|System: Wii, X360, PS3, PC, PS2, DS, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Treyarch||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 16, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Justin Conte
It seemed odd at release that the PSP didn't receive its own version of the Spider-Man3 game. Months later, Activision has seen fit to grace us with a portable version of the PS2 title. With a full-fledged version of New York City brought down to portable size, Spider-Man3 is an impressive accomplishment, but can the title really bring to life all that is Spider-Manwith the limits imposed by the PSP itself?
Graphically the title is an impressive testament to the power the PSP has. Character models are beautiful, and NYC is brought to life in handheld form like never before. Though not the best looking title on the system, the scale delivered combined with the crisp detail present make this one of the best overall visual experiences the PSP can offer.
Control is where things begin to fall apart. The best part of the console iterations was the way the web swinging was emulated through the analog sticks. The PSP's analog nub simply can not handle the job. During combat and such it can be hard to keep things centered and attack the correct target, but during swinging sequences, things are just downright disappointing. What was on consoles the best part of the game becomes a chore. I'm not normally one to demand a second analog on the PSP, but this is one case where without it things just don't function.
The gameplay is enjoyable at times and tedious at others. There's a lot of moves available in combat, but you'll find yourself going back to the same ones over and over, and this can make things old quickly. The problem is there isn't enough variety in the enemies and their A.I. to give you reason to need to change up your moves. In fact, doing so often will lead to undesirable results. There's a decent amount of variety to the missions, ranging from swinging around the city to taking out a gang of enemies, but only a handful are truly enjoyable time and time again.
The sound effects are somewhat varied, but hearing the same thing over and over does get a bit old. As usual, the PSP speakers leave much to be desired and really don't help add to the experience that you get graphically. There really isn't much to do once you've completed the main story that would make you want to come back for more, thanks mostly to the fact that you will be tired of the swing mechanics by that point.
The story is serviceable, though it could use some fleshing out. Many villains from the Spidey universe make appearances and add to the appeal for comic fans. The game even fleshes out some of the backstory left out in the movies, helping you to understand where the Sandman came from and some of Peter's other issues. It just feels as if the story could have used more time to really stand head-and-shoulders above the rest.
Overall, unless you really need to have your Spidey on a portable, you're better off with the console versions here. The controls are better, and they can be had at a lesser price at this point. If all you own is a PSP or you really need something to fill the gaps in your morning transit, you could do far worse than the PSP Spider-Man3.
CCC Freelance Writer