Tuesday, May 22, 2007

VG review: Spider-Man 3

Activision, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii and PC

rated T for Teen (animated blood, mild language, violence), $59.99 (PS3 and Xbox 360), $49.99 (Wii), $39.99 (PS2) and $29.99 (PC).

“Spider-Man 3” made me want to vomit.

No, I mean that literally. Twenty minutes into the game I had to switch it off because it made me so nauseated.

I tend to be prone to motion sickness, but even so, this video game tie-in to the most popular movie in theaters suffers from one of the worst point-of-view cameras I’ve ever experienced.

It refuses to stay behind the main character and becomes completely disoriented in tight corners, especially when you’re crawling on the walls or ceilings or battling large groups of gangsters.

The problems don’t stop with the game’s camera. “Spider-Man 3” is a mess, full of clunky button-mashing, shoddy graphics and repetitive game play.

The game is virtually identical to “Spider-Man 2,” except in quality. As before, New York City is your web-swinging oyster, and you pick up missions and side quests as you explore its environs.

The game follows the plot of the film pretty closely, with Spidey tackling the triumvirate of Venom, the Sandman and the new Green Goblin. However, the developers throw in a host of other villains and challenges to pad out the game.

And padding out is exactly what a lot of these missions feel like. The notion of beating down on the various goofy gangs that patrol Manhattan or taking Mary Jane on a web-swinging ride through the city sounds intriguing on paper but becomes mind-numbingly dull when put into practice. Especially when the game’s fighting system seems to consist of pushing buttons as wildly as possible and hoping for the best.

Usually I try not to focus on a game’s graphics too much, preferring instead to talk about other issues such as game mechanics or the overall emotional experience. “Spider-Man 3,” however, gives me little choice.

I played the game on a “next-generation” console, the PlayStation 3, but its graphics didn’t even hold up to PS2 standards. Characters look blocky and robotic. Backgrounds are devoid of color or detail.

It’s obvious that “Spider-Man 3” was a rush job. The developers were no doubt under pressure to get the game finished in time for the movie’s release and let it go out the door before it was ready. It’s a common practice, and one that needs to stop.

I tried to get through “Spider-Man 3,” dear reader. Truly I did. But there came a point when enough was enough. My poor stomach can only take so much, even when engaged in the noble cause of good criticism.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007



At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Buy Cialis said...

It's going to be an important game... I've been hearing a lot of opinions about it. Perhaps it would be nice if you can write some tips about Spider-Man 3.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous xlpharmacy said...

In the end, Spider-Man 3 has its moments. Swinging through New York is as fun as it's ever been, and some of the new contextual action sequences are pretty cool. But for everything Spider-Man 3 does well, it does something else poorly.


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