Monday, January 14, 2013

Spider-Man 3 (Wii)

I haven't posted anything for two weeks, so this is gonna be a doozy.

Spider-Man 3 is based on the final part of the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, a movie which tried to be dark and gritty, and wound up wasting the cast, characters, and what might have been an interesting plot. The game is by far worse, although it starts out nice enough. The tutorial isn't patronizingly stupid, and you get to beat up thugs in a burning building. After you leave is when everything goes wrong. The sandbox style of the missions, the fact that the missions are contained within their own area instead of just telling you what to do and letting you do it. The dialogue for Spider-Man, the thugs, informants, and essentially everyone is re-used ad-nauseum, to the point of which you know EXACTLY what someone's gonna say before they say it. After you get used to "Are you the REAL Spider-Man, or just some other DORK in a suit?!" you can tell exactly how much of the game is unneeded padding, they waste your time collecting logos so you can unlock the black suit without any risks of a game-over, which like most optional suits I passed on collecting and instead opted to finish the game ASAP. Here's how it works with most games I borrow from the library: I get it, play it all week, then take it back after I finish it on the last day. I did just that, but it took several late nights to finish it. The upgrade system leaves you with a load of stuff that's A) hard to pull off, and B) mostly useless. The fights all get repetitive and most of the game would do better as a boss-rush than a full game.
Now we turn to the graphics. This game has some of the worst graphics on the Wii I've seen.
Now, I will not play the "it's low quality because it's on the Wii" card, that is one card I will never play. I will, however play the "Activision got lazy and didn't put the kind of effort into this game as they did Goldeneye" card, since this game looks worse than most GameCube or Wii games. On the GameCube, we have Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil: REbirth, Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes to name a few. What do they all have in common? More detail and better looking graphics than Spider-Man 3. Even Iron Man looks better than Spider-Man 3 (although it's not any better)! The cutscenes looked like early PSX era, but worse. I can actually say that the cut-scenes in this game are put together worse than the ones in Metal Gear Solid because although MGSs graphics are a bit less detailed, the writing makes up for it. The character models in Spider-Man 3 look bug-eyed and the rigging for their movement is jerky at times, usually in cut-scenes. Worse than that, they only used a few members of the cast as voice-actors for the characters (and the ones that aren't original cast sound A) nothing like their movie counterparts and B) bad voice-acotors). Basically the people they show in the opening credits? That's the people from the movie and it ends there. Also the writing is even more convoluted than the movie, some of the scenes go from touching and relatable, to off center and out of focus. The black-suit origin goes from accidental to blatantly un-noticed, and on top of that it's a lazy, badly made game that would be excusable on the PSP or PSX, or even early Dreamcast or PS2, but not on the Wii, and not from Activision, and not in 2007, the year that Metroid Prime 3, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Rogue Galaxy, Persona 3, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. All of those games look and play better than Spider-Man 3, came out in the same year, and have more replay value, simply because they make you want to play the game once, whereas Spider-Man 3, I had a hard time finishing it once.
This brings us to the difficulty curve, which is a bit insane. I usually make it a point to not read the manual, walkthrough, cheat-guides, or hintbooks unless I'm stuck repeating the same boss twenty times in a row, which I was stuck doing several times, even though I dialed the difficulty down to minimum!
All in all I wish I had spent my week better, after the game ends you have a never-ending game, so if you want to waste your time helping the police of New York City clean up imaginary gangs you can.
Something that would have been better would have been letting you embrace the black suit and take over Manhattan and the world, instead of having only one ending, the one where you kill Venom, Harry just disappears, and the happy ending of Flint Marko confessing what had happened to Peter and Peter forgiving him not happening, and leaving so many loose ends to the plot of the game that you wish you'd never played the game.
I feel sorry for the people who bought it new, just like I feel sorry for the people who paid money to see Spider-Man 3, as I get most of the movies I see from the library I didn't have to pay to see it, but people did, and people paid for games like this.
The worst part is that it has no reason to be played again, the collection quests take forever and it's no use anyways since your reward is clothes.
The only good thing is the webswinging and free-roam, which are the only redeeming aspects of the game. Ignore all the non-required missions unless you're bored and you can explore NYC to your hearts content.
I'm not sure if I've talked about the upgrade system and how annoying it is, like I said before, most of the moves are hard to pull off and there are only a few that help you, and most get unlocked automatically if they're mandatory.
All in all this game gets a 3.2* rating, being bad enough to garner a rating below 5, but having anough good aspects to keep it above a 1.