Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review #425: Spider-man - Friend or Foe(Nintendo DS)

 Spider-man: Dumb or boring.
 I love beat'em ups, and I love starting reviews about beat'em ups with my classic 'I love beat'em ups', it's a very easy genre to screw up, and Friend or Foe for the Nintendo DS is no exception.

 There's a story about meteorite fragments and symbiotes but... I just couldn't get into it. It's not like I didn't want to give it a chance, but the presentation is so poor that it put me off. Cut-scenes, what few there are, are barely animated, and look ugly. The rest of the story is told via long-winded audio exchanges between characters, mostly Spider-man and Nick Fury, but you cant' fast-forward this glorified text boxes, even if you read faster than what they talk so... I skipped them. Sue me.
 X and Y punches and kicks, B jumps and A uses a special attack, you can select between special attacks by tapping L or press R to switch characters. The 'Friend or Foe' title comes from the fact that Spidey will be accompanied by another character on every stage, and the CPU will take control of either Spider or the ally, depending on which character you are playing as. The CPU is a bit dumb, but they don't lose health when hit by enemies. Friends and Foes are basically model-swaps of each other, same three punch and three kick combo as Spider-man, as well as a projectile and an area-of-effect special moves. Besides the fact that some characters have more health than others, there's no other reason as to why you'd use a character over another.

 Exploring stages nets you coins which can be used to upgrade Spider-man(and only Spider-man), buy allies to use in free mode(Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Black Cat, Blade, Sandman and Venom round up the cast) or buy a few extra modes. For whatever reasons, enemies don't drop coins, which is kinda weird, since there's no reward for defeating enemies besides being allowed to progress. And eventually I just avoided every enemy I could, since the fighting is exceedingly repetitive, unrewarding, bland and downright boring. The crappy framerate doesn't help this game's case either.
 As with every single Spider-man game on the DS, tacked-on touch-screen minigames rear their ugly, unwanted head, but at least these mini-games aren't too obtrusive. Kinda. Every level will have you engaging in the same mini-games over and over again, and every single time you engage these, which you must in order to progress, you'll be forced to sit through the explanation. What where they thinking?

 Spider-man - Friend or Foe on the Nintendo DS is yet another subpar Spider-man game on this poor handheld console. Will they ever get it right? Will we finally get a good Spider-man game on the DS? Only god knows...
 4.5 out of 10

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