|System: X360, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Beenox Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 7, 2010||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 Caleb Newby
If youre a gamer that goes back to the original NES days and are something of a Spider-Man fan, like myself, you have likely dealt with a solid string of so-so games. We may not be quite as embittered as the Superman fans out there who are still reeling from Superman 64, but the Spider-Man games havent always been top notch quality either. I recall how excited I was to get a Spider-Man game for the NES back in the day and how disappointed I was with what I received. Sure, the system was limited, but Spider-Man was a character that needed more than eight bits could offer.
Fast forward to the recent games tied into the mega successful movie franchise. They were alright, in that they let you fly around the city and capture what it was like to be the web-slinger, but they were saddled with overly repetitive gameplay and a feeling of Grand Theft Auto-lite without the same depth or scope. Not terrible, but hardly amazing.
Enter Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, in what is quite possibly the best game to date in Spiderman franchise. Its not a free roamer, so get that out of your head if youre a fan of the franchise based on the movies, but it captures much of what makes Spider-Man the popular superhero that he is.
Stan Lee starts the game off, providing the storys narration, something that immediately made me both smile and feel as though I was experiencing a story first-hand, told to me by one of comics legends. The general plot goes like this: Spider-Man catches Mysterio attempting to steal a tablet with some sort of magical power. In the ensuing ruckus, the tablet is shattered into several pieces, which are scattered into three other dimensions beyond the most familiar Spider-Man universe. A mysterious woman (at least mysterious to those not fully up to date on comic book lore) named Madam Web explains how four different versions of Spider-Man, from the past, alternate present, normal present, and future must work together to retrieve the tablet pieces or face the end of all four worlds.
In reality, the plot doesnt matter too much as the focus is being able to play the different versions of Spider-Man. In our Spider-Man world, Spidey acts and has abilities pretty much in line with what youve come to expect. He can swing across levels, perch on lampposts, blind enemies with his webbing, combo melee attacks, toss objects, and crawl on walls. There are also a slew of special abilities available to be purchased to upgrade the different Spider-Man versions in a rather unique and fun system of challenges and item collecting. In a nice effort to keep the different versions unique enough in their play style, some of the upgrades effect all four versions while some only effect one.
The alternate world Ultimate Spider-Man is in the famous black suit and is more physical than the traditional Spider-Man. He has the ability to enter a rage mode that turns him into an instrument of destruction. Of the additional Spider-Men, the symbiote bonded Spidey plays the most like the Amazing Spider-Man.
Spider-Man 2099 plays like an amped up version of the traditional Spider-Man, with an ability to slow down time until the power meter runs dry. His special moves also keep up the theme of fast attacks, allowing him to zip from one target to the next at lightning speeds. Spider-Man 2099 is a definite departure from the other two, and the world built around him is futuristic in its setting. While some of the combat plays similar, its different enough to keep it interesting.