Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review #434: The Amazing Spider-man(Nintendo DS)

 Spider-man's final meh on the DS.
 Spider-man's last game on the DS was anything but amazing, so why Activision decided to go with the same developer, Other Ocean, is beyond me. But a second chance they got, and this time around it's not the same bugfest that Edge of Time was... but is that enough to save it from being mediocre? It's not.

 You know the drill, the game follows a truncated version of the plot from the console game, but this time around, these games work as a pseudo sequel to the movie, rather than an adaptation. Regardless, it's yet another Lizard story, someone, Alystair Smythe, wants to continue Dr. Connors' work and it goes awry, so Spider-man busts out Dr. Connors AKA the Lizard in order to help him find a cure. The presentation in the game is rather poor, I appreciate the hand-drawn stills, but they are pretty amateurish, some of the character cut-outs, for conversations, are downright ugly.
 The game is a level-based 2-D action-platform game, guess Other Ocean gave up on Metroidvanias... and on coding a map, since all you're given is a basic overview of the amount of areas and connections, but lacking any kind of detail, on the top-screen. Interestingly, all 18 missions are randomly generated, if you die, or go back to an older mission, chances are the layout will be entire different(Although the amount of areas and connections will be the same), which explains why the map may sometimes be inaccurate, like showing a connection to the next area on the top, while in the game itself the door lies at the bottom. This new mechanic also means that you'll be seeing repeated obstacles pretty often, there's one in particular that the game loves to reuse, that involves Spider-man climbing up, with walls on the left and right, and you must web-zip left-and-right to avoid alternating obstacles, which usually end with a platform on the right wall. Interesting idea on paper, but poor execution in practice. At the end of the day, stages are unmemorable, and you'll most likely remember stuff you had to do more than once due to repetition and not fun.

  Spider-man can punch, jump and throw web against only the medium-sized enemies. Jumping, swinging and crawling on walls are to be expected, so he can do those too. There's a new 'special' meter that allows you to use special moves, but these make Spider-man glide through the floor if you hold left and right(Which you kinda need to do when initiating them), so it's a bit hard to land them, but fret not, normal attacks work well enough. Sometimes the game will have you fighting foes in order to find keycards to open the next door, which is alright, but the combat system is relatively weak, you just repeat your A button attacks, sometimes ending with Up+A to knock-up medium sized enemies and hit them some more on the air. There're very few enemy types, and there's not a lot whole you can do to them, since only medium sized enemies are affected by knock-ups or webbing, which is kinda lame.
 While stages are simple to get through, make sure you explore a little, since each stage has at least one permanent power up, either more health, damage or new special moves. Some stages will also have you play under a time limit, but it's still pretty easy to go through, even if there're many 'find the keycard' segments throughout.

 The Amazing Spider-man is what Edge of Time could've been had it not been plagued by a glitches: A mediocre, lame game that doesn't do anything particularly bad, but there's nothing noteworthy about it, and has so little nuance to itself that ends up being boring. Honestly, you could do so much worse on the console, but there's also been better... and that's where Spider-mans final game on the DS lies, in the middle. It's far from being the worst... but it's also far from being the best.
 4.5 out of 10

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