Great visuals; massive boss battles; strong voice-acting; good story; tight controls; on-disc DLC
Repetitive locations; New York City should have more to do
I’ve always been a really big Spider-Man fan. So, naturally, I scooped up The Amazing Spider-Man last year when it came out on PS3. What I found was a flawed, but fun Spider-Man game. So, how does the Wii U “ultimate edition” stack up in comparison? Pretty close, but with a couple nice improvements.
The Amazing Spider-Man game picks up shortly after last summer’s film and progressively becomes bigger in scope than the movie itself. Curt Connors has been cured of the Lizard, and is now sitting in jail. However, a breakout at Oscorp forces Spider-Man to pursue a group of new cross-species throughout the city, including the likes of the Rhino, Iguana and Vermin. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only one pursuing them. The new head of Oscorp’s science division, Alistair Smyth, has sent his cross-species detecting robots on the hunt. Since Spidey is a cross-species himself, you can imagine where this goes.
The Amazing Spider-Man features an open world, similar to Spider-Man 2 on GameCube and it’s probably one of the game’s bigger highlights. The web physics don’t require Spider-Man to actually attach his webbing to a building to swing around, which has drawn some ire from critics, but I’ve always found this to be kind of a silly complaint. The city is large, and web-slinging is a lot of fun, and that’s much more important to me. The city does seem a little barren for New York, though. While there are some tasks to complete, it would be nice to have some more to do in such a big city.
The city itself is home to one of the game’s other highlights: the boss battles against Smyth’s robots. If you have a big screen TV and HD, these boss fights aren’t just big, they’re MASSIVE. The funny thing is, these seemingly generic robots totally overshadow the fights with the actual Spider-Man rogues. Battling a skyscraper size robot is a lot more fun than fighting a human-size rat like Vermin.
Unfortunately, this leads to one of the game’s other issues: some of the environments are kind of boring. The city is always a treat, but you’ll explore Oscorp and the NYC sewers on multiple occasions, and it just feels tedious. The game just doesn’t have the same variety of locations that Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions boasted.
The Spider-Man games have been blessed with some pretty strong voice acting over the last decade, and The Amazing Spider-Man is no exception. While Andrew Garfield doesn’t reprise his role from the film, Sam Riegel does a very solid job sounding like him. The game also brings back Bruce Campbell for a cameo, keeping one of the few remaining elements from the previous trilogy of movies and game tie-ins intact.
The game features a lot of extras, in the form of comic pages (which unlock fully readable issues) and a slew of extra costumes for Spider-Man. While they don’t give Spider-Man any new abilities this time around, it is cool to switch to the original movie look and other costumes from the comics.
The Wii U version has a few new additions that last year’s PS3 and Xbox 360 versions did not, namely the GamePad’s second screen, Off TV Play, and on-disc DLC. The latter is probably one of the best reasons to buy this version. If you’ve ever wanted to web-sling as Stan Lee (and, let’s be honest, what comic fan hasn’t?), smash cars as the Rhino, or leap through the city as the Lizard, you’re in for a treat. While I didn’t quite love the Lizard challenge, the Stan Lee and Rhino ones were a lot of fun.
My favorite of the DLC challenges had to be “Gwen’s Hunter,” a kind of Space Invaders type game using Smyth’s robots. As of this writing, I’m ranked 27th on the game’s online leaderboards. So, I guess you can tell I put a bit of time into that one. There is also “Destroy the City,” which is a take on the old arcade game Snake. You know, it’s kind of a shame that The Amazing Spider-Man has more references to old-school video games than Activision’s Wreck-It Ralph game for 3DS did.
On the control side, Wii U’s GamePad feels very natural. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that I felt more comfortable using it than I did with the PS3 controller, which is very high praise.
Overall, the Wii U version of The Amazing Spider-Man is a fun experience, but not the best Spider-Man game out there. It is, however, the best version of this particular game by a long shot, and, if you’re a Spider-Man fan, you should definitely check this one out.
Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.