7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A good game for Spidey fans, a decent rental for others,
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This review is from: Spider-man: The Edge of Time - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Spider-Man: Edge of Time really is very similar to its predecessor Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. It improves upon certain aspects of the previous game, but also takes some things away. One area where Edge of Time has made a great improvement over Shattered Dimensions is the story. We start in the future with Spider-Man 2099 in the Alchemax building trying to stop the latest mad scientist Walter Sloan (voiced by Val Kilmer, believe it or not) from using a time portal device to screw around with the timeline. Sloan manages to go into the time portal and Spidey 2099 jumps in after him, however the hero simply gets thrown back to where he was and loses Sloan; but not before catching a glimpse of an important moment in the future: a moment where the Amazing Spider-Man appears to be killed by a mind-controlled Anti-Venom. Meanwhile, in the present, the world changes in a flash due to Sloan's time manipulation, and New York is shown transforming into a more futuristic version of itself, with reality shifting to the point where pretty much everything is being run by Alchemax, which of course is now headed by Walter Sloan. Even Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, ends up as an employee at Alchemax. Thankfully, due to the manipulation of time, Spidey 2099 is able to set up a sort of communication link between himself and Amazing Spidey and tell him what happened. From there, the two heroes team up to try to put everything back to the way it was. The main focus of the game revolves around the two Spideys going through the same areas of the Alchemax building in their respective time periods and completing different objectives, while of course fighting many waves of enemies.
Compared to Shattered Dimensions, the number of different enemy types in Edge of Time is considerably smaller. In the present the Spideys fight a bunch of guards with guns and sonic shields, while in the future they fight robots with guns and sonic shields. There are a few other enemy types such as larger robots with clubs, lizard-type monsters, and zombie-like failed experiments, but they don't appear as often. Either way, the game challenges you just by throwing large numbers of these enemies at you and most of the time they can be dealt with simply by button mashing, although some of the later fights can prove to be challenging if you're not careful. Even the number of boss fights (and incidentally the number of Spidey villains and characters) is much smaller in this game than in Shattered Dimensions. In fact, there are only 4 different boss battles, but interestingly the last two boss fights happen simultaneously. The combat moves of the Spider-Men themselves haven't really changed all that much from the previous game: Amazing Spidey uses the familiar web flails and web hammers, while Spidey 2099 still smacks enemies around with twirling strikes and spin kicks. Both Spideys also have a special dodge feature which is tied to a regenerating stamina meter. The dodge abilities allow the heroes to automatically avoid enemy attacks as long as the stamina meters have juice in them. Amazing Spidey moves very quickly, leaving a trail of afterimages behind him, while Spidey 2099 creates a decoy that will attract enemies' attacks. Once you get used to them, these dodging abilities are quite useful and cool looking. The Spideys are also granted some limited control over time due to the manipulation of the timeline, gaining the ability to create a dome of temporal energy around themselves that will temporarily freeze any enemies caught in it. This gives the heroes an opportunity to take out enemies even more quickly. You probably won't find yourself needing to use this ability a whole lot, but it did come in handy with a few of the later fights against large groups of enemies. Collecting portal energy orbs as currency lets you upgrade the Spideys' combat moves, while collecting golden spiders lets you upgrade their health and stamina meters.
The game shows off how doing something in the past affects what happens in the future, and in fact this does happen quite a bit, only these moments of time manipulation are done solely through scripted events. For example, in the future Spidey 2099 is struggling to survive against a giant robot, so it's up to Amazing Spidey to quickly take the robot apart while it was still being built in the present, therefore making it disappear in the future before it crushes Spidey 2099. Another moment has Amazing Spidey inside a healing chamber while a group of failed experiments are trying to pry it open and kill him, so Spidey 2099 has to go back and destroy the pods that created the failed experiments in the first place and save Amazing Spidey's life. These set-pieces are actually pretty fun and interesting, but I think it would have been cool if the game granted players more freedom to actively affect the different timelines in a similar manner to what was done in the game Onimusha 3: Demon Siege. In that game, two different characters in two different time periods would have to solve puzzles and collect keys in order to advance, and at times they even had to exchange items and keys in order to solve these puzzles. Incorporating similar elements in Edge of Time would have been nice, but the previously mentioned set-pieces were still fun in their own way.
Similarly to the Web of Destiny in Shattered Dimensions, this game has the Web of Challenges, which are basically just optional challenges that give the Spider-Men more EXP to use on upgrades. I didn't really bother too much with these as pretty much all of the challenges involved completing a certain number of combos in a certain amount of time, or collecting a certain number of portal energy orbs in a certain amount of time. These challenges were simply much less interesting and varied compared to the ones in Shattered Dimensions. Both Spideys spend most of their time going from point A to point B, often revisiting the same areas (no, this is not a free-roaming environment), but once again Spidey 2099 goes through some free falling sections just like in Shattered Dimensions, only this time they're much more challenging. You'll be flying through these shafts with all kinds of slabs and panels popping out from the sides and blocking your way, forcing you to dodge these obstacles by mere inches. If you've played the free falling sections in God of War III where Kratos flies down those tubes with the Icarus Wings, then you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect here. Due to the large number of scripted events and the fact that the whole game takes place in the same building with basically the same look in both time periods, Edge of Time is not as varied as Shattered Dimensions overall, not to mention shorter. Still, the game is pretty fun, strangely addicting, and looks pretty good. Plus, the superior story alone is enough to please most Spider-Man fans, especially the parts where the two Spider-Men give us some genuinely funny moments when they exchange lots of witty and corny one-liners in even the most desperate of situations. If you're not a fan of Spider-Man, then you'll get plenty out of this game with a simple rental because Edge of Time is really more for the fans. Although, because of the less varied gameplay and somewhat short length (about 5 or 6 hours), I don't recommend that even fans of Spider-Man get this game for more than a $30 purchase. If I could give this game 3.5 stars then I would, because it's much closer to that than 4 stars. I liked Edge of Time, but most would consider it an average game overall.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2012, 4:12:09 PM PDT
Man D.G.M., thank you for this review, you really confirmed some of my suspicions. I just have a feeling that I'm not gonna think too highly of this game. You mentioned the lack luster enemy types, and that's usually a deal -breaker for me. I hate it when games just throw a ton of generic enemies at you just to make it 'challenging '. Again, this is a very good review, and I'm glad you went into detail. D.G.M., after playing these god of war games, i now know the recipe for a great action game. With that being said, i might have to go to my wish list and trim the fat.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012, 7:52:13 PM PDT
Once again, thank you for the helpful words and vote Leohlyon. If I wasn't a fan of Spider-Man and if the story for the game wasn't as good as it was, then this game would definitely have gotten a 3 star score from me, and I'm sure that's the same score you would give it if you played it. Considering that the developers only spent a year working on this game, they actually did pretty well. Still, if they had spent more time working on it, then it could have been awesome. If you ever do decide to buy one of those Spider-Man games you have on your wishlist, I seriously recommend you try Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. It's basically Grand Theft Auto with Spider-Man or kind of like a less frustrating version of Prototype.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 10:52:03 AM PDT
Spider-man Web of Shadows it is!! I removed the other 10 Spider-Man games from my wish-list lol. Web of Shadows was the one I was leaning towards the most, now you've confirmed it. Thanks D.G.M.!
Posted on Dec 21, 2012, 9:18:48 PM PST
R. Greenbaum says:
Your review was informative and helpful. Thank you. One small piece of constructive criticism...it would have made it easier for me to read your review if the paragraphs had been broken up a bit. Still a great review with enough info to help me decide about the game. That is the point of a great review. Well done.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012, 10:37:11 PM PST
Heh, yeah after receiving similar advice on a couple of my older reviews, I usually make sure to break up my reviews into smaller paragraphs. I guess I just got lazy with this one since I assumed not many people would read it. I'm glad the review still proved helpful though, thanks for the input.
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