|System: Wii, PS3, X360, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Beenox Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 7, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The result is some dimensions are more interesting or fun that others. While as a fan, I probably prefer the Amazing Spidey to the others, I had a better time with the 2099 and Noir levels. Even Ultimates symbiote gave him a little flair that regular ol webhead just doesnt seem to have. Its not that the Amazing levels are terrible, or that theyre poorly designed.
It just feels like Peter kind of got the short end of the stick, and his levels have the most rote gameplay, where youre simply moving from one area to the next, beating baddies and webslinging with only the occasional deviation. Oddly, the responsiveness of combat feels strangely misbalanced, as well. Amazing and Ultimate can tend to get stuck when fighting, leading to pauses between controller input and on-screen output, while Noir Spideys stealth moves make fisticuffs a weapon of last resort. 2099s fighting technique is smoother and faster, although all four Spider-Men bafflingly share a great deal of their move set. Once again, the differentiation in playstyles made 2099 and Noir standout, while Ultimate and Amazing lagged somewhat behind. The complexity of the controls dont translate that well to the Wii either, like Travis Touchdown changing between low and high stances in No More Heroes, you have to angle the Wii Remote up or straight to switch between light and heavy attacks, which can be a pain when trying to pull off a combo that requires both. I cant speak for the PS3/360 versions (though the design between games is near-identical), but making use of the games upgradable move system to pull together powerful combo chains just seems like it would be better suited to an actual controller.
It may seem like Im ragging on certain aspects of Shattered Dimensions a lot, and while the design does feel uneven, the point is the game ends up feeling like a mixed bag. There are certain levels, strewn about throughout all four universes that Spidey fans will get a kick out of. But for every cool moment as one of the Spider-Men, there are just as many ones that are forgettable. The story is particularly bad,it basically suffers from Kingdom Hearts syndrome in that whatever baddie Spidey happens to be taking on tussles with webby a few times, he then uses their piece of the tablet to gain ultimate power, much in the same way that Sora and company simply had to defeat the Heartless that had integrated themselves into the plot of whatever Disney world they were currently in. Yawn. I wanted to like Shattered Dimensions more, but its hard when both the controls and the design are often working against that goal. Its a real shame, too, because there are a lot of things I enjoyed here. Its a cool concept, the stealth and freefalling segments are great fun, I love the effortless, stylized look and fluidity of Spidey webslinging, and the period-style dialogue in the Noir sections was good, even if the AI wasnt. But if youre a true Spider-Man fan, you might want to entrust this one to GameFly, or check it out on another system.
CCC Freelance Writer