SPIDERMAN 3 XBOX 360 REVIEW

Spider-Man 3 makes a next generation leap onto the Xbox 360 console. That leap is by no means a jaw-dropping visual experience, but it is an respectable effort of the franchise to say the least. In this third chapter, you are introduced to a darker side of Spider-Man and fight a slew of new super villains from Sandman and Scorpio to Kingpin and Lizard. A much sleeker combat system has been installed, which gives both fans of the Marvel comic world a “killer” satisfaction. The pace of the game is kept alive through great contextual actions. However, the different storylines that you can choose didn’t sum up into one solid plot. Fortunately, this is something that can be overlooked thanks to the incredible fight scenes.

Spider-Man has always been about defying gravity, impressive combo tricks, graceful super moves, and extra sensory perception. This is what you can expect in this year’s Spider-Man 3…and a lot more. Just like the old Spider-Man games, this one gives you vast open-ended scenarios of the Big Apple to swing around. The swing mechanics work the same way as Spider-Man 2. You latch onto a building and then shoot webs to zip through many of New York ’s finest sites. If you have played Spider-Man 2 before, you’re definitely going to feel right at home with this one. Swinging through various landscapes is definitely one of the most entertaining aspects of Spider-Man 3. It is a lot smoother here than past Spider-Man games. As exciting it is to swing, you also have a great combat system installed.

You have a new type of arsenal at your disposal. By pressing one of the shoulder buttons, you activate the bullet-time mode, which puts everything in slow motion, allowing you to automatically dodge incoming attacks as well as clear an entire room of thugs with just a few hits! Indeed the game is heavily set on mashing the buttons for combos; but that’s perfectly alright considering this is an action arcade game, not puzzle solving. What makes this game even better than the last version is the inclusion of contextual mini-games. If you’ve played God of War, then you’ll know what we’re talking about. Basically, you are given a cinematic sequence that involves pressing buttons or tilting the analog stick that appear on the screen. Some parts might require simple two or three button combinations, others require quick button reflexes. Another highlight of Spiderman3 is the structure of its missions.

In the past, you had to complete random side missions just to unlock the next story missions. In Spider-Man 3, the story missions and side missions are totally separate package. With this option, you are no longer forced to play through “side” content that pretty much drag the pace of the game. Graphically, the game looks good but not quite a next-generation we had hope for. We are still impressed with how developer Treyarch contoured the city landscapes that brought much of today’s New York to life. The city is filled with bustling activities such as pedestrians going about their day and streets busy with cars. The lighting effects are nicely done, casting just the right amount of shadow to the nearby buildings wherever the Sun shines upon them. The downside of the visual presentation is the game’s camera system.

The camera has a problem staying in focus with the action. It can’t independently adjust behind you especially when you’re swinging around the city. As a result, you lose sight of where you are and where to swing next. In the audio department, the game presents a good lineup of sound effects (from explosion to Spider-Man beating the crap out of the bad guys). The music selection is awesome, and keeps you invigorated during the fights. But the best auditory piece lies in the voice-over works that features great performance from virtually all cast of the film. Tobey Macguire did well reprising his role as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. James Franco and J.K. Simmons give an enthusiastic feat in their voices as well. Bruce Campbell makes another appearance as the narrator with fairly decent voice-acting. The only person missing in action is Kirsten Dunst, who would be Spiderman’s love interest. But her absence didn’t make a significant dent to bring the audio factor down.

Overall, Spider-Man 3 is another incredible Marvel-based game that provides you with a satisfying taste of what is like to be Spider-Man minus the bruises and recurring injuries. It has good combat system, interesting contextual cutscenes, and engaging storylines that doesn’t force you to play through padded content. The controls are responsive and significantly smoother than previous installment. Because of the amazing swing mechanics, you are able to experience the glitzy physics of the film right in your home. The best part is that you’ll be able to zip through the entire city of New York without leaving your couch! Thanks to the new “bullet-time” mode, player will have fun racking up big combos . Plus you get a great cast of voice actors that reprise their roles they played in the movie. Spider-Man 3 is just a fun game, and this will no doubt satisfy fans of the Marvel comic world as well as action adventurers.

FINAL SCORE: 8.0 OUT OF 10