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Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Score: 86%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer/ Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

The DS version of Spider-Man: Edge of Time took a bit of a different approach than the console versions. For one, the game is a 2D platformer. The graphics are discernible enough, but definitely not stellar. Then again, this is the DS; it could never handle the over-the-top effects the PS3 version has.

The developers at Other Ocean Interactive seemed quite familiar with the limitations of the system, but also aware of the fact that the comic-ness of comics are part of what makes them so great. I was happy to see that the beginning of each boss battle starts with a comic book cover depicting the upcoming fight. That was a nice touch. I was quite giddy, however, when I paused the game while playing as Amazing Spider-Man and saw the Spider-Man Number 1 Green Cover - inspired artwork. (At first I thought it was the McFarlane cover, but when I looked online, I could see differences.) Even in this day and age, there is nothing wrong with making a 2D platformer - and when your subject matter is comic books, you can actually make it work with your theme.

The music is fast-paced to keep the feeling of action going and the sound effects are decent, in an arcade sort of way. The voicework is pretty good, with a nice amount of quips, but it seemed that some of the dialogue was way quieter than the rest (and not due to any context of the game; it's not like the characters were trying to be quiet). The levels of sound effects and music can be tweaked in the Options menu, so if you find that you have an issue hearing dialogue, you could adjust the audio levels to improve the situation.


The story in (all versions of) Spider-Man: Edge of Time has you playing the part of the Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099, mentally linked across time, trying to stop Walker Sloan from meddling with time. The tampering has caused "Temporal Causality" - which, basically, means that either Spider-Man can cause changes in the environment of the other based on his actions. This is a major aspect of the gameplay on both versions I'm reviewing.

However, unlike the PS3 version, which gives you a totally linear path and switches between characters as the game's story dictates, the DS version allows you to swap back and forth - at will - between the two. This aspect, alone, really adds interest to the gameplay, giving it elements similar to the sleeper hit The Adventures of Cookies & Cream, whereby each character has to take some action to allow the other to progress.

In this version, you're adventuring in and around the Alchemax building and the Daily Bugle, both in 2099 and present day. You'll have to work your way through the buildings in search of any villains who happened to get sucked through the malfunctioning connected time portals that Walker Sloan devised. That means that Amazing Spidey won't just have to deal with his own baddies (such as Rhino), but he'll also have to take on baddies from the future... and Spider-Man 2099 will have to keep Amazing's baddies (such as Menace) from taking souvenirs (a la future technology) back into the past with them when they go. Not only that, but Sloan, Rhino and Doc Ock have mysteriously vanished into one time portal without coming out the other end... what have they become and where... or when... are they? Only time will tell...


There are no difficulty settings in Spider-Man: Edge of Time, so you'll need to take things slower if you're taking a beating. Watch for red dots (health) to fall when you defeat enemies and also watch for destructible crates in the environment. There are also power-ups tucked away in odd corners that can do things such as increase the strength of Amazing Spider-Man's webs, allowing him to pull down walls in his way and Adamantium claws that let Spider-Man 2099 slash down walls in his way.

If you find yourself stuck, remember that you can switch to the other character unless you're in a boss battle. Sometimes one character won't be able to progress until the other does.

One obstacle that slowed me down for a bit are the repellent surfaces in 2099. Spider-Man 2099 can hang and swing from them, but if you touch them, you get knocked back. These require some fancy web-slinging to get past.

With no difficulty settings, my only advice I can give, other than swapping characters from time to time, is to simply explore when you get stuck; you may be missing a power-up nearby that will allow you to slice your way through some of the walls that have been blocking your path. Oh, and, if you get frustrated, save your game and come back to it after a bit.

Game Mechanics:

The DS version of Spider-Man: Edge of Time doesn't try to push the limits of the system, but hits a few notes that should resound with Spider-Man comic enthusiasts like myself.

One thing that works surprisingly well is the web-swinging. Pressing (B) makes Spidey jump and pressing it again and holding it down while in the air and ole' web-head is swinging from a web. If you just hold (B) down, he'll swing back and forth for a bit, until he slowly comes to a stop and just hangs there. When he goes from swinging like he's trying to go somewhere to just hangin' around, he shifts into his upside-down pose (think of that weird upside down kiss from the movie, but without Mary Jane around). If you want to keep him swinging or even make him swing harder, you can use the D-pad to adjust how he's swinging. Well-timed presses of Left and Right on the D-pad will increase or decrease how far and fast he's swinging, while Up and Down can shorten his web (moving him up) or lengthen his web (moving him down). With practice, this can be used as a way to manage crowds; I will hang down from the ceiling and swing back and forth, then, at just the right moment, push Down, letting Spidey swing a little closer to the ground, knocking the enemies over like bowling pins. It doesn't seem to kill them, but it sure is fun.

The only nit I have to pick with Spider-Man: Edge of Time is that the upper screen map is a bit hard to follow. Sure, I can see that the surrounding area matches the map to some degree, but at some points, it looks like Spidey's crawling between floors or something, with the dot on the map not matching the layout of the building correctly. Also, while the map will tell you what your objective is and show it on the map (when you're close enough)... there isn't a way to scroll around the map or anything that indicates which direction your goal lies outside of the visible part of the map. This greatly reduces the usefulness of the map and can lead to a bit of hunting around. As I mentioned above, this typically ends when I find a power-up I had previously missed.

I greatly enjoyed playing Spider-Man: Edge of Time on the DS and would likely play it again if I find myself on a long trip and able to take my DS with me. It may not be earth-shattering, but it's a great way to pass some time.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Related Links:

Nintendo DS X-Men Destiny Sony PlayStation 3 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Trilogy

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