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'Spidey game spins simple fun

October 25, 2007

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Spiderman: Friend or Foe

Webhead. Arachnid. Wallcrawler. Webslinger. Whatever you want to call him, your friendly nieghbourhood Spider-Man is back in perhaps one of his most amusing Activision adventures.

‘Spider-Man: Friend or Foe’ is a return to the superhero we know and love. The quip-cracking, happy-go-lucky, mischievous crime fighter whose tongue lashes the villains just as much as his webs do. Mercifully, he is not the "Gloomy Gus' we’ve seen in the recent ‘Spider-Man’ movies as the humour is one of the best things about ‘Friend or Foe’. There are many hearty chuckles to take pleasure in as you battle through an adventure which spans the globe.

S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho and resident Marvel universe busybody, Colonel Nick Fury, has enlisted Spidey for a new assignment. Shards of a comet containing traces of those pesky alien symbiotes have fallen to Earth and into the wrong hands. While the details aren’t exactly important and don’t make much sense any way, a mysterious evil doer is combining those samples with hologram technology to create some nasty creatures. At the same time, the baddie is also hypnotizing many of Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes to do their bidding. Why the villains have to be conned into targeting Spidey is a question only The Watcher or The Beyonder can answer.

For all intents and purposes, ‘Friend or Foe’ is ‘Marvel Ultimate Alliance’ for children, allowing them to team up different characters and level them up to increase their powers and abilities. The catch is that unlike
‘Ultimate Alliance’, you can partner with heroes or villains because Spider-Man’s foes are quite cheesed off at being manipulated by the mastermind behind the whole evil scheme to take over the world…or whatever they plan on doing with all those symbiote clones. Don’t ask. Even J. Jonah Jameson himself wouldn't be able to get to the bottom of his story.

Spiderman: Friend or Foe: Flying Feet of Juda!Unlike ‘Ultimate Alliance’ though there aren’t any intricate puzzles to worry about. It is purely a button-mashing, pummel-anything-that-moves kind of game. Spidey and each of his amazing friends do have their own individual maneuvers and can join forces to unleash some sweet ultra powerful finishing moves.

You don’t need to fret about keeping track of all those web cartridges either. You have an unlimited supply of webbing to ensnare or blast enemies with and that is a good thing because each level of the game is broken into four parts and those parts are just massive. They have to be though because it is next to impossible to be killed. If the unchallenging foes do happen to beat the odds and get the better of you, it is not a problem. You will respawn minus a few of the upgrade tokens you had banked then it is right back to kicking butt almost without skipping a beat. Whoopie!

In addition to using the villains as punching bags, you will also have to complete a smattering of mindless and bothersome objectives like locating and collecting DNA Helix icons scattered throughout each level and
unlocking battle arenas to use in ‘versus’ mode. Although you can finish the game without completing these tasks, you will not earn the substantial Xbox Live Achievement Points associated with this title if you don’t act like an unscrupulous vandal and smash every rock, clay pot in sight. Sucks to be you, Parker. Sucks to be you.

‘Friend or Foe’ is not all that demanding and not all that innovative but it is so darn charming, mostly due to the light-hearted humour. That is what puts the title head and shoulders above your standard button-mashing adventure game. All that’s really missing is the ‘Spider-Pig’. Doh!

Spiderman: Friend or Foe: Funky Blue SlingSpider-Man: Friend or Foe
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Next Level Games
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Official Site: http://spiderman-friend-or-foe.com/

Rating: 7 / 10


 
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