Being a super hero isn’t always fun. And even though Peter Parker is known for his average Joe real life problems, for the first time I feel his pain…literally. Swinging the Wii-mote to websling and attack isn’t exactly the most convenient control scheme in the world and will cause more hand cramping and extra energy use than anyone would want.
Spider-Man 3 for the Wii isn’t a port from the 360 or PS3. It is its own game. But being unique in this case is not a good thing. Besides the goofy and lewd control scheme, many side missions, that crossed over multiple levels in the other console versions, are dumbed down to a single mission which makes the overall adventure shorter. However, there seem to be more simple crime fighting missions, which is a cheap trick to extend the life of the game.
In the Wii version, the player actually gets to spends Hero points (purchase upgrades) how he sees fit, which is a step in the right direction. And even though the game supports and “open world/open ended” style of gameplay, the player is still restricted to fighting pre-scripted events in a particular order.
Combat isn’t exactly the smoothest system in the world either. If you are not button mashing, you are swinging the Wii-mote violently. This makes combat clunky and not too exciting. From time to time, there are God of War cinematic events where the player must quickly tap the corresponding onscreen button. These scripted events are often visually appealing and rather entertaining. There should have been more of them.
One thing is for certain, the developers have done a sweet job giving the player the illusion of webslinging through the city. There is just something strangely satisfying about bouncing from building to building – a better feel than simply flying as, say, Superman. Traveling around New York is a pleasure in itself and players will probably waste a few hours just traveling from one part of the map to another. It is just a shame that the missions are put together sloppily.
One mission has the player to take photos of some crooked cops. Obviously, the player must do this without being seen. After more than two dozen attempts, I still could not pass this mission because they always see you no matter where I went. This photo mission is not the only case of poor level design and enemy AI. There are other missions where you must follow behind a speeding car without getting too close. For some reason, the game tells me I am a safe distance away, but I still get caught. Just about every mission has some element that is incredibly frustrating. These cheap flaws were enough to make me shut off the game.
The graphics are no where near the same quality as the other console versions. In fact, this game has a horrible case of pop-ups and clipping. When climbing a tall building, the player should technically be able to see for miles on the horizon. But the weaker processing power of the Wii forces many onscreen elements to disappear all together including buildings and bridges. The game does a good job of making the city seem busy, with many cars trapped in traffic jams. But if you watch carefully, you will notice cars spawning out of thin air and follow the same traffic patterns.
Actors who played in the movie also lent their voices to the game. Most do a decent job of speaking their lines, but some are just too corny. The narrator, who also appeared in the previous Spider-Man games, is still funny and breaks down the fourth wall between gamer and game.
Unfortunately, Spider-Man 3 on Wii is no where near as good as the other versions of the game. In fact, the unusual control scheme is so messed up, I think I would rather play Spider-Man 2 or Ultimate Spider-Man on Gamecube through backwards compatibility on my Wii than play this new version. The game does follow the story of the movie pretty well, but the extra missions are a nice break from the norm, especially the Scorpion episode. But the 360 (with Achievement Points) and PS3 (can play as the Green Goblin) versions will give you more bang for your buck.