supermike6's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360) review

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A Fantastic Comic-book Game.

 Ever since Spider-Man's first foray into movie-based games, Spider-Man games have been based off the thrill of swinging around New York City. While this was exciting for a while, Web of Shadows showed everyone that this was starting to get a bit stale, mainly due to the fact that we were swinging around the same environment again and again. Shattered Dimensions flips this on its head by taking Spider-Man across many different environments, and even different universes. This sense of variety is really what keeps this brawler from being too repetitive.

Shattered Dimensions truly embraces it's comic book origins from beginning to end. With no movie to base itself off of, it just throws a whole lot of Spider-Man villains at you with barely any rhyme or reason. The story is incredibly shallow, but it fits the comic-book theme. While trying to prevent its theft, Spider-Man ends up breaking a special tablet that causes the fabric of reality to break apart. The pieces of the tablet are scattered across four different dimensions: Ultimate, 2099, Noir, and the original Amazing, which means the Spider-Men must retrieve them from the various villains that have taken them! The story's ridiculousness is nicely complemented by Stan Lee's over-the-top narration, and the other voice-acting is all great too, even when the jokes sometimes fall flat.

Having each level based off a different villain makes each level unique and interesting. You'll fight many different types of enemies in many different locales and universes, and while most of these enemies fit into specific archetypes, the visual variety is what keeps this game from getting repetitive. 2099, Amazing, and Ultimate all play very similarly, with a focus on combat. The action always feels really good, especially in the Amazing and Ultimate universes, due to the amount of visual flair that your moves provide. 2099 falls a bit shorter than the other two, since Spider-Man's moves in this universe don't look as cool, but some fun free-falling sequences save this universe from Dulls-ville. 

 Swinging around is just as fun as other Spider-Man games.
Noir is the only departure from the combat-based formula of Spider-Man games past and present. His levels are based around stealthily taking out groups of thugs. They are similar in play-style to Batman: Arkham Asylum, but aren't quite as deep or satisfying as that game. These levels also fall victim to the game's terrible camera during wall-climbing, where just moving towards an enemy can be an arduous task. The AI is as stupid as they have to be during a stealth game, not even noticing when their buddy they were just talking to (and sometimes even looking at) has been pulled into the shadows. 

The movement in all the universes isn't quite on par with the open-world games that came before them, but getting around usually isn't a problem. You can still web-swing and web-zip almost anywhere you please, with only a few strange restrictions. Some walls are completely unclimbable, but look no different than climbable walls. If you ever fall from a platform, you usually get a cool Prince of Persia-style animation letting you back up, but in some levels this just doesn't happen, and you're not told when or why.

The game does have some graphical bugs also, and one time I had to restart at a checkpoint due to not being able to move at all. The dialogue sometimes cuts out completely, and sometimes repeats itself many times, especially during boss fights. These problems make some of the game's moments quite frustrating, but don't take too much away from the experience throughout most of the game.

What Shattered Dimensions does do right is embrace the ridiculousness of the Spider-Man comic-books, without trying to turn it into a self-serious story. Even the most casual Spider-Man fan will enjoy this game, but the die-hard will really appreciate all the references thrown in there. In the end, Shattered Dimensions is a fun romp through the world of comic-books that satisfies the inner child within us all.    
1 Comments Refresh
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

Alpha Protocol has the same issue with its stealth mode as well.  Taking somebody out while someone else is watching. Pretty comical.

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