Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions (2010) X-Box 360 video game

Rating: 3 out 5 displaced alternate Spider-Men

Plot Synopsis:  Perpetual Spider scrub Mysterio tries to steal a tablet and when Spidey shows up to stop him, Spider-Man breaks the tablet with a flying falcon punch.  This causes the tablet to shatter into multiple dimensions and it’s up to 4 Spider-Men across 4 dimensions to gather all the pieces of the tablet before the world ends.

The Good:

-Each world is very distinct which divides the action somewhat.

-The different Spider-Men fight very differently which also breaks up the action.  Amazing Spider-Man uses a lot of web based attacks, which honestly makes me rethink how awesome Spider-Man is.  Ultimate gets the symbiote which is more power based.  Noir gets mostly stealth but when it comes down to fisticuffs he’s much more of a brawler, forgoing the acrobatics.  2099 is mostly speed and high acrobatics.

-The Noir universe in particular.  I love the grainy screen effect along with the sepia tone colors.  The world is by far the most interesting world with some very good takes on the Spider-Man rouges gallery.  Taking on a stealth world with the powers of Spider-Man adds something unique that takes some getting used to.  At first I treated it like a standard stealth action game but soon found myself getting frustrated.  The levels create a situation that MAKES you play the stealth like Spider-Man because you will quickly find out that the normal approaches will lead to you getting spotted so you have to start climbing walls and ceilings as well as web zipping to vantage points.  It’s both very fun and outrageously frustrating because the camera and controls aren’t as tight as the stealth mechanic requires.

-The dialog is great.  The personalities of all the different Spider-Men are different enough that you can easily tell them apart.  They have different personalities and slightly different senses of humor but all are smart asses, which is what you want from Spider-Man.  They have great dialog with the villains as well as some great idle chatter for when you leave the controller alone or linger in the pause screen too long.

-Ultimate Deadpool, his stage is the best and he has great interaction with Ultimate Spidey.  It’s an interesting pair up as Deadpool becomes the smart ass one quickly causing Spidey to become frustrated with not being able to get a wise crack in edgewise.  The idea of the stage, it being a reality TV show, along with fighting Deadpool fans and zipping around the oil platforms just makes it a great stage.

-Peter Porker, Spider-Ham.  I love the Spider-Ham and I want to see him in way more things.  When Spider-Man sees him he asks confused “Is that a cartoon pig?”

-The Bombastic Bag-Man, Spider-Man wearing his Fantastic Four/paper bag mask costume appears as an alternate costume for the “Amazing” universe.  One of my favorite costumes.

The Bad:

-The levels get repetitive.  There’s only so much you can do in a linear level to try and change things up.  Despite the game play differences, despite the environment changes I found myself getting bored, especially in the levels without interesting villains or villains I didn’t care about.

-There are goals set in each level and accomplishing these goals unlock new powers and abilities.  This isn’t really enough to push the game.  I’m not really motivated to go back and accomplish the things I missed and as the game progresses these goals become harder and harder to do in a single play through and after doing the stage once I’m pretty much done.  I don’t want to invest the hour plus into repeating a stage to claim the one or two goals I missed the first time.

-I struggled with the controls, getting Spider-Man to consistently do what I tell him can be frustrating.  But it is in character so maybe that’s what they were going for.

-The levels can go on for a bit, each stage, for the most part, took me at least an hour.

The Ugly:

-Spider-Ham doesn’t get any playtime.  He makes a brief cameo in the cut scenes but doesn’t get a stage.  That’s what DLC is for Marvel, give us a short little Spider-Ham stage that you don’t have to fit into the main narrative.  That would have made my time with this game.

-Trying to get The Spider (Noir universe) to move smoothly around the environment.  The stealth game play is fun and different as The Spider but there are times when you have to move very carefully or get caught and the camera will swing around you and the controls will invert and suddenly your moving into a light or coming up on a platform right on top of a guy.  Also being able to web zip to a wall or ceiling would have been helpful.  I would play a whole game of this alone if they could polish it a little better.

-All the hostages, you save a ton of hostages throughout the course of this game.  I realize that’s what Spider-Man does, he saves people, but the situations get contrived and formulaic.

Final Thoughts:  I played my mandatory 5 hours of this game which put me a little above the 25% mark.  I doubt very much I’ll finish it, at least I won’t finish it any time soon, it’ll go back in the rotation to play on some 3 day weekend or time off when I’m especially bored but I doubt I’ll even finish it then.  It’ll probably take several of those moments before I commit to being done. 

I have trouble with the camera, I have trouble with the controls, the fighting gets boring pretty quickly despite the different fighting styles and some of the bosses just aren’t that interesting (Spider-Man 2099 being the biggest offender to me).  I recommend this game if you can get it on the cheap and like Spider-Man.  It certainly isn’t the best Spider-Man game, but you could do way, way worse.

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