perjantai 5. syyskuuta 2014

REVIEW - Spider-Man: Battle for New York | DS | 2006

GENRE(S): Action
RELEASED: November 14, 2006
DEVELOPER(S): Torus Games
PUBLISHER(S): Activision

Following the moderate success of Ultimate Spider-Man, Activision followed up with a quick and cheap spiritual sequel called Spider-Man: Battle for New York, which was released exclusively on Nintendo's two portable systems. Reception to the game was lukewarm at best, and it's easy to see why. Spider-Man: Battle for New York repeats Ultimate Spider-Man's winning formula, but repeats it at such a volume you'll have grown tired of the whole damn thing in five minutes.

Spiders 'n Goblins

Scientist Norman Osborn figures out Spider-Man's true identity and how he gained such powers, and creates a radioactive formula dubbed "Oz", which has similar effects. He tests the unstable formula on himself and becomes an insane hulking monster known as the Green Goblin. Spider-Man quickly delivers the rampant Osborn to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s tender loving care, but he easily breaks out of their prison and starts to abduct people for more experiments and to create a goblin army to conquer New York City.

Cheap or not, the game looks amazing.
I ended the last review of Ultimate Spider-Man by stating to have not seen the sense behind making Venom a constantly playable character, if he was to be the final boss. Remember playing as Darth Vader in the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed? Of course you do. That was just one level, a prologue to the story - completely different, and how cool was it to play as the wickedest villain of them all, just for that one moment? If he had been the playable character in every other level, that would've ruined everything. Just like playing as Venom ruined Ultimate Spider-Man, and just like playing as the Green Goblin, who's the obvious main villain from a certain point onward, ruins Spider-Man: Battle for New York. This time, though, there are a lot more tiny bastards pissing in your cereal than just one inconsistency. There are many things right about this game - but none of those things are new, except for the fact that it's a DS game with minimal (ab)use of the touch screen.

The graphics are still damn good. The game has that same cartoony fluidity to it as its spiritual predecessor, the comic book cutscenes drawn by 20-year Marvel Comics veteran Ron Lim look fantastic, and the environments rotate all the time, smooth as shit. The game also sounds good; the music's merely decent, but the voice actors do fantastic jobs. Once again, no subtitles - "just" a full voice track on a DS game card. It's quite impressive.

It might be sensical to point out at this time that playing as Spider-Man is basically just as fluid as last time around; so, if you're a Marvel fan and a gamer, even an avid one, you shouldn't find this game an utterly lost cause. The Goblin, however, as he's called in-game, is an even bulkier and unenjoyable play than Venom in the last game. There's nothing to serve as a solid substitute for Spider-Man's diversity, and well, all Goblin's missions are essentially about beating guys up anyway, while Spidey's missions are a bit deeper. None the more interesting this time around, though.

I'll save you. I'll just carry you two
meters to the left and you'll be fine, OK?
While it was fun to swing around and save innocents as the friendly neighborhood arachnidude in Ultimate Spider-Man, here it becomes a tedious standard extremely quick. The missions go on for ages repeating themselves, the spider-sense is a bit quirky and misleading to go with that; there are no checkpoints, so if you fail in the end of a mission on any account, be it yours or the misleadings of the spider-sense, you have to do it all over again. The game is also riddled with poor design. The boss fights are essentially generic mashfests and the levels are built just weird, but the Chinatown level with Spidey took the cake. The objective is to save a set number of hostages, and then take care of any remnants of the enemy gang, supposed to be scattered throughout the whole level. I did two or three complete rounds through the highs and lows of the level, and couldn't find the four remaining gang members anywhere. I continued swinging around for maybe ten minutes, thinking the game's glitched, and then suddenly all of those guys appeared out of thin air inside a space I had run through at least five times. I don't know if it was a certain, tiny little spot I had to pass by to trigger the event, but either way, that's crappy design, right there.

For such a cheap quickie with zero advertisement, Spider-Man: Battle for New York is surprisingly decent as the better part of its influences come from a moderately good DS game, but truthfully, from a gamer's strict and honest point of view, it's a failure, a step back, and I would even call it a disappointment.

+ Great graphics and sound
+ Minimal touch screen wankery
+ Spidey's so fluid

- Goblin's a rock; I don't get why we're forced to play as him in the first place
- Poor general design
- Boring, repetitive missions
- Crappy boss fights
- Spiffy spider-sense

< 6.4 >

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