Spider-man Friend or Foe - PS2 Review
So what does a company do when it has a couple of years until a new Spider-man movie comes out, but you still retain the license? Well you make a game which takes the best bits of the three movies so far, twists them around and also add a tonne of other features. Spider-man Friend or Foe has also used the rich comic book history to draw inspiration from for the game, and it comes packed with characters and storylines from both media. Now initially we thought that this was going to be a very tame, child-friendly, video game. Fortunately it didn't take us too long to be drawn into the universe and having a substantial amount of fun.
|Doc Ock is letting fly.|
In the game an evil mastermind has used shards from the meteor that spawned the symbiotic goo that takes control of Spider-man in the third movie. He is using these shards to take control of many of the villains from the movie including Green Goblin and Doc Ock in order to take control of them and get them to do his bidding. The mastermind also has control of a holographic army of Phantoms. Your role, as Spider-man is to free his enemies, and get them to fight alongside you to defeat the mastermind behind the scheme. It's not a bad storyline and gives a solid background to getting the rivals to team up.
Spider-man Friend of Foe is split up into 5 main locations (those being Tokyo, Tangaroa Island, Cairo, Transylvania and Nepal) which each split up into several smaller missions. Each of the locations is quite varied with some nice backgrounds. Having said that the range of enemies leaves something to be desired. The Phantoms in particular are too regular, and too similar. As we previously mentioned the key to this game is that you won't be battling on your own, but will also select a sidekick including Doc Ock, Blade, Sandman, Rhino or Venom to name a few. Now typically half these guys are enemies of the web slinger, but they've been thrown together to battle a greater enemy. Each of the characters has a variety of special moves. Spider-man, for example, can jump, double jump or (by holding down the X button) produce a web to sling from. He has normal attacks, as well as web attacks by pressing the circle button, with the L1 and R1 buttons used to switch between different types of attack. Unfortunately seasoned gamers are likely to find that the range of attacks is a bit limited.
|Taking the battle outside.|
The game includes plenty of unlockables including new characters such as Silver Sable and New Goblin which, when unlocked, allows you to go back to completed levels and replay them with the new characters. It's also possible, by collecting DNA Helixes, to unlock artwork or tips for the game.
By now you may be asking; wouldn't this make a great multi-player game? Well you would be thinking right there. Spider-man Friend or Foe does indeed provided some 2-player action, and it's great fun as each of you fights alongside each other in a co-op mode. In fact you can progress through the entire game in this co-op mode and by teaming up can even perform some more power moves together.
|A perfect 2-player game?|
Certainly the biggest disappointment is that it's so damn easy. In fact dying seems to be an extremely (read: impossible) event. It's obvious this game is aimed at a younger market, but the developers could have at least made it a little more trying for older gamers too. Another disappointment is that the developers haven't included online support for multi-player thrills. Admittedly online gaming hasn't been the biggest thing on the PS2, but it would have been a great game to see it included.
Graphics in Spider-man Friend or Foe certainly have a bright and colourful comic book look to them. While the backgrounds are a little disappointing with some bland texturing in places and some jagginess as one would expect from the PS2's resolution, there is no disputing the beauty of the character models in the game. Animation on the principal characters in particular is very solid with a wide range of moves while presentations of menus is also solid.
|Yet more superhero action.|
Audio in the game also fits in perfectly to the comic book universe. The music is upbeat and lively while the audio effects also have comic book feel to them. If there is one disappointment it's that none of the cast from the movies has lent their voices to this game. It's not all bad though as the replacement voice actors all perform very well indeed with some great superhero 'style' as well as great scripting.
I have to say that I enjoyed this game quite a bit. If you're a fan of the comic book universe then this is a game well worth picking up. The graphics look superb and the 2-player game is very entertaining indeed. Spider-man Friend or Foe is worth consideration, especially for younger fans.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
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|GRAPHICS||Opting for comic-book looks this game certainly looks the part.||74%|
|SOUND||Solid dialogue with some adequate music and effects throughout.||65%|
|GAMEPLAY||Despite being aimed at a younger audience, adults will enjoy this.||72%|
|VALUE||At $AU69.95 this is a little pricey. It's also way too easy.||53%|
|OVERALL||We're not going to profess that this is the greatest game ever, but it was quite enjoyable. The look of the game is impressive and the 2-player quite entertaining. Certainly one to consider purchasing.||67%|