derelict's Spider-Man 3 (PlayStation 2) review

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It's a pretty lack-luster title, but there's just something about

This game was disappointing, but still provided enough fun for me to want to get to the end. It probably should deserve a lower score, but it wouldn't be fair for me to score it too low. Despite it flaws I did look forward to coming back to it each time I played.

This game is not very innovative, and does not offer a lot that previous installments didn't already have. The funnest parts is the swinging, and the punishment that you can dole out. If you wanted to, you could take of your average on-the-street foes by repeating a certain move over and over again. There's no need to build the repertoire, or use everything you have. But then that would be boring. Taking advantage of the additional moves, necessary or not, did make the random combat enjoyable. The boss fights were also done well enough, in the sense that they did add a twist on your standard crime-fighting formula you would use in the rest of the game. This was often done by adding an element of strategy, which may have you using your surroundings against the villain at hand.

Speaking of strategy, there was one new element of game-play added to the franchise: the gang wars. So instead of making the side-missions completely random, the developers gave you a map showing the activity of 4 different gangs. Each gang tries to expand their territory in NYC. You can go from cell to cell, breaking up the gang activity in the (usually by completing 3 or 4 repeating objectives) and give control of that territory back to the NYPD.

Almost every other element of the however falls short. The controls are not as responsive as one might like. There's plenty of unnecessary activities. That is to say, there's a few things that I feel were just thrown in to give the illusion of variety. For example, you have to tap the triangle button quickly to open fan doors and garbage dumpsters to rescue trapped people. You're opening a door. This isn't exciting, and there's no need to make a mini-game out of it. Another example is how you can change into the black suit at the touch of a button, but have to go through a quick-time even to change back into the red suit. Again, it's pointless. It feels thrown just to say there's something else to do. It adds no fun to the game.

The fact that almost nothing is seamless interrupts the game-play. Aside from being able to swing from one end of the city to the other, everything you do seems to require loading. Every time you start to talk to someone, finish a mission or even finish 1 objective in any given mission, you seen to get interrupted. It's a minor inconvenience, but a frequent one.

There's lots of these little things that could easily upset players that are suckers for detail.
Things like the purpose of some of your side missions may include retrieving a "shipment" of stolen fruit pies (the shipment being 1 box). That feels cheap. Things like, sometimes you'll be talking to a NY citizen who's obviously Caucasian, but they have a heavy Asian accent. Or they may obviously be a man but have a woman's voice. Things like, you have to return stolen goods to people, and you seem to know which random person in the park the item belongs to without being told. Thing like, after you beat up a group of bad guys for objective 1 of 3, they'll be absurd enough to say "You may have stopped us, but you can't stop the bomb we setup at the top of city hall". These dummies keep voluntarily tell you about the rest of their plans. What they've stolen, who they've kidnapped. Everything.

None of this actually takes away from the fact that you get to go around showing off your spider-skills by taking on groups of gang members, but it does take away from the experience as a whole.

But again, with all these little set-backs, I guess I just love playing as Spider-man enough to have gotten at least some enjoyment out of the game. However, if you're not a fan of the wall-crawler, I would recommend you pass on it. There's much better action titles that are available.

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