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Spider-Man 3

Score: 80%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Free-Roaming

Graphics & Sound:

It needs to be said immediately that the Wii version of Spider-Man 3 is a very different and separate game than those developed by Treyarch for the PS3 and 360. While Vicarious Vision's version seems to be a good bit easier, the overall feel of the game seems to fit nicely with the Wii's "everybody can play" attitude.

As you would expect, the Wii version of this game isn't nearly as pretty as the other two next-gen games. The open-world New York City has simpler buildings and the CG versions of all of the movie's characters just don't look quite right (including the model of Tobey Maguire), but that doesn't mean the game looks bad by any stretch of the imagination. The city is large, there is a ton of activity going on and there is enough variety in the streets to keep things interesting.

The game's vocals are pretty good as well. Bruce Campbell does an excellent job as being both the narrator and comic relief of the game and his standard style of humor comes through loud and clear. In fact, I believe his performance outshines those of the other actors.


Like the game for the second movie, Spider-Man 3 is a free-roaming action/adventure that lets you travel from one side of New York City to the other searching out crime and taking on various missions and super villains.

Like the movie, the main events of the game center around New Goblin (Harry Osborne out for vengeance), The Sandman (voiced by Thomas Haden Church) and Spidey's new black suit (as well as Venom, of course). But they aren't the only super villains to make an appearance in this game. Lizard will rear his big green head as well as Shriek and the vampire Morbius.

Along the way, you will also be able to use Peter's photography skills to net you some experience. This mechanic seems to work pretty well because the lens you are looking through gives you a red-to-green indicator to let you know just how good of a shot you are lining up. Your goal when playing photo-journalist is to get shots of villains in interesting poses. The experience you gain from taking good pictures and completing missions goes toward your skills and allows you to learn new attacks.


Spider-Man 3 isn't really a difficult game, especially when you compare it to the versions on the other systems. I found that I was able to consistently beat each mission on the first try on the medium setting (dubbed "Hero"), while a second attempt was often necessary on the Superhero mode and the easy setting of "Sidekick" was a breeze.

It is pretty obvious that the developers of this title were trying to make the game more accessible to the type of player that might own a Wii, namely not necessarily the gaming-elitist that covets their 360 or PS3. Instead I can easily see a little kid or his mother picking up this game and swinging around the city having fun at high altitudes.

Game Mechanics:

There are two aspects to the Wii version of Spider-Man 3 that makes it really stand out. One is the way the game handles the Black Suit; the other is, of course, its controls.

First the suit. Once you get the ability to wear it, you can put it on and take it off at will. While wearing the suit, you jump higher, you are stronger and your attacks are much more effective. But, there is a downside. The more you attack with the suit, the more control it gains over you. Eventually, blackness seeps in around the edges of your screen and while your attacks are getting stronger, you are on the verge of passing out and failing your mission. The other interesting aspect of this mechanic is that you can't just take the suit off. When you want to remove it, you have to shake your Wii-mote and Nunchuck in certain ways to "shake it off."

Which brings me to the controls. Like most Wii games, I found it took a bit of time to get used to them, but when I did, swinging around the city and attacking crooks became very natural and just felt right. In order to swing, you hold down the (B) or (Z) button and shake the corresponding controller. So, if you want to swing with your left hand, you hold down the (Z) and shake the Nunchuck. Then you can shoot web out with your other hand and continue your swing. Also, there are a ton of fighting moves that rely on waggling one hand or the other while pressing buttons, and while it sounds like this is hard to manage, it doesn't take long at all before you are taking down the likes of Lizard and New Goblin.

Spider-Man 3 fits a mixed audience. Fans of the hero should check out this title because of its different interpretation of the movie (not to mention the hand-motions that make you feel like you are web-swinging) and players who fit into the more casual genre should give it a try because it isn't as scary as the same game for the other systems.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Microsoft Xbox 360 Shrek the Third Sony PlayStation 2 Shrek the Third

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