Nick's Gaming Blog

Youtube Video of the Day 4-10-2010 (Spider-Man: SD)

Quick, name all of the good Spider-Man video games to date.  Let me guess, you just listed off Spider-Man 2 in record-setting time, and are now stumbling around for a second.

No, you cannot count the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance titles or any of the Marvel vs. Capcom games.

*pauses to allow you a couple more minutes to think…or Wiki stuff*

Alright, Ultimate Spider-Man was good, if you could look past the relative brevity of the title, as well as occasional frame-rate issues.  Hell, Web of Shadows wasn’t bad either…though I honestly can’t tell if that’s because of rapidly diminishing standards for the franchise, or genuine competency on the developer’s part.  Sure the visual style was slightly underwhelming and proper utilization of three or four combos was all that was necessary to complete the title…but it was fun…even if the good/evil dichotomy really wasn’t.

Point is, (unless I’ve missed something utterly obscure, there’s really only been one (pardon the pun) amazing Spider-Man title in almost thirty years.

Who’s to blame?

Well, I can’t speak for the handling of the franchise over the entirety of its existence, I feel somewhat comfortable with pointing the finger at Activision/Marvel, whichever decided that every one of the Toby Maguire-helmed films demanded a tie-in.  The first was not bad, the second was amazing, and the third was downright rubbish.  I’m not one to say that the “…if only we had more time” excuse is always a valid one, but…it never hurts.

Oh, and I’d also like to royally thank Activision for moving Treyarch off of development duties for the franchise so that they could make Call of Duty clones.  Great move there.  Rotating dev teams for Spider-Man games was a wonderful idea.  But not really.

Anyway, in the past couple weeks we’ve been introduced to the latest entry for our favorite web-slinger, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. As the title suggests, when an artifact called The Tablet of Order and Chaos ends up in fragmented form on the floor of whatever great corporeal overseeing being that owned it, different universes/dimensions start blurring into one another.  Spider-Man (because, clearly, Peter Parker has more than enough free time on his hands) is tasked with recovering these pieces from the four different dimensions in question, each of which is possessed by one of his arch-nemeses.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s more than likely is a variation on the theme of “this is stupid.”

Well, it strikes me as a hackneyed premise with an “end justifies the means” mentality.  By that I mean that developer Beenox and publisher Activision clumsily cobbled together this idea that allows for the team to visit four of the different universes that Spider-Man comics have existed in, probably hoping the sensory overload would make up for cohesive/compelling storytelling.

As of now, two of the universes have been made known: the Spider-Man of the Marvel Noir series and the mainstream 616 version (otherwise simply known as Amazing Spider-Man). The other two?  Activision says that they’ll reveal more at San-Diego Comic-Con and E3…but due to the intense speculation already occurring on gaming sites over the remaining pair, someone clearly needs to pat the publicists for Shattered Dimensions on the back.

If only they could rouse up some speculation on whether or not it’ll suck.

Oh snap.

Do I want the game to suck?  No.  I would like a Spider-Man game, sans suckage…if possible.

But this just seems over-ambitious…and when you throw in a release date of September (for a game we just learned about) being developed by a studio primarily known as a “porting house” for Activision (Beenox) whose few non-port titles include the film tie-ins for Monsters vs. Aliens, and the aptly-named Bee Movie Game…one has to worry, at least a little bit.

Anyway…roll that footage.  Join me afterwords, for tea and crumpets.

Some thoughts:

–Noir Spider-Man?  Whole creepin’ around and grabbin’ people?  Anyone else drawing Batman: Arkham Asylum comparisons?

–Whoawhoawhoa…hanging the guy upside-down, from some girder….this is Batman: Arkham Asylum!

Will say this though, the look of Noir Spider-Man is tre’ cool.

–Anyone else feel that the trailer is like 75% Noir, 25% Amazing?  I get that most of us aren’t familiar with the Noir premise, but…come on.

–Animation overall strikes me as pretty jerky/incomplete…but perhaps that’s to be expected.

–First person brawling with Kraven?  Interesting.  Never saw this franchise as one that could translate to first-person…but I’m interested.

Anyway, what do you guys think?

More importantly, thoughts/HOPES for what the other two dimensions will be?  I’ve heard rumors of Marvel’s Zombies, amongst others.

5 Comments

    I seen on Kotaku that it could be Spiderman 2099. I read a few comics from the series and I think I still have them. It was interesting but not the dimension I’d be excited over.

    I would buy this game just for the Noir part, I didn’t know they ever did that so it looks pretty kickass to me. And I would definitely play it if they threw Marvel Zombies into it.

  • Happy Birthday Nick!!! I put this here caus I can’t figure out where else to put it!!!

  • I’d be for Marvel Zombies just because they’d have to work Ash Williams in there, and Bruce Campbell has been tied pretty closely to all things Spiderman so they’d be able to get him to do voice acting for sure.

    Wow. Just noticed that there’s an Ashley Williams in Mass Effect. Wonder if that’s a tribute or something to Evil Dead.

  • Zander–If introducing the Marvel Zombies universe means Ash Williams, then I’m on board with that decision 100%. The more “boomstick” the better.

    Bill–Thanks for the birthday wishes!!! I’ll probably be over to visit tomorrow (Thurs) after work. I was wondering (as I’m not very used to hunting down older games online) if you could help me hunt down a game called Scrapland for the Xbox. It looks like Gamestop online is charging 6 dollars for a used copy, and (knowing how crappy their copies are…and how marked up their prices are) if you could lock down a copy, manual-included, I’d rather have you get that money from me rather than have me give it to some maniacal corporate entity.

    Ryan–thanks so much for visiting my site!!! I always love getting new readers, and I agree….2099 would be alright…but it certainly wasn’t one of my favorites. Most of those “jump into the future” franchises have never been very good, I fear. Keep on dropping in from time to time for new stuff!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick White. Nick White said: New piece on Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions http://bit.ly/9BWyN5 [...]

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