Monday, January 9, 2012

Sam Raimi had nothing to do with it

I don't know why I respond to the current version of Spider-Man (at least the first two movies, never subjected myself to the third one), but I do. He almost regrets his responsibility, but sticks to it, regardless of personal cost. It's cliche, it's schtick, but it works, and Spider-Man: Edge of Time sticks to the established trope. It even highlights how 'special' Peter Parker by contrasting him with Spider-Man 2099, an arrogant, selfish, general douche bag of a super hero. None of this has anything to do with the game being fun or not, but it does help to turn a so so action into a pleasant weekend diversion.

If you just count the minutes than Edge of Time only took an hour longer to complete than Hard Reset. Edge of Time has the good sense to separate the campaign from all the nick knack generating challenge, and as much as I love me some achievement points I did not bother with a single one. There are probably six more hours of frustration there, if you want them, but they are best avoided. Hard Reset had a hoard mode that was added after the first set of mediocre reviews, so that doesn't count, either. The point is, as vehicles to pass the time between now and when I die they are of roughly the same chronological value. From a technical and graphical standpoint I would also place them as equals, understanding that if my PC was not slowly shuffling off this mortal coil Hard Reset would have run significantly better and that this late in the 360's life cycle there are enough existing game assets to make just about anything look pretty good.

But if you ask me which was more fun, the answer is simple. Edge of Time wins, hands down, and only because they took an existing character that I was familiar with and put him into an interesting situation. I do not read comic books, so I have no idea if this was new or simply cribbed from last years trades, but Parker running into an alternate future version of himself that took the phrase 'with great power comes great responsibility' as an excuse to accumulate more power was pretty cool. Creating a mutant amalgam of Doc Oc and Antivenom was also pretty cool (in concept, anyway). There was just enough cool to help me gloss over how the combat is just as mashy and loose as the last Spider-Man game, that the web swinging was just as terrible, and that the majority of the levels boiled down to 'kill this guy to get his key'.

There was at least one reference to Spider-Man, the musical. Bonus points there.

As corny as it sounds, Spider-Man (at least his version) is likable. The guy whose name I have already forgotten from Hard Target was not. Game play may be king, but having well written, well voice acted characters can absolve a multitude of sins.


I just looked up Raimi to make sure I spelled his name right, which led me to the prequel the The Wizard of Oz he is making, staring James Franco as the wizard. No sir, I don't like it.

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