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The Amazing Spider-Man

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

As anyone who owns a DS will expect, The Amazing Spider-Man isn't the same experience you would see on the consoles, or even the 3DS. Unfortunately, even when ignoring what the other versions of the game have to offer, this particular flavor of the new movie's epilogue feels bland and very run-of-the-mill.

The game is broken into a few types of screens. For one, there is the comic book style cut scene that is used to convey the game's story; another are the "open world" areas that let you swing around the city and sewers to get to the different level locations. While these areas might attempt to give a wide-open feel, the map being displayed on the system's other screen shows just how confined you really are.

As for the mission levels themselves, there is no map showing you just how the rooms you move between are laid out, but you rarely need one in order to get to clear out the area and unlock the door to the next room. As a result, those areas don't even need a map to show how small they really are.

As for the game's audio, there are a few exclamations that Spider-Man will shout out, but a majority of the game's audio consists of a somewhat repetitive soundtrack and the same few grunts and swoosh sounds as you attack enemies. Like the visuals, the audio gets the job done, but doesn't quite sell the feel that the developers seemed to want to convey.


Gameplay:

The Amazing Spider-Man takes place not long after the film and Doc Connors has been captured, is no longer The Lizard, and is safely contained in prison. Unfortunately, it looks like Oscorp isn't exactly done with Connor's research and the cross-species creatures he was working on have escaped. To make matters worse, Alistair Smythe, the new executive over the company, has sent out robotic drones to round up the creatures and our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man happens to look just like their targets.

As Spider-Man, you will run and swing around New York City battling both drones and cross-species alike as you attempt to save the Oscorp employees who have been affected by the mutation-causing virus, as well as contain the creatures that got out.

While the DS version of The Amazing Spider-Man doesn't pull of the grandiose feel of the other platforms, it does fit the same basic story and formula where you will enlist Connor's help to produce a cure, and attempt to administer the syrum to an infected Gwen Stacy, only to have Smythe step in and mess things up.

All-in-all though, you will find yourself performing the same basic tasks over and over again. You will typically get a bit of cut scene, be directed towards a particular door in the "open world" map, and go through several rooms of bad guys. Sometimes you will learn a new attack during a mission, and sometimes you will face off against one of the game's bosses. Either way, the game is fairly linear and you should never find yourself wondering exactly where you should go next.


Difficulty:

The Amazing Spider-Man isn't a hard game at all. Once I got some basic feel for the controls, I found that most of my deaths in the game were due to either big bosses with an extraordinary amount of health, or repeated attempts at getting past an environmental hazard that was more annoying than anything else.

As for the game's normal, generic grunt enemies, they rarely caused any problems and I could make my way through hordes of them without any real problems.


Game Mechanics:

The Amazing Spider-Man doesnít have that many aspects that are technically wrong. I never found any bugs. Some of the web-based controls took a little getting used to, but eventually I was able to get past that, and the story was okay. The only real problem with this game was the fun-factor. One of the major contributing factors is how repetitive the game gets and how fast it gets there. It isnít long before the overall pattern of room-to-room missions with a few enemies scattered in them emerges, and that pattern is prevalent from beginning to end. As a result, I found myself playing the game out of need for this review more than actual enjoyment.

Simply put, with most of the game being repetitive and a fairly short gameplay experience on top of that, the DS version of The Amazing Spider-Man is a rental at best, but even thatís pushing it.


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

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