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Spider-Man 3 Member Review for the Wii

Master_Craig By:
GENRE Action 
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER Vicarious Visions 
T Contains Mild Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Let's face it. Most movie licensed games are absolutely terribly and are clearly only made to try and get more money to the mother-franchise. Enter Spider-Man the movie: The Game, a short, unimaginative game that overall can be considered a piece of crap. However, sometimes we, the gaming community, are blessed with a game based off a movie, that's actually good. That's where Spider-Man 2 comes in. It's been two years and for some time now the third Spider-Man movie has been released, and as well, the inevitable video game.

Don't hold your breath this time 'round, folks.

First, the good. Spider-Man 3 on the Nintendo Wii is much different to that of the other consoles (X-Box 360, PS3, PC). First thing first, is the Wii control scheme. Spider-Man 3 on the Wii throws the player right into the action as Spider-Man is attempting to stop a group of bad guys who are pretty much going to blow up a building, it's like a giant tutorial in regards to combat. You shake the Wii-mote to deliver punches, while occasionally pressing the A button to unleash a powerful finishing attack to conclude your combos. Use the nunchuck to do rolling dodges, and that's about it. Throughout the game you can unlock new abilities for Spider-Man, like an RPG system, offering a web-map grid of which items to collect first and whatnot.

Once you're out of this mission/tutorial, you'll finally be given the opportunity to freely swing around the city, or continue the storyline as you wish. Webswinging is a complicated learning curve at first but in the end is a rather creative method of control. Web swinging works with both the nunchuck and the Wii-mote. With the Wii-mote, players operate Spider-Man's right hand, hold down the B-trigger and flick the Wii-mote foward, and Spider-Man launches a web line with his right hand and starts swinging. Release, and flick it again to shoot another web line, and hold the A button to charge a jump, release and launch yourself further. Use the nunchuck in the same fashion, only this time it's the Z button you're holding, and flick the nunchuck, Spider-Man shoots a web line with his left hand. You can alternate the hands in the options, so the nunchuck becomes the right and Wii-mote becomes the left. But that's the basic element of web swinging, and it's pretty cool.

A number of Spider-Man's moves return this time around also, such as the awesome charge jumping, wall running, wall crawling (of course) and so fourth. The amount of moves have been gradually reduced from the previous game, but there is still a fair amount. Spider-Man also has access to new moves such as the "Adrennaline" powers, which unleash powerful attacks upon enemies when you charge up your meter for it. Spider-Man also recieves the black suit very early in the game, and works differently from the other versions. The black suit allows Spider-Man more damage, different attacks, and increased health, ontop of that it's a transformable state. However, use the black suit in combat for too long and it'll take over you and knock you unconscious, thus ending the game. So you'll have to remove the suit once you have to. Another negative side effect is you lose all your abilities from the red and blue suit, and cannot upgrade the blacksuit. But hey, you get so much more in return, right? It's a matter of preference.

Now it's time for the bad, which unfortunately out weighs the good.

The combat system is pretty bad for a Spider-Man game. Spider-Man feels incredibly slow and stiff, and can only pretty much take on one enemy at a time. While you're trying to pummel away at one enemy, one can come up behind you and give you a smack, and inevitably leaving Spider-Man stunned temporarily, you'll get the crap knocked out of you. Spider-Man is supposed to be extremly quick and agile, but he definetly does NOT feel this way.

Combating enemies can be pretty ridiculous at times. You've got some enemies that can somehow dodge all Spider-Man's attacks and can only be defeated in the one, same repetitious manner, then you've got enemies who can take loads of damage and alas, can only be defeated in the one, same repetitious manner. Speaking of fights, the boss fights are pretty lame and dull this time around. They just feel like normal fights except with a tougher guy, that's it. Some fights also contain the whole button consecutive moment thing but it's done in a really dodgy way. For example, battling the Sandman in the subway/sewers, you'll eventually have to press the A button at the right time to throw him onto one of the incoming trains.. so, when it tells me to press A, I do it, and instantly Spider-Man is in Sandman's face and throws him into a train in a cinematic like sequence - despite the fact I was probably ten in-game feet away from the Sandman when I did it.

The music isn't too bad, although it's quite repetitive at times, it varies from either the movie-style orchestrated music to the original Spider-Man techno-esque music. But what's more disturbing is the voice acting. Sure, the game has the original actors (save for Kirsten Dunst who isn't in the game) doing the voice roles, but they're horrible. They're really bad and just annoying, it's so poorly done. The script is just as bad, making little to no sense especially if you've seen the Spider-Man 3 movie. The plot is hardly interesting, modified to a large (terribly large) degree from the movie.

The graphics of the game is really flawed. NPC and enemy animations are of course dodgy, and just look silly, while Spider-Man himself doesn't look all too impressive either, and the cutscenes look like poorly rendered versions of the X-Box 360 and PS3 versions. The game also has many framerate issues, while you're swinging up high into the sky with little detail on the screen, Spider-Man flows as smoothly as a river, but as soon as detail comes onto the screen his moves become etchy and fierce, like as if multiple people threw rocks into the said river. It's also uninspiring to see the city loading up as you move through it, so buildings will just look like a single block and as you approach it, it regains its textures and whatnot, it's really not that good of a sight. Loading times are a constant thing in Spider-Man 3, which really makes the gameplay feel slow paced. It's also unfortunate that the Nintendo Wii version doesn't have some of the things included in the other console versions, such as the ability to swim, and usage of the subways.

Possibly the worst element of Spider-Man 3 for the Nintendo Wii is the length of the game. For me, on normal difficulty it took just barely seven hours over four days, when Spider-Man 2 on the Nintendo Game Cube took me over twenty hours over two weeks. That's a big difference, a difference I'm not happy with. It's also unfortunate that the PS3 and X-Box 360 versions recieve more content in terms of storyline, having ten storylines while the Nintendo Wii has only half of that (five storylines). The exclusive storylines on the Nintendo Wii seem like a nice addition, but really, they aren't.

Overall, Spider-Man 3 on the Nintendo Wii isn't a bad game really but at the same time it's not a good game. The Wii controls are different and its good to see the developers trying but in the end - the sluggy combat system, the voice acting and dialog, the graphical flaws and the overall length of the game does not make this game worth as much as the retailers claim it should be (in Australian currency, it's a hundred bucks). Spider-Man fans, especially fans of the third movie might get a kick out of this game but don't hold your breath, fans may be quite disappointed as the combat system of the game does not feel very Spidey at all. A rental at best.

At least they're still trying to make him do whatever a spider can.

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