – DegenTP
Nova’s dashes and flying give him the speed Nova has in the comics, but some people don’t agree:
“…he feels ridiculously slow for the Human Rocket. I get more speed out of the Silver Surfer.” – RyuKaiser
I tend to agree with RyuKaiser that Nova doesn’t feel like the Human Rocket at first. I currently have been stacking all the movement speed I can on him, and only at high levels, after sacrificing some better stats like crit for speed, do I finally feel fast enough to be Nova. He has a fly that makes you go super fast, but you can’t do anything else while flying. He has a move called Lighspeed Strike that is awesome and makes you zip around hitting enemies in a flash, but so does Daredevil. So I decided to give Nova’s melee build a go to see if that felt more like the Human Rocket and boy did it! Unlike the ranged build, the melee build features a ton of ultra fast moves that have you zipping from enemy to enemy almost at the same speed as Nightcrawler’s teleport powers. When Nova is played this way, you really get the feeling that you are a speedster and because of that I have started to prefer this way of playing him. The last thing to mention about Nova is his shield. He has a secondary resource bar that is his shield, which mitigates some of your damage (of course). This charges as you use movement powers or move around in general. Pretty fun idea! Overall Nova feels unique, powerful and incredibly fun to play! 9/10
Ultimate Power: Every character has an ultimate power, which you can use only once every 20 or so minutes. Usually this power makes you hit like a truck and is a spectacle to watch happen. Nova’s Ult is no exception. As a fan of the comics I absolutely love it. When you hit the Ult button, you see a huge burst of energy come from Nova signaling that he’s called in… The Nova Corps! Over the next 5 or so seconds, several members of the Nova Corpse swoop in overhead from every angle firing energy beams downward in a crisscross pattern obliterating all enemies below. This is pretty awesome, although I haven’t looked closely at the Ult to see if the members are varied in race or species like they should be. I love using this power! 10/10
Voice acting: I’ve mentioned briefly the voice acting of both Troy Baker and Logan Miller, but I’ll quickly review it. I love both versions of Nova’s voice work. My favorite line so far is when you are playing as Richard Rider and you are near someone playing as Sam, Rich will say something like ”A black helmet? What are you some kind of Supernova?” referring to Garthaan Saal the Nova villain Supernova who wore a black costume. Loved that touch. Sam says stuff like “Relax! I totally know what I’m doing!” which is pretty funny and like his character in the comics. You also have World Mind in the game, who will give you classic lines like “Unable to tap into Nova Force” when you’re low, or just tells Richard he needs a target or his health is low and that kind of stuff. Incredible job. 10/10
In conclusion, this Nova fan is extremely pleased! The wait for Nova has been well worth it, and judging by the early footage we had of Nova, they’ve improved his powers and mechanics a lot since his early incarnation. I’m almost glad it took so long to get Nova released, because this way, he can be even better than he would have been around launch. Gaz made both the Rich and Sam costumes, normal price to buy in the store unlike other costumes with different voice acting and/or powers, so that people can play the Nova they love. For me, I’ll be rotating costumes once an hour as I plow through all the way to cosmic prestige with him (cosmic being leveling him to 60 5 times, the last being at 25x slower XP!). I’m currently level 11 Cosmic right now as I write this, so I’ve played him quite a bit! If you don’t believe me, find me in game at Foreverett and see. Also feel free to join me on my quest to cosmic prestige by sending me a tell/group invite. Would love to have GWW fans in my group!