To celebrate International Women's Day, Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network created in 2019 a cartoon starring all the female heroines and villains in the DC universe. Unlike other, more mature animated superhero series, DC Super Hero Girls follows the comedic path of Teen Titans, presenting us with a cast of superpowered teenage girls who must split their time between high school and crime-fighting... or, you know, being the ones who commit those crimes, because villains go to school, too! Now, DC Super Hero Girls is debuting as a Switch exclusive title, and here we are to briefly review it!
A New Generation of Heroes and Villains
Superheroes are incredibly popular nowadays, but there aren't that many good video games about them. If we focus on the DC side of things, Batman is by leaps and bounds the most successful character of them all. Inexplicably, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest always struggled to find their place in the gaming world. We love the Justice League, but according to video games, it's time to forget about the classics and give the new generation of heroes the space they deserve. First, it was the announcement of Gotham Knights, and now it's DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power, a game where you can play as Supergirl, Batgirl, or a young version of Wonder Woman (alright, she's part of DC's Trinity, but still), as well as interact and fight against the likes of Harley Queen, Catwoman, or Livewire.
This is an alternate Earth where all superpowered females attend high school, so please forget about their classic origin stories. The protagonists are Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Kara Danvers (Supergirl), and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), although their group of friends also includes "Zee" Zatara (Zatanna), Karen Beecher (Bumblebee), and Jessica Cruz (Green Lantern). Also attending Metropolis High School are Harleen Quinzel (Harley Queen), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), and other part-time criminals. Oh, and let's not forget about the Daily Planetoid's editor-in-chief Lois Lane!
Life as a teenager is never easy, especially for these girls. Not only do they have to fight powerful villains, but they also need to study for their grades, hang out with their friends, and deal with constant drama. As you can tell, DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power is not a regular superhero game; it's a slice-of-life adventure that follows the daily events in the life of a bunch of teenage superhuman girls without taking itself too seriously.
All missions give you resources you can spend to improve your HP or unlock more powerful skills, and you can get even better rewards by completing achievements, but since it's a "girly" game, you can also visit the store and buy your favorite character a new outfit. If you can't 100% a stage in your first run (there are some golden hamsters hidden in some levels and they're not always easy to find if you're running against the clock), don't worry! A few hours in you'll get access to the VR system, allowing you to replay previous missions as many times as you want. Other than that, there are several side-quests you can get from random people around the city. That's when the game transforms into a semi-open world platformer, letting you explore Metropolis' neighborhoods freely. Thanks to your phone camera, you can take pictures whenever you want and quickly upload your best shots to social media, but photos could also help you finish some quests. Given it's a teenage-centric story, the perks and drawbacks of online interaction are one of the game's central topics. Livewire making fun of Supergirl on the internet? Unacceptable!
DC Super Hero Girls, the TV cartoon, received mixed reviews, and this video game is probably going to be the same. It's a fun adventure with an emphasis on exploration and interaction between the girls, but the gameplay feels shallow compared to other beat 'em ups. Also, the comedic, kid-friendly tone of the story puts these otherwise mighty heroes in silly situations, like stopping traffic and helping an old lady cross the street or finding lost items and pets.
Although there are dozens of Easter eggs and references to the DC universe, this game never tries to please the most hardcore fans with an intriguing plot and epic fights like you'd find in a Tom King story. This game's objective is to show the world female heroes are cool too, bringing more attention to these characters and sparking kids' interest in comic books in general.
If you feel like fighting an army of evil toys, helping Lex Luthor rebuild Metropolis, and spending time with your favorite female heroes at Sweet Justice (Barry Allen's ice cream shop and the girls' unofficial HQ), then suit yourself up and join the DC Super Hero Girls, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch!