Sunday, July 16, 2017

Review #429: Spider-man - Web of Shadows(Nintendo DS)

They had to get it right sometime.
 Spider-man hadn't had any luck on the Nintendo DS until Web of Shadows came along. This is not your average Spider-man game, this is a Metroidvania, and it makes so much sense to place Spider-man in this genre since it fits his power-set nicely and allows to make the most out of a 2-D exploration game.

 The game follows a slightly tweaked version of the plot from the console game, basically, a Symbiote outbreak has infected New York, Spidey included, however, thanks to his previous exposure with Venom he can switch at will between Red suit and Black suit. They also included the Morality system, twice in the game you're allowed to pick between helping Nightcrawler or Green Goblin, which will determine which ending you get.
 Exploration is the name of the game in Web of Shadows DS. You're thrusted in a 2-D version of New York comprised of four different areas. At first your path will be clearly defined, but defeating bosses earns you new abilities that will allow you to access previously unavailable areas. Backtracking is something you'll do often, but it pays to do it on your own accord, since various Life ups, Attack ups and Defense ups are hidden in the game, and you'll need those upgrades since the game can get pretty tough. I'm not ashamed to admit that I died quite a few times. Defeating enemies earns you experience points which can then be spent to acquire new moves for either suit. Red Suit Spider-man focuses on speed and web attacks, while Black suit focuses on power and bouncing enemies around. There's a rudimentary combo system in place that punishes you for repeating the same moves, so you'll be swapping costumes as you juggle your enemies in order to amass the most amount of points possible.

 If there's something I don't quite agree with is how resilient enemies are. In my opinion, combat in Metroidvanias should be a quick affair, but I guess they wanted to show off their combo system. And don't get me wrong, the combat is really good in the game, but since it involves backtracking, endlessly respawning damage sponges can get a bit tiresome when you simply want to retread old ground with your newfound skills. And near the end of the game they force you to backtrack once more through all four areas in order to destroy four portals. Not cool, but the game lasts only 4 hours, so they had to pad a bit of fat in there.
 Touch-screen use has been kept to a minimum, thank god. When you die, if you've lives to spare, you'll engage in a mini-game which will determine how much health you get back upon reviving. Did I enjoy it? No, I did not. Was it annoying? No, it was not. Also, I think the mini-map could've used with more detail, like tracking your exact position, but it's serviceable for what it is.

 Finally, finally we get a good Spider-man game on the Nintendo DS. The game is still a bit lacking in a few areas, but its strengths stand tall above all else. So far, it's the only DS Spider-man game worth owning.
7.0 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment