All superheroes have some kind of comic book. Whether it’s the X-Men, Captain America, Batman, Hulk; you name it, they have a comic book. Spider-Man has been in existence for years as comic books, cartoons and movie adaptations. However, the most recent form of comic book that Spidey has undertaken is the universe of Ultimate Spider-Man. Now for the next upcoming game adaptation for the beloved superhero, that universe will indeed to delivered to us! Vicarious Visions was responsible for Spider-Man 2 being a launch title for the Nintendo DS in 2004, and now it seeks to rectify its mistakes with that game in developing Ultimate Spider-Man for our handheld!
This DS iteration will also be delivered in a 2D format, and the story of the game can alter dramatically depending upon the order that you complete your missions. It will feature the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book look and feel that are evident in the home console versions. However, instead of being fully 3D, the dual screens will be utilized to present comic book panels and that popular toon-shaded appearance to make some elements look 3D. The DS iteration of this game will indeed be similar to Spider-Man 2 in that it uses both 2D and 3D elements. This all seems to be somewhat inspired by the presentations of the Viewtiful Joe franchise. However, this game will give the DS a fresh new look with the more physically exaggerating atmosphere of the comic book series.
The camera has also been enhanced to follow Spidey through the game’s prerendered 3D environments. The comic book presentation is also made known through the storytelling of the game by using very cool looking still shots. Also somehow the DS version of Spidey’s new game will feature full voice acting in order to make the experience as similar as possible to the console versions but unique in the right of it being on the handheld. It also happens to run at a solid 60 frames per second which is a very nice touch considering it being on a handheld..
How Ultimate Spider-Man will also take the two characters (Spidey and Venom) throughout the story will be different in utilizing the touch screen. The touch screen will mainly be used for “extra moves”. In Spider-Man 2, the touch screen had a menu on it at all times for these manoeuvres, but it will now only be there when needed for this game. To make things even easier, you can tap on the touch screen, select a special move to set to one of the shoulder buttons, and then let it disappear! This will allow for the comic book presentation of the game to be the forefront of your focus. The touch screen will also be utilized for special actions that will be required of you to rescue innocent bystanders! For instance, if a civilian happens to be trapped underneath a car, you’ll have to stroke the touch screen in a continuous upward motion to get them out of there!
When it comes to Spider-Man, the touchscreen will be a more or less complimentary delivery since you can use both it and the face buttons on the handheld. Venom, however, will completely rely on the and D-Pad in accordance to what he can do. Using the trusty stylus, players will be able to have full control over Venom’s tendrils in attacking his enemies as well as picking up and dropping random objects. In terms of grabbing victims, a simple flick of the wrist will send people flying, but you can also draw them in for Venom to feed on and regain his health. The stylus can also be used to allow Venom to strategically place items to solve puzzles, such as releasing a pressure switch. Now, this is Venom, he also needs to create a little destruction right? Well, with the simple tapping to the left or right of him on the touch screen, you will have Venom do all his punches and kicks! This also works in accordance with how the D-Pad is pressed, which begs one to think that more interesting manoeuvres can be pulled off doing such!
One of the biggest criticisms of the Spider-Man 2 launch title was the fact that its levels were just too large in size, making it too easy to lose track of your position or get lost when trying to complete mission objectives. Vicarious Visions seems to have listened to these complaints and is offering tighter level designs and less daunting mission objectives. Also to compliment the overall game experience, there will be more enemies to fight, more civilians to rescue, and everything will be done in a more linear fashion! The combat in the game has also been given a nice upgrade in having a better combo system as well as more realistic collision detection.
Vicarious Visions is now giving players who are fans of the DS’ wireless multiplayer feature a nice gift. Ultimate Spider-Man will feature a two-player battle mode in which you can select a character from the game itself to participate! You will then simply try to beat each other up in a battle arena, and the rest is up to you. However, don’t expect this to be the selling point of the game, as it hardly does anything to really compliment everything else the game offers. It’s more or less just a nice option for people who may know others with the it to play each other in proving “who’s best”.
So Ultimate Spider-Man DS really seems to be shaping up to be a quality title for our handheld. Improving upon all the aspects of Spider-Man 2 as well as offering something new with the Ultimate comic book universe, look to manipulate Spidey (and Venom!) with your stylus again this week!