Today’s post will be the first of hopefully many that will involve reviews of recent videogames. However, they’re going to be ones that I buy and play, which means that at most, you’ll get one a month. I’m not Game Informer ladies and gents.
Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions is the best game featuring the wall-crawler since, well, ever. Instead of just taking the open-world environment format of the old games and throwing in a few new villains, Dimensions is a level-based affair, with the player bouncing between not one, not two, but FOUR different versions of Spidey.
The story is pretty standard Spider-man shenanigans. After finding Mysterio in the museum, the two scuffle, and the “Tablet of Chaos” that Mysterio was after is broken into segments. Since the tablet is mystical in nature, its various fragments are scattered throughout different alternate dimensions, and Madame Webb assembles the Spider-mans Noir, 2099, Ultimate, and regular to retrieve them.
One of the great things about this game is that each dimension definitely has its own feel. In a lot of ways, Shattered Dimensions is four different Spidey games in one. The Amazing (regular) universe is an action game, Noir is a stealth, and so on and so on. Many of the levels are extremely well done as well, and make for some really cool moments. The Sandman level is one in particular that really stood out, as you have to web onto the different pieces of buildings that he throws at you. Another stand out was the Carnage level, which made that character more terrifying than he’s ever been in the comics.
Unfortunately the game does start to lose steam by its fourth act, in which the numerous cool and innovating things that you were doing at the beginning of the game start to become the only thing that you seem to do. Every level starts to follow a pattern of beat up these goons, fight the boss for about 4 minutes, chase him, rescue the civilians/scientists, fight the boss again. This pattern really only applies to the Noir and 2099 levels, which also start to feel like extended boss fights. Thankfully the deep combat system allows you to mix it up when you start getting bored, but I really hope that we see a little more variety in future Spidey games.
The voice acting was another aspect that was a little hit or miss. While it is impressive that the four voice actors who have spoken for Peter Parker each play one of the different Spider-men, the only real standout is Neil Patrick Harris as the regular Spidey. Maybe I was just excited to hear him voice Spider-man again, but everyone else sounded flat, especially Dan Gilvezan (from Spider-man and His Amazing Friends). Last I checked, the Spider-man from 2099 was supposed to be hispanic, but I guess one of his super powers is being able to sound like a middle aged white guy.
Despite the repetitiveness of Shattered Dimensions, it’s still the best Spider-man game since Spider-man 2 was released back in 2004, and a must by for fans of the wall-crawler. It has a deep combat system and the ability to level up for more rewards, like bonus costumes. There’s also a slot on the title screen for “downloadable content”, so perhaps we’ll get even more inter-dimensional wall-crawling adventures in the the near future.