Sunday, July 8, 2012

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) X-Box 360

Rating: 3 out of 5 Bruce Campbell and Stan Lee cameos

Plot Synopsis:  In attempt to usher in the new era of Oscorp Alistair Smythe shifts the focus from cross species to nano-tech robots.  It goes about as well as you’d think.

The Good:

-The Stan Lee pre-order bonus.  He’s pretty well rendered and just spouts nonsense the whole time you play as him.  Plus there’s just something inherently funny about an old dude running around Manhattan all flexy and bendy.

-Web slinging is pretty fun, the new web rush is pretty alright.

-The fresh take on Spidey’s rouges.  Vermin, Rhino and Scorpion are all realized as cross-species which makes them far more visually interesting and intimidating.  I don’t know if it makes them better characters but they are consistent with the universe at least.  Black Cat is realized as an escaped mental patient who also pretty bad-ass in the bank robbery mission.

-The photography missions.  A reporter woman sends you to locations to take 3 pictures of the things going on in those areas.  They use this as a means to reference other characters from the Spidey universe including: Sandman, Hydroman, Mr. Negative and return cameo of Black Cat.

-The combat is cool with its new wrestling style attacks.

-The graphics are pretty awesome.

-A bunch of good looking costumes to unlock. 

The Bad:

-It’s nice to see Bruce Campbell but I found his missions to be the most tedious.  There are two kinds: follow Spidey with a camera, which are at least fun to watch but pretty easy and racing which gets pretty boring.  The only good thing I can say is that right at the moment I was the most sick of these missions I was done.  I literally almost quit for good but decided to do one more side mission which resulted in an achievement for finishing the camera type so I did one more hoping it would be the last race and it was.  I was quite relieved.

-Sadly no Peter Porker: Spider-Ham or Bombastic Bag Man costumes.

-Tracking down infected civilians and escaped mental patients.  It gets really, really tedious after a while.  Go to point A, pick up a person and take them to point B.  That’s it.  Over and over and over.  It feels like a way to pad the game.

-There’s no combo to hang a guy from a light post, like in Spider-Man 2 (called, in that game, the Web Hanger)

-There’s no Izuna Drop (or as Spider-Man 2 calls it “air pile driver”).  This:

-I really hope this isn’t cannon as far as the movies are concerned because this isn’t really consistent with the movie, it creates a lot of confusing holes and the story isn’t really that great.  It’s good enough to move a video game forward but the story-telling isn’t why you play this game.

-You have to rely on a lot of stealth as Spider-Man is pretty squishy but the stealth isn’t that great.  They did a better job with Noir Spider-Man in shattered dimensions.  The hardest part of this is the camera and the controls, the camera flips around and the controls will invert at a moment’s notice leaving you vulnerable and open to making mistakes.  Noir Spider-Man had the same problem but it didn’t feel as severe.

-Spider-Man is really squishy, there are upgrades to make him more resistant to attacks but that really only changes him from extremely squishy to moderately squishy.

-By the games end combat gets pretty repetitive.

-Web rush is fun at first but really removes any active participation in getting from point A to point B.  I feel like we had more control, more options and more fun in previous Spider-Man games, particularly Spider-Man 2 and even Spider-Man 3.

The Ugly:

-The camera gets out of control sometimes.

Final Thoughts:  I played this game to the end and did basically everything there is to do.  I did all the photography side missions, the X-Treme reporter, I saved all the infected civilians, returned all the mental patients, researched all the weird sewer activity and stole all the technology from Oscorp’s secret labs.  So clearly this isn’t a bad game, if this game was terrible I wouldn’t have done all that.  I really enjoyed my time with the game but the game is certainly flawed.  I paid full price on this because I wanted to play as Stan Lee, which is awesome, but I don’t know if I would recommend spending so much on it if you don’t get a bonus.  I don’t know what the Rhino rush bonus was like or if that makes it worth a full purchase but I would recommend, if you’re a fan of the movie or a fan of Spidey, to wait until this one drops in price a bit before picking it up.

   It’s certainly one of the better Spider-Man games to come along but I was hoping that this would end up being pretty much a remake of the Spider-Man 2 game.  I loved that game, that is by far the best Spider-Man game ever made, why they don’t just do a HD remake of that game I have no idea (probably has to do with licensing BS) but that would make a great X-Box Arcade game.  Until that happens though if you want a good HD Spider-Man experience then this it. 

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