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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Beenox

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

September 7, 2010

 

 

- Stan Lee rounds out what really plays like a love letter to Spider-Man
- A directed experience without stripping out Spider-Man's roster of crazy moves
- First-person boxing is a welcome break
- The different eras are awesome

 

 

- Button presses don't always seem register
- I really wish this had included some digital comic books because I haven't kept up

 

 

Review: Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

Review: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (360)

Review: Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (Wii)

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (360)

 

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Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

spider-man shattered dimensions          spider-man shattered dimensions

 

This is the direction that Spider-Man games should have probably taken years ago. Rather than stick Spider-Man in a sandbox of skyscrapers and have nothing for him to do, no big pay-off for a sprawling landscape, developer Beenox has put the webslinger into a very directed experience without stripping Spider-Man of his

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outlandish moves. Each area, even though some of them are quite large, have a definite push to keep Spider-Man moving toward a specific goal. And the game is stronger because of it not only because it feels less aimless, but the locations are more interesting.

The game is broken, shattered, if you will, into four specific Spider-Man eras and each of them

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really feel like wholly separate levels even if the collective goal is the same: grab a piece of the Tablet of Order and Chaos. The Noir Spider-Man emphasizes stealth above everything else; hiding in the shadows and silently grabbing enemies as they wander their predetermined paths. The 2099 era likes to send Spider-Man careening straight down into a neon nightmare. The Amazing era is incredibly cool to look at, all cel-shaded and ripped from a comic book. And then the Ultimate era which is an off-kilter version of the Amazing era.

 

Across all versions, the various Spider-Men handle very similarly to each other so there's no re-learning of moves every time a new era is tackled. I also liked the fact we get to see a lot of classic Spider-Man foils.

Early on in the game the first-person boxing sections are jarring and I actually said, "Ugh!" when the first one appeared. Flicking the thumbsticks performs different punches and jabs and it's ridiculous but I actually started to really have fun with those brief sections. It's like Beenox tried to build in functionality for Sony's Move and Microsoft's Kinect, but it works with a regular control, so no harm, no foul.

 

spider-man shattered dimensions          spider-man shattered dimensions


My problem with the game is that button presses don't always seem to register. Hammering on the buttons can result in some spectacular flailing but when I wanted to execute with a little more precision, especially during the Noir stages, I often fell flat. This most often happened with web-slinging from place to place. The one-two-punch-kick-fling combos are responsive enough but when using the webline to traverse the environments there's a distinct delay, like the game is trying to figure out if you want Spider-Man to perform the classic Spidey swing or zip to a specific location. It's annoying and it feels like something Beenox knew was a problem because they built a "recover" feature if Spider-Man starts dropping into the abyss.

I really liked playing Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension because every level seemed to have something different to do, and failing that, at least it always looked radically different from level to level. Some of the source material is lost on me, but if you have fond memories of Spider-Man comics or even the '90s animated series, it's definitely worth checking out.

- Aaron Simmer

(October 7, 2010)

 

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