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Spider-man 3 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 7.8
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.1
Value 7.3
Distributor: Activison/Treyarch
Review Date:
May 2007
Edwin Milheim


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Spider-man 3

Oh where to start? Well as the title of the game implies, it has some ties to the film by the same name. The game designers had the sense to put multiple story adventures in the game. This makes it much more enjoyable than just following along with only the film story.  I have to admit I am a big fan of the Spiderman game franchise, so this review was a bit of a tough one to do. Stepping back from my fandom feelings and really taking a hard look at this game. Much like the film, with red suited Spiderman being a hero, and black suited Spiderman being a villain, the game parallels that theme, the game has plenty of good points, but at the same token has plenty of bad points.

Not to worry, the bad points don't defeat our hero, not one bit. True as a next generation title for such systems as the Xbox 360 and the PS3, cut scene graphics could have stood to be better. back ground characters that are walking around in the street are understandably not rendered as well as our hero or villains. But one could understand that. The game is pretty hefty with the amounts of areas our hero can explore, and the city looks down right awesome. But some evil bugs and small clipping issues come into play as well. They don't detour too much from the game play, but they are there. Minor clipping with back ground characters are noticed once in a while where a person has somehow gotten stuck standing melded into the hood of a car. Pretty odd stuff there, once and a while if your running Spiderman along the sidewalk, up ahead you see some people (Or perhaps place holder icons) and as you get closer they disappear like a mirage, just blink right out of existence.

Voice acting is not too shabby at all with some of the cast even lending their talents to the whole gaming experience. Sound and music are likewise on par with such a big name title and do not disappoint one bit.

The non interactive cut scenes on the other hand just seem out of place for next generation gaming.  Characters look a bit on the chunky or boxy side. I have no idea what they where thinking here, these scenes almost seem like they are rushed just for the sake of getting the game on market in time for the films release. Which is kind of odd, the rest of the game looks pretty darn good.  Even the interactive cut scenes I was worried about seem to work. While true, there are times of button mashing does lend itself well to the game play.

One last gripe and then we move onto the good stuff. the camera does seem to at times suffer from the same issues as other games with action cams. Sometimes in closed in places the camera goes a little nuts as it tries to get the best angle, sometimes failing and hiding the action all together which can get pretty hairy when your pummeling a bad guy. The camera issue is relatively small for such a large game.

So ok, there is no doubts here Treyarch knows their stuff when it comes to Spiderman games. They have taken all the best parts of the other Spiderman games and cultivated them into a truly fun game.Spiderman 3 has some high points and low points. The highs out weigh the low points by a long shot. I can say if there are any more Spiderman games to come, Activision would be retards if they don't keep Treyarch on the job. Too true, here is another game that maybe was rushed to time it with the release of the film, but folks Treyarch delivered a pretty darn awesome experience and not a pile of worm dung unlike another Super Hero franchise also dressed in red and blue who I shan't name.Treyarch knows how to hit the mark and others should take a page from this winning game franchise.

So ok, let's make with the super hero stuff. Web swinging is back in a big way and too me any way, the controls have been simplified. A simple leap in the air and hold down of the right trigger sends a web out and on the down swing holding the left trigger gets you speed boost that can aid in getting our hero higher where he can repeat the sequence to rise above the streets of New York. Pretty cool heh?  What I always thought was an awesome idea in the games design, is that shooting out the web line for swinging is nothing if it is not anchored to a building. Nice touch, always loved that.

The game is aces when it comes to making you feel like you are that character. Web swinging is just down right fun. And of course the wall crawling too is there.  For Spiderman 3, the designers went the full 100 yards with this one, because unlike past games, the character now moves and wall crawls just like in the films. That in itself is a huge compliment to the designers.

Something new that just enhances the over all experience of being our favorite web head is the use of the right control stick. Pressing this helps Spiderman concentrate and use his Spider sense. Everything gets gray accept for the object or objects that our hero needs to be concerned with. Pretty darn handy when your not sure where the heck a target vehicle got too, since using spider sense you can see the target through buildings. This way you know which way to go.

Chase missions are back and I really did not like these in past games. In Spiderman 3 with the aid of spider sense its not so bad. The chase meter is back and shows just how far or close Spiderman is from the target. If you fall too far behind, that's they are gone and you fail the mission. Now at the same token if it's a stealth mission where you're trying to follow the bad guys to a hide out or something you don't want to get too close either. It's a delicate balance and using all of Spiderman's abilities comes into play in these chase sequences.

During a fight the every so cool spider reflexes come into play, when there are yellow or red icons over an enemy that means danger, holding down the left bumper puts spider man into his super reflexes, hitting the X button while in this mode Spiderman dodges the attack and counters with one of his own.

The graphics in the game over all are really good, they are just not phenomenal.  Roaming around the city is a blast, especially when web swinging, there is a slight motion blur effect that really lends itself well to the over all experience that is Spiderman 3 the game. Even with the flaws in the game, it's more than a little engaging and entertains on all of the right levels.

Fast note here, the interactive cut scenes that are sprinkled throughout the game lend themselves well to the over all feel of the game. A change of pace if you will. Unfortunately for those not inclined to have lightning fast reflexes for some of the scenes be prepared for massive amounts of frustration. A simple work around to either do the interactive cut scenes or some kind of auto success would have been more appreciated. True, if you fail the mission, there is an option to try something else and maybe try again some other time. The truth of the matter is that you just will never get past those cut scene missions if your eye hand coordination challenged.

As for the rest of the game, absolute aces that the designers or powers that be decided to do away with the whole point system to progress in the game. Never was a fan of that. Instead you go to the map and choose what you want to try and then there is a navigation icon to steer you to that point and place, where you can try the mission or the challenge. Such as a race through the city hitting goals or way points as fast as you can in order to get a medal for the best time.  Now on your way to these icons or mission goals, crimes break out on the streets; will you stop and take on the business at hand or swing on to your goal? Pretty awesome stuff, and almost secondary because while there may seem to be a choice here there really isn't. If you stop to put a stop to the crime going on and then move on to the next way point goal there does not seem to be any consequences. Of course I never had a random crime occur during a chase mission.if that happened I would think that there would be a possibility of you intended target getting away if you stop to take out the criminals. That would have been a nice touch, but oh well.

That game lasts long after finishing up the main missions and the movie missions which is as always much appreciated. Speaking of the missions in general, the great thing about the game is that your not limited to only the movie mission, there are other story missions that truly enhance the world of Spiderman and the Spiderman 3 game.  Let's sum it up a bit shall we? Free roaming, to an have bridges but you can only go so far across them. No problem, New York is large enough o keep the interest up.  You can go to the subways and sewers and roam about, You can swim a bit, so no more dropping into the water only to materialize some place else on dry land. Drum roll please, no more bloody balloon missions! Strike up the band! You have a little more going on in the random crime department including some bank robberies, plus three gangs to contend with.  The black suit has a rage mode which is pretty awesome, while playing Black suited Spiderman you will find the moves are a bit more powerful and may just a bit more vicious.  Plus other than the multitude of thugs and gang bangers, you have some real villains to contend with. New Goblin, Venom, Sandman, The Lizard, Kingpin, Rhino, The Mad Bomber, Kraven, and Scorpion.

Now this review was done from the Xbox 360 version of the game, but some things worth noting for other versions like the Wii and PS3 deliver two exclusive storylines featuring the Marvel villains, Shriek and Morbius. If that was not enough the Wii versions uses the Wii's unique controls for web swinging in a very different experience from the rest. This in itself is pretty cool. The down side of the Wii as apposed to the other two big power house systems is that the Wii version does not look as sharp as the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions. Chalk that up to the smaller power of the Wii I guess. Well, no matter how you play it, Spiderman 3 the game is one super cool ride that could use some slight tweaks here and there. Let's hope they see fit to update some content, after all there is an option on the 360 version for downloadable content. Hmmm, let's wait and see on that one.

Spiderman 3, well worth the dollars to add to your collection. Well done Treyarch, Well done!

Have fun, play games.

Edwin Millheim


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