May 7, 2007 by Tim

Well I beat Spider-man 3 last night. Clocked in at about 13 hours, without all the trick races and time trials I haven’t done yet.

The game, as I mentioned, has some serious flaws. However if you can manage to look past them there is actually a fun and enjoyable game there.

The game has been getting seriously mediocre reviews, and I can understand it. First impressions count for a lot, and Spider-man 3 doesn’t give a good first impression. The camera is wonky, and absolutely dies indoors. And the graphics (specifically humans) aren’t all that outstanding. I imagine that most reviewers didn’t play the game for more than an hour or two, which is about the time I figure it takes for you to adjust and get over the shock of the glaring flaws.

The camera is always bad, but you sort of get used to it. You learn to move and position the camera in anticipation of its spastic nature, and it’s not so bad. The graphics are really only poor during cutscenes, and then only when you’re looking at human beings, which all look like bug-eyed, over-animated plastic figures. Everything else in the game looks pretty decent. And when you’re zipping through the city at 170mph, you hardly notice either way.

As I got further into the game I found something that outweighed all the issues and bugs. Something that propelled me to play the game for the full 13 hours, and even now desire to go back and complete additional achievements. What was it? Fun.

The game is fun. Some of it, especially bosses, can be downright frustrating as all hell sometimes, but it’s challenging and fun. And there is a wide variety of things to do. From straight up action adventure, to time trials and collecting token, to the interactive cinematics (my second favorite part of the game). And above all, swinging through the city remains my favorite activity, as it was in SM2.

The developers ditched quality assurance for the last month of production in order to focus on just getting the game out the door in time for the movie’s release, which is inexcusable. The flaws kept a good game from being a great game, and I stand by my stance that license titles shouldn’t be rushed out the door just to make money. But I don’t own a development studio, so it’s not my call to make.

But SM3 was enjoyable, despite itself.

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