Spider-Man 3 Review

I had a hunch that I might have a possible weak title on my hands when I realized that the narrator in the game was sometimes more entertaining than the gameplay. Which game am I referring to? Spider-Man 3 for the Wii, of course. [Brendon’s Note: I dare you to find any game more entertaining than Bruce Campbell. Come on, Frank–that’s just not fair!]

The main thing that tangles up this game is the horrible way it handles the Wiimote and nunchuck controllers. It’s a port of the PS2/PS3/Xbox360 versions, but the translation of the game to the Wii system of play is contrived and clunky. I can almost hear the programmers muttering under their breaths, "Ok, so let’s split up the one controller format for the two Wii devices. We know it sucks, but we were told to do it…"

If you’ve ever seen a foreign film with bad voiceovers to hide the fact that the movie wasn’t made originally in English, you know how off balance these sorts of movies seem. In the same way, SM3 never really feels quite right because you have the feeling that the game wasn’t originally programmed for the Wii. Gameplay just doesn’t feel natural.

I can see how this game will appeal to kids, the young of heart, or casual gamers. The fighting is a simple form of button mashing, diving and rolling on the ground to avoid attacks, slinging webs, and pulling off simple combos; there’s little else during the battles against the bad guys. If anything, a certain amount of enjoyment comes from taking on the actions of Spidey himself. It’s entertaining to shoot webs to travel through the concrete jungle of NYC — you’re essentially flying through the air, but unfortunately not always with the greatest of ease.

You navigate through the streets and buildings by using the motion sensitivity of your controllers. This is where the game starts to lose some of its initial appeal. It’s fun to watch the web-head crawl up walls, swing on his web and pummel the bad guys, but the game is pretty two dimensional in the action sense of the word, and it may take some real concentration or fortitude to stay with the game and play it through.

Simple tasks such as turning to look around are made entirely non-intuitive by having to push on the "C" button of the nunchuck and then tilting the thing to the left or the right. In theory, this should work fine, but in real life, it’s a pain to use. The camera action could be a lot better, and you’re left to constantly adjust your angle to just see properly.

As far as fighting goes, you can perform combos by flicking your Wiimote left or right. (How this equates to a punch or kick is beyond me. Remember the analogy of a badly dubbed foreign film?) Your strong attacks are accomplished by moving both controllers down or pressing the "A" button, and web attacks are accomplished via the "B" button.

During the game, you’ll be given the chance to don the Black Spidey Suit. In this version of the game, the more you use it the more it will try to take you over and control you. Obviously, the only solution to remove yourself from the tentacles of the evil bio-suit is to play a minigame.

You’ll travel through the heart of NYC on missions to defuse bombs, go against some of the famous baddies in Spider-Man’s career such as Sandman, Lizard, Kraven the Hunter, and other notables. Regular fights against the normal run-of-the-mill baddies are not too difficult, but the boss battles ramp up to a high level of tension and some head banging frustration.

Graphics are good or bad depending on the television or monitor that you are using. Strangely enough, Spider-Man 3 didn’t look half bad on a 32 inch monitor, yet looked less sharp and detailed on a smaller one. Go figure. No matter what you play on, though, you face the problem of the visuals becoming progressively worse as you back further out from what you’re looking at.

At least the voices of Tobey Maguire, Thomas Haden Church, James Franco and others make their appearances in the game. Depending on how much of a Spider-Man fan you are, this will delight you or make no difference at all. The narrator is a cheesy sounding wise guy by the name of Bruce Campbell (you may have heard of him) who makes snide remarks in the beginning of the training sessions, and he’s easily one of the highlights of the game. His voice is annoying and condescending, and it all works to make you laugh — intentional or not.

The Spider-Man games released on the PS2, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 were considered mediocre or below average games. This Wii iteration of Spider-Man 3 not only continues this downward trend of the franchise, but actually lowers it further because of the awkward game controls.

Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games, made some very prophetic comments concerning the Wii in 2005 when he stated, "Don’t kid yourself — you’re going to see more gimmicky, crappy, cheap, I-wish-I-hadn’t-bought-it gimmick games based around that controller than you can ever possibly imagine."

Mark, you were right, and Spider-Man 3 for the Wii is the proof.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.