RELEASED: May 2, 2007
AVAILABLE ON: GBA
DEVELOPER(S): Vicarious Visions
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man series was never supposed to be a trilogy - actually, a fourth and fifth movie were planned. It sure seemed like a trilogy, though, 'cause with Spider-Man 3, Raimi went all in. As critics and many fans would put it, all in was way too much. Raimi tried to fit everything that fans had asked for into a mere 139 minutes of film; the result was an "incoherent mess" and as great as the group of three of the best villains in the franchise was on paper, it turned out a forgettable bunch of cameos with bad casting choices. Well, on the date of the movie's U.S. premiere, the first video game adaptations of the movie emerged - one of them surprisingly on the Game Boy Advance, which was nearing the end of its cycle.
The alien sand goblin
|Dude, this is not what bros do!|
The movie Spider-Man 3 was a very conflicted experience for me. It lived on the professionalism of the actors, not its ideas. Topher Grace - a.k.a. Eric Forman from That 70's Show, now and forever - was a terrible choice to play Eddie Brock, who's usually depicted gruffy and muscular in the comics. Yeah, sure, he gained some mass for the movie, but whenever he started whining about how Peter Parker ruined his life, I was expecting Kurtwood Smith to suddenly rear his head around some corner and scaring him off with a funny "foot-up-your-ass" joke. His Venom form was mostly CGI, and this time, it didn't look nearly as abysmal as in the first movie. Venom's my favourite villain in the Spider-Man franchise, as I've well pointed out, and even the thought of Grace doing the mo-cap didn't ruin the glorious five minutes he actually spent on the screen as Venom. He's a good actor, I'll give him that. As for the rest of the movie - yeah, it's a bit of a mess, but one thing it doesn't lack is action. Basically I could go on and on overanalyzing the movie without an actual point, and still end up with the conclusion that it was a better movie than most folks give it credit for. Besides, it's still one of the highest-grossing movies ever, so you can't keep calling it a total failure. How fares the game? The movie might've been a mess, but especially considering they must've buffed this game up with even more cameos, that original cavalcade of villains alone could make it work, right?
|You know what they say: Once you|
go black, you can never go back.
|I'll soak your ass, mudslinger.|
The most important addition to gameplay is obvious to anyone who's watched the movie: Peter's new suit, which makes its first appearance in the early goings of the game, and is removed before the final levels, shifting the advantage from Peter to the final boss of the game. The black suit is automatically activated by the filling of a Rage Meter, which fills each time you break background items or successfully attack enemies, and deactivated if you get hit, just once. The black suit enables stronger combos, powerful attacks that aren't part of Peter's standard repertoire, and the destruction of certain types of obstacles. Also, the developers took note that since the black suit activates automatically, it could be instantly deactivated by an incoming enemy attack - as a kind of a reward, gaining the symbiote power-up also fills up your health meter to the max. It's the small things that matter... though it's not that small of a thing, I assure you. You're going to get your ass kicked in this game, sooner or later, and you'll be thankful for the existence of that suit.
|Here we go!|
It's definitely not a masterpiece, but one of the most entertaining games I've played on the Advance in a long, long time, and to my complete surprise, one of the best games in the marathon thus far - I shit you not. Too bad it went so unnoticed, for this is one Spider-Man game for the Game Boy Advance I think you should know.
+ (Flawed but) fluid controls
+ Good graphics and sound
+ The black suit rocks
+ A good cast of villains for a movie game, and surprisingly clever boss fights
+ Fast pace...
- ...Which we're extremely thankful for, since the levels are sometimes very boring and repetitive...
- ...And the gauntlets simply merciless
- Useless upgrades
- Misses out on key points of the plot, mostly on the characters' motives
- A few fatal glitches
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