Publisher: Activision Inc.
Developer: Vicarious Visions
N Amer - 05/04/2007
Spider-Man 3 Review
It’s approaching summertime, and you all know what that means – yet another addition to the Spider-man series! The first two films were critically acclaimed masterpieces, both reinventing what a superhero movie could be with top-notch special effects, a great cast, and compelling villains. Spider-Man 3, on the other hand, took a turn for the dumpster, doing nearly everything wrong. On the bright side, gamers with a DS are in good luck, as the video-game iteration of the movie is leaps and bounds above its big-screen counterpart. Not only that, but it’s also better than the Spider-man 3 offerings found on all major consoles.
Without a doubt, one of the primary issues found in the console versions was its monotonous, repetitive gameplay. Coupled with horrendous A.I., the game was a failure. While the Nintendo DS version of Spider-man 3 still possesses repetitive and, at times, tedious gameplay, its overall execution is superb. The artificial intelligence is second to none and is also home to a particularly distinct aspect where different genders vary in difficulty. Female thugs go down significantly quicker than male ones. In all my years of gaming, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Cue the feminist groups!
The combat is wholly done via the stylus. Drawing specific lines and circles will cause Spidey to unleash a side you’ve only seen at the movies. Tangling your enemies with web is also performed with the stylus by double-tapping on the screen after targeting a foe. At first, I was a bit skeptical with the majority of the gameplay being stylus-oriented, but after 30 minutes everything appeared seamless and natural.
In the start menu, you can purchase various combos and attacks for Spidey, as well as health and web-slinging upgrades. Currency used for making aforementioned purchases is simply obtained through fighting off enemies. Within around two hours into the story mode you’ll have most of the buyable content unlocked.
Spider-man 3 sports an entirely free-roaming environment. You’re able to travel from one end of town to the next with the only interruption being portals that connect subsequent sections. In addition, there’s a nice map feature that allows you to transport anywhere in the game by clicking on a desired location. It’s very akin to the Quick Travel facet found in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and renders getting to a mission exceedingly simplistic.
I shouldn’t have to delve into the details of Spider-man 3’s anecdote because by now you’ve probably seen the movie. However, I will say that the comic book presentation complete with full voiceovers, done by none other than Tobey Maguire, is not only a nice touch, but a true staple in the storytelling. The fashion in which it’s delivered is extremely reminiscent of the voice-acting done in Max Payne for the GBA, except with sound quality that’s obviously vastly enhanced.
The visuals won’t be winning any awards come December, but they’re no eyesore either. Buildings possess splendid texturing and Spider-Man looks great in his signature costume. The thugs are a tad less-detailed and generic. The camera-style found in previous DS Spider-man titles makes a triumphant return. For those that aren’t too familiar with this approach, it can sort of be described as false-3D. As opposed to a straight-up 2D platformer, Spider-man can sling around turns – however, the camera will still remain at a two-dimensional view. It takes no time at all to get used to and is actually quite unique.
Spider-man 3 represents everything a movie game should be. Those who enjoyed the movie can relive every moment. And even if you didn’t – which would be more likely – you’ll still have a blast. To sums thing sup, the web-slinging mechanics are phenomenal, the stylus-based combat system is intuitive, and the presentation is something to behold. A must-have.
|Review Scoring Details for Spider-man 3|
Aside from moving/web-slinging, everything is performed with the stylus. The recognition is dead-on and there are loads of combos Spidey can undertake.
If the graphics represented a worker, they’d be the guy that didn’t put in any overtime or effort, but nonetheless got the job done. The character models are unrecognizable at points.
The voiceovers are solid, the soundtrack is acceptable, and the sound effects are spot-on.
Hardened criminals and sinister villains can sometimes be relentless, but unlimited lives sure helps.
The developers took an unsophisticated, barebones premise and made it their own.
Due to not having another DS around at the time of review, I was unable to test the multiplayer. However, it should be noted that Spider-man 3 does indeed support up to 4 players wirelessly and contains the following modes: brawler, hot potato, target practice, and combo challenge.
I won’t cookie-cut – the DS rendition of Spider-man 3 will undoubtedly provide more entertainment than its multi-million dollar big-screen counterpart. Activision should be commended on a job well done.
From the big-screen to the small-screen
Reviewer: Gabe Boker
Review Date: 06/04/2007