Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Posted 2 years ago By - David Slauenwhite
Spider-Man, Spider-Man, web-slinging on the Wii, Spider-Man. Get ready friends as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Men (yes, plural!) gets ready to swing into action and defeat the denizens of the underworld in multi-dimensional action!
Alright, that’s enough of the retro cartoon-esque setup; let’s get on with the show. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and spend some quality time with Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions for the Wii. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to play a game featuring Spidey, let alone an action game of any quality; too spoiled by MMOs and RPGs. That said, it was refreshing to test the old reflexes and web-swing, web-kick, and other web-actions. The first thing that stands out about Spider-Man SD is of course the whole Shattered Dimensions aspect of the game with four variants of Spider-Man to explore and play with, which amused me greatly. And while I differ from some on this, my personal favorite is Noir Spider-Man. Perhaps it’s the style and setting, perhaps it’s that I enjoy the take down system and webbing baddies to the wall after sucker punching them in the face.
Now then, the basic premise - including narration from the always stupendous Stan Lee - rolls out with Mysterio breaking into a museum looking for loot. Spider-Man intercedes, a fight ensues and eventually a magical artifact gets broken. Thus shatters the dimensions and jeopardizes the fate of the universe. A classic comic book story if there ever was one, perfectly fit for the endless crossovers that we’ve seen over the years. While it’s nothing new, it certainly can be used as a good vehicle for games to introduce elements that might not otherwise come together when you work in worlds that are so infused with canon material. This gives us the opportunity to play through levels as The Amazing Spider-Man, Noir Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man. The game consists of facing down various villains from the Spiderman multiverse in diverse level settings and each Spider-Man has their own unique abilities.
Playing on the Wii makes use of the Wiimote and Nunchuk, which integrates motion control during certain instances such as the first person view fisticuffs or when you’re in the process of pulling down a wall or object. While I will point out I’ve enjoyed the game immensely, the Wiimote control scheme did at times irritate me as it can be a bit finicky when it comes to lining up the targeting reticule to attach webbing to various objects before I can pull it along. There were other instances where I found the controls a bit touchy like trying to web jump onto a platform. If I didn’t tap the button just so, I would either end up swinging around like an idiot, or falling to my doom.
An additional feature in Shattered Dimensions is the upgrades, unlocks, and challenge system - which made me try out various moves I might have otherwise ignored along with being more conscious of the environment. I won’t go into too much detail since we already covered it in our Xbox 360 review. However, I did find that when flipping to the Web of Destiny (which is the hub for all the upgrades) to see what challenges remained in a given zone, it would break me out of the game and disrupt the play as I had to occasionally squint to read some of the text.
Graphically, the cut scenes were simply beautiful and the overall the art style and direction for the various levels and dimensions were well thought out and put together. I enjoyed the gritty dark Noir scenes, the flashy and bright futuristic look and 2099, and I loved the ambiance of Amazing Spidey’s Kraven level. That said, the Wii’s hardware limitations created certain points where the graphics took on a more cartoonish quality or even looked like cardboard cut-outs moving across a painted surface with some graphical errors and glitches. Sometimes I’d hit a baddie in just the right way which caused him to merge with the environment in often hilarious ways. While the Wii is a great platform for the standard fare we’re used to, something was lost in the translation of this game compared to the 360 and PS3 versions.
On the other hand, the music for the various levels and situations largely went well and seemed to fit the moment and environment just right. The dialog was often sharp and witty and even the random comments made by Spider-Man as you worked your way through a group of enemies or a particular area of the level had me chuckling in amusement. It wasn’t always spot on as some of it left me with more of a grunt than a giggle, but as a whole I enjoyed the audio. The voice actors - several I’ve recognized from various Spidey works of the past - gave life to the heroes and villains of the game and it was a quality effort to set the right expressive tone to match the words from the script.
While progressing through the game I was often compelled to just look around and take in the sights and sounds of the various dimensions. There were many times when I knew I had to complete a section within a certain time frame to meet a challenge, yet I just wanted to check out the detail of the environments and picture classic Spider-Man moments taking place with-in the various settings. Time challenges aside, I often did not feel a sense of urgency to get through a level, imparting a more laid back vibe to the whole journey.
Overall, and despite the troubles I encountered with the controls and the occasional cartoony look that stood out against the normally well crafted animation and scenery, I enjoyed Shattered Dimensions a great deal. It’s easy forgive the glitches I ran into, though the control issues did annoy me a bit more often. Its story isn’t long winded, and it does use a well farmed formula to set up the game’s premise, yet it was still interesting enough to compel me to continue forward. If you’re looking for a Wii title that is a break from the Mario’s and more casual titles that are common on the system, I would suggest giving Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions a spin.
+ Quality voice acting and clever dialog
+ Music and effects suit the environments
+ Different abilities and upgrades for character diversity
- Controls can be difficult or oversensitive.
- Camera tracking frustrating
- Lose of immersion to track challenges
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Release Date : 2010/09/07
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Activision
Developer : Beenox Studios
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10