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A web-slingingly good time

October 25, 2007

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is easy. Some may say a little too easy. In fact, I'm still not sure if it's actually possible to die and end your game in 'FoF', but it really doesn't matter. Because this game is all about non-stop action, awesome, high-flying moves and one-liners that will have you laughing out loud.

Developed by Next Level Games (the Canadian developers who brought you the two Mario Strikers games), 'FoF' is another ice cream sundae for the Wii; it's all empty calories and you won't remember it a year - or probably even a few months - from now, but it's a lot of fun while it's in front of you and it's hard for anyone of any age to resist.

Spiderman: Friend or FoeFirst, the plot (which is nothing more than an excuse to give the player a chance to control some of Spidey's most infamous enemies): the meteor that brought the alien Venom to Earth has split up and crash landed in five different spots on Earth. Nick Fury, the leader of the fictional intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D., calls upon Spider-Man to find the shards and destroy them. Along the way, Spidey finds that the shards are controlling the minds of many of his enemies, including Rhino, Doc Ock, Scorpion, Sandman and many more.

Rest assured there are boss battles aplenty, and pretty much every one results in that boss joining Spider-Man's team as they try to find out who or what is controlling everyones' minds.

Friend or Foe is as classic a beat-'em-up, button-mashing platformer as you're going to get ... and there really isn't anything wrong with that. Though you're basically doing the same thing throughout five stages, the developers manage to keep things surprisingly fresh by keeping a constant flow of new characters appearing, as well as giving the option to upgrade Spider-Man and his sidekicks after every stage with tokens that are earned after you defeat enemies.

The game is quite obviously aimed toward the younger crowd, and it really is suited perfectly for them. There are occasional environmental 'puzzles' (if you can call them that) that require you to step on switches to activate ledges to get further into stages, but again, it's all extremely straightforward. The action, though, is kept at a constant pace with very little loading time, and this is what makes the game so fun.

Just when you may be getting bored of using your newest character, you'll face a new boss and have him or her added to your sidekick list. The controls for every character are basically the same but it's always fun to see what each new sidekick's special moves are. Especially cool are the devastating super moves that Spidey and his sidekick combine to do together ocassionally.

By default, Spider-Man's sidekick is controlled by the computer and it does a fine job of taking care of itself. Your sidekick will never get stuck in a corner, it isn't helpless in big battles, and it knows when it's required to help you complete the aforementioned environmental puzzles. Best of all is that a second human player can jump in at any point by simply pressing the A-button on another Wii Remote.

The game actually looks quite nice. It's not going to win any awards but whether you're running through huge halls at the Oscorp headquarters or swinging alongside pyramids in Egypt, it uses vivid colours and a wide variety of environments. The characters themselves look great too, with fluid animations and a host of unique moves that set each one apart from the next.

The sound isn't anything to write home about. There are a few music sections that are somewhat memorable (usually certain bosses), and thankfully the in-level one-liners are kept to a minimum, but for the most part it's all interchangeable.

When you tire of the single player campaign, there is also a battle mode for players to face off against each other when they're bored of the single player campaign and there are short bios of every character that appears in the game. FoF isn't exactly loaded to the brim with Spider-Man lore, but there are some neat bonuses strewn throughout as you progress through the game.

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe may not be the most thought-provoking game ever made, but it's good at what it's supposed to do, and that presumably is to waste time and have some fun while doing it.

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Next Level Games
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Everyone
Official Site: http://spiderman-friend-or-foe.com/

Rating: 7.0 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.