IGN Review of Spider-Man: Edge of Time
As a follow-up of sorts to last year's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, developer Beenox brings us another dose of web-slinging action in the form of Spider-Man: Edge of Time for the Wii and 3DS. Though the game has some things going for it, it ultimately doesn't live up to its predecessor. If you're looking for the definitive Spider-Man experience, it seems you're going to have to hold out for a radioactive spider bite.
Like most Spider-Man titles, Edge of Time largely centers around random bad guy beat-downs and loads of web slinging. Both are inherently fun, but both have been done better in the past. The swinging (which, let's be honest, is the main course when it comes to Spidey games) is fast, stylish, and elegant... until you encounter a wall. Walls are a tremendous pain for Spidey in this game. He has trouble interacting with them in various ways - crawling around corners pains him greatly and he awkwardly bounces off walls when swinging. It's weird, and takes away from these otherwise satisfying mechanics.
As for fighting, up close and ranged attacks are repetitive but fun to pull off. The new moves you learn along the way, however, are something of a disappointment. Honestly, Spider-Man had cooler moves at his disposal in some of his original PlayStation games - which is pretty pathetic when you think about it.
The camera in Edge of Time is usually passable, but it occasionally twists around at inconvenient times and doesn't show the enemies you're trying to fight. Again, walls are a huge issue. When wall-crawling, the camera often goes berserk, appearing suddenly inside of Spider-Man, causing many of his polygons to pop in and out of existence. The sudden view change is completely disorienting. The 3DS version also suffers from the inability to use the D-pad and circle pad at the same time, making it hard to adjust the camera while moving.
The pacing of Edge of Time is one of its strong points. While there are a ton of random beat 'em up segments, they're more engaging than you would expect from a title such as this. It also helps that they're broken up by lots of different activities that are all pushed along well by the storytelling.
The story and voice acting are satisfactory at best. Nothing too spectacular here, though including some of the voices from old Spider-Man cartoons, as well as from past Spidey games, was a nice touch. The story is fun, but the time gimmick makes absolutely no sense. What happens in the future should never alter the past, but in this game it does. A small detail, but such little complaints add up and ultimately detract from an otherwise fitting narrative.
One thing that separates the 3DS version from the Wii one is the dual screen functionality, but unfortunately this felt really rushed. At certain moments it concurrently shows both wall-crawler's points in time, but these parts are awkwardly choreographed, with one of the two Spideys just standing there not doing much of anything most of the time. It's a huge waste of the technology, and brings the whole presentation down.
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