Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review #416: Ultimate Spider-man(DS)

 It's certainly makes a killer first impression.
 Just when things were looking up for the handheld adventures of the creepy crawler comes Ultimate Spider-man on the DS to remind us not to have our hopes held too high.

 Featuring a retelling of the console game of the same name, Ultimate Spider-man follows the story of both Peter Parker and Eddie Brock, Spider-man and Venom respectively, as the sins of their fathers comes to haunt them in the present day. It's easy to tell that you're not getting the entire picture but rather bits and pieces from the home console game's plot, but the presentation is top-notch, featuring great voice-overs and a very stylish cut-scene style, using various stills from the main game's cut-scenes to create facsimiles of comic-book panels. That's called making the most out of your designated console's limitations!
 You'll get to play as both Spider-man and Venom in this 2-D sidescrolling game, and both offer vastly different styles. Spidey can dodge attacks with the L button, punch, kick and use his unlimited webbings to traverse the stage or bind enemies. Landing hits will fill an energy gauge that can be used for a few special moves. His stages are focused on saving civilians, and it kinda sucks. Y'see, you'll be lifting cars or accessing terminals over and over again while having to deal with forced tacked-on touch-screen minigames. Sometimes you have to rescue civilians under arbitrary time limits, I mean, every single rescue is under a time limit, but the timer decreases even once you've picked them up! THEY ARE NOT IN ANY DANGER, THEY CAN'T DIE ANYMORE, SO WHY THE HELL IS THE TIMER STILL GOING ON?? Trust me, the first few times you have to rescue people, it's kinda fun, but these get old pretty soon.

 Then we have Venom, who is constantly losing health, but can feast on any enemy to recover health. Venom's supposed to be played with the touchscreen, but luckily, you can perform most tasks and puzzles with the buttons. That said, holding stuff with tentacles, by tapping the touchscreen, is kinda fun. Kinda.
 There's about 20 stages in all, although in a few instances you'll be allowed to pick between two different stages, and while you can replay previously cleared stages, you cannot pick the levels that you didn't choose, dooming them to remain unplayed unless you start a new file. There's also a multiplayer mode, which I'm guessing is a versus mode, and you can pick between different versions of Peter Parker or Venom, but I didn't have anyone to try it with.

 Ultimate Spider-man on the Nintendo DS can be fun, when it's not being repetitive or forcing me to alternate between touchscreen minigames and buttons at a moment's notice. It's also a bit glitchy, there's a particular roof during the second stage that always catapulted me outside the stage's bounds. It's a definite step forward from Spider-man 2(DS), but if pressed to pick between the handeld iterations of Ultimate Spider-man, the Gameboy Advance one is the clear winner.
 5.5 out of 10

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