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Reviewed: The Amazing Spider-Man
Author:Michael Ahlf
Third quickie... I know what you're thinking. Not another movie-franchise game, right? Well, of course Activision had to put out something for the Spidey franchise, they are the home for all games Marvel these days. And in keeping with game trends, they instructed the programmers to make a game that felt, gameplay-wise, a lot more like the recent Batman games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City than a Spider-man game.

Unfortunately, that's not a good way to start off. There are a lot of things to be said for this game; lots of collectables, lots of mobility, and a decent chance to explore Manhattan. Unfortunately, web-slinging doesn't feel quite right, and it's quite possible that every game since Spider-Man 2 has been a step back in this regard. Activision also chose to make this one a sequel to the movie, rather than a "play the movie" game, so there's that to contend with; they've left out most of Spidey's A-list villains and focused more on the cheesy, lesser known ones for this storyline - I mean why have Kraven the Hunter, Lizard, or Doc Ock when you can go toe to toe with the Rhino or the Iguana? (Yes, that's right, that lame Lizard ripoff villain is actually in this game for some reason I can't fathom.)

So... to combat. Punch, block, dodge/jump, and special buttons. Special button lobs web fluid or goes into special combo moves, pretty standard stuff; build up enough punch combo, and Spidey can go into a sort of freeform mode to unleash some crazier attacks and combos. It works really well for Batman; it's just never been the Spidey style. Spidey was never a brawler or a boxer, he's much more suited to dancing around all over the place, hitting an enemy from all sides at once, waiting for that perfect moment to strike from a distance.

Graphically? I'm not entirely sure they didn't do this one on the cheap. The models are a bit less defined than I'd expect, textures not entirely high-res. Maybe I'm jaded, or maybe they decided to lean off on the production cost a bit.

Are there cool things and fun things in this game? Heck yes. Web-slinging's still fun, even if not as fun as older titles in the series. Slinging around as Stan (The Man) Lee? A joy.

Unfortunately, the side mission stuff gets a bit old after a while, but every game with repetitive "random" content gets that way. Stopping robberies, returning escaped patients to the police... eh. Every time it's the same voiceover lines and animations, so it will get old eventually.

Worth picking up? I'm ambivalent. Give it a try first, rent it and see if you like it - or if your kid does.

Added:  Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf


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