From Friday’s The Oklahoman:
By Matthew Price
THE NEXT LEVEL
“Hellboy: The Science of Evil,” for PlayStation Portable, unfortunately fails to capture much of what has made the hero one of the most enduring comic-book characters of the past 15 years.
After appearances in a comic convention special and in “John Byrne’s Next Men,” Hellboy starred in his own series, “Seed of Destruction,” in 1994. The blue-collar hero with the body of a demon caught on with fans, as did Mignola’s atmospheric art. Mignola had been a professional artist starting in his early 20s, but the success of Hellboy moved Mignola to another level. Multiple successful miniseries followed, as did a 2004 film directed by Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”). A sequel to that film hits theaters today.
Video games, however, have been a medium where Hellboy has never fared particularly well.
Both the PC game “Hellboy” and the PlayStation game “Hellboy: Asylum Seeker” received generally poor reviews.
“Science of Evil” at least bragged the voice actors from the film, but that voice acting is absent on the PSP version. Mignola and del Toro supposedly gave input on “Science of Evil,” but it doesn’t seem to have helped the gameplay.
The backgrounds are suitably spooky, but the poor camera allows Hellboy to walk into a fatal ditch invisible to the gamer. The battles are too easy and repetitive.
“Science of Evil” begins with Hellboy on the trail of a witch, but the plot never coalesces. The cut scenes, done in a comic-book style, are decent but don’t match the overall look. The character deserves better.
The game is rated T for teen audiences.