‘Spider-Man’ makes friends with old foes in kid-friendly title
October 21, 2007
Think Spidey’s gotten a little glum lately? Too worried about all that great responsibility that comes with great power?
Check out “Spider-Man: Friend or Foe.”
The wisecracking webslinger of old reappears in Activision’s latest E-rated game. It’s sure to elicit a few grins as Spider-Man and other characters ooze orneriness.
The wit fits well with the tone of this lightweight brawler that appears to be aimed squarely at the younger set. The jokes aren’t too barbed, the controls aren’t too complex and the action’s not too intense.
Of course, that last part might prove a little disappointing for more experienced players.
The idea behind “Friend or Foe” is that the same alien substance that created Venom — Spider-Man’s black-suited foe — is being used to create more trouble. In the process, several of Spidey’s traditional enemies — Doc Ock, Sandman, Green Goblin and more — are brainwashed and forced to join the plot. Spider-Man’s job is to trot around the globe and fight through dozens of look-alike phantoms before reaching each level’s primary enemy. After each enemy is defeated and freed from the grip of the alien substance, he is willing to join Spider-Man in getting to the root of the trouble.
The best part is that you can play as these traditional enemies after defeating them. For each mission, Spider-Man gets to select one as a partner, allowing a second player to join or a solo player to switch between the two.
Because of this — and the fact that it’s all brawling all the time — the game plays much more like last year’s “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” than the game linked to this year’s “Spider-Man 3” movie.
The second character brings along unique attacks that complement Spidey’s punches, jumps and webslinging. Even in the Wii, most of these attacks and actions are controlled through relatively simple button combinations — which means either less frustration or less challenge, depending on your view of earlier Spider- Man games.
In most cases, your targets are relatively witless, which means the game isn’t really challenging. Of course this is precisely what most kids want. And it certainly has some appeal for adults in the mood for some simple fun and laughs.
Platforms: Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC, Nintendo DS