Zero Punctuation: Spider-Man

Spider-Man

The long awaited Spider-Man review.

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Back from the dead to say Spiderman 2 was also a shit game.

pretty much saw this result coming and I think I agree across the board, but I also seem to remember Yahtzee saying, years back granted, that the webswinging was the only thing he liked in Spiderman 2, so it feels a bit tiring that he keeps nagging about all the recent spiderman games uses the arkham system. Not that I disagree on this one, Spiderman 2018 aint getting any combat related awards from me either.

I'm still on the fence for this one. I get that it looks fun, I just can't get this feeling its way more grindy than people are letting on

it was a good game.. but yeah, it had some issues that many other critics seemed to skip over so they could suck the developer's balls more.. like the spider sense thingy was pretty inconsistent. i regularly got hit by enemies even after dodging thanks to the sense going off too soon or the enemies doing punches that honed in on me regardless of where i dodged to.

To be fair, an Arkham Asylum wannabe where you can pose for a selfie with a grave-stone sounds like a good way to convince me to spend that money on something else.

I liked the different ways he said the game's title, escalating all the way to Marvel's Disney's Sony's Stan Lee's Steve Ditko's Giant-Size Man-Thing. I agree about the forced stealthing around as non-powered Spider-Man's friends, interrupting the fun of playing as Spider-Man. That's lame. And I could play Dr. Mario all day long, so I wonder what that says about me?

Oh, screw you, spellcheck! "Ditko" is SO a real word, it's the guy's last name! Show some respect!

I didn't mind the stealth sections one bit, but that's probably because I liked MJ and Miles and didn't mind getting what I could. Would I have rather played as Ghost Spider or Spider-Miles? Yes, but I'll take what I can get. The stealth sections were simple enough that it didn't get obnoxious to go through.

I also never had much trouble with Spidey's Spider-Sense. The only times I got hit were when I dodged way too soon, because I was watching the enemy's animation instead of Spidey's head, and when I got hit by a bullet because I dodged and then walked right back into the line of fire. The only issue I had was during the high speed chase events. Spider-sense would go off, I'd dodge, but I'd still get hit. It's really the only time this happens to me.

I used Spidey's stealth as a tool to get rid of higher priority targets before jumping in. Specifically, Rockets and Snipers. Otherwise bases are supposed to be slug-fests. And yes, Spider-Man has, and can, do stealth. Is it good here? Not really, but his attempt at it doesn't make him a Batman clone.

All in all, I still think this game is great and one of my favorite games of what has been a fantastic year. It'd be better without the constant bases and other open world trappings, but it's still fun to play regardless.

Off-Topic: As someone who's visited Destructoid maybe five times in the last ten years, could someone explain to me what all the off-handed snark against Destructoid is about?

I really enjoyed the game and the web swinging is just to damn fun.

So what I'm getting from this is that it's the best Spider-man game since Spider-man 2 on the Gamecube.

Yahtzee is gonna catch some shit for this. And yes, the second I heard "play as normies" that killed it for me.

For some reason this review has left me wanting a game featuring giant-sized Man-thing.

ewhac:
Off-Topic: As someone who's visited Destructoid maybe five times in the last ten years, could someone explain to me what all the off-handed snark against Destructoid is about?

It's especially funny since both this site and that one are owned by the same company now. And given that he was the only remaining paid employee (and maybe also a shareholder?) when the buyout took place, he can't possibly be unaware of that.

ewhac:
Off-Topic: As someone who's visited Destructoid maybe five times in the last ten years, could someone explain to me what all the off-handed snark against Destructoid is about?

I think it's to do with the fact that both Escapist and Destructoid are now owned by the same parent company, so this might just be familial banter.

I think the Arkham comparison wouldn't be as aggravating if Insomniac had even bothered to create a new counter icon instead of copy-pasting Rocksteady's. Devil's in the details.

maninahat:

ewhac:
Off-Topic: As someone who's visited Destructoid maybe five times in the last ten years, could someone explain to me what all the off-handed snark against Destructoid is about?

I think it's to do with the fact that both Escapist and Destructoid are now owned by the same parent company, so this might just be familial banter.

I think so. Plus Lyle steamed with Yahtzee today. Which I did a double take on.

Johnny Novgorod:
I think the Arkham comparison wouldn't be as aggravating if Insomniac had even bothered to create a new counter icon instead of copy-pasting Rocksteady's. Devil's in the details.

To be fair Rocksteady did copy the counter system from Spiderman 2

That's the funny thing about this game: it seems to stop every once in a while to pull me OUT of the game.

"I see you've been having a lot of fun engaging in the over-the-top combat and swinging around the city," Marvel's Spider-Man said. "Would you like to do a puzzle or slog through a forced stealth section?"

"Nah, I'm good," I say.

"That's a shame," it says," because the rest of the game is barricaded behind this MJ mission where you have to hide behind a box for five minutes.

The thing is, those scenes had some cool story attached, but I dodn't ever feel they needed to be played for tht experience. Insomniac seemed to think they were more engaging than they were.

I don't even mind the bases, since you don't really have to tackle them and they're fairly short anyway. You need them for upgrade tokens only, and the game's easy enough on normal mode I forget to use most of my toys anyway.

I also disagree on the Spider-Sense thing. I find it to be pretty responsive. The problem I have is the way all the bad guys have Mr Fantastic powers, so if you dodge a hair too early they will do a 180 to smack you in the face with their spider-seeking meathooks. It's annoying watching them rubber-band their way to you from half a room's distance.

RaikuFA:
I think so. Plus Lyle steamed with Yahtzee today. Which I did a double take on.

Like they were in a bathhouse together?

Captain Marvelous:
I didn't mind the stealth sections one bit, but that's probably because I liked MJ and Miles and didn't mind getting what I could. Would I have rather played as Ghost Spider or Spider-Miles? Yes, but I'll take what I can get. The stealth sections were simple enough that it didn't get obnoxious to go through.

I also never had much trouble with Spidey's Spider-Sense. The only times I got hit were when I dodged way too soon, because I was watching the enemy's animation instead of Spidey's head, and when I got hit by a bullet because I dodged and then walked right back into the line of fire. The only issue I had was during the high speed chase events. Spider-sense would go off, I'd dodge, but I'd still get hit. It's really the only time this happens to me.

I used Spidey's stealth as a tool to get rid of higher priority targets before jumping in. Specifically, Rockets and Snipers. Otherwise bases are supposed to be slug-fests. And yes, Spider-Man has, and can, do stealth. Is it good here? Not really, but his attempt at it doesn't make him a Batman clone.

All in all, I still think this game is great and one of my favorite games of what has been a fantastic year. It'd be better without the constant bases and other open world trappings, but it's still fun to play regardless.

Good stuff to read. The hate the non-Spiderman portions of this gaming are off putting. You've given me some hope that it won't ruin the game.

ewhac:
Off-Topic: As someone who's visited Destructoid maybe five times in the last ten years, could someone explain to me what all the off-handed snark against Destructoid is about?

They're still out there? I used to love them! Reviewing to see if I can find them again. Thanks for the reminder.

Johnny Novgorod:
I think the Arkham comparison wouldn't be as aggravating if Insomniac had even bothered to create a new counter icon instead of copy-pasting Rocksteady's. Devil's in the details.

That's been there since at least Spider-Man 2 on PS2. The combat in this new game is way less Arkham and more a refined polished version of Spider-Man 2's combat. It's also not the same icon as Arkham.

In regards to the Spidey-sense dodging, I'd say Yahtzee's just getting old, but I'm older then him and I had no problem with it at all. Especially once I got the proper upgrades for it.

Something Amyss:
I also disagree on the Spider-Sense thing. I find it to be pretty responsive. The problem I have is the way all the bad guys have Mr Fantastic powers, so if you dodge a hair too early they will do a 180 to smack you in the face with their spider-seeking meathooks. It's annoying watching them rubber-band their way to you from half a room's distance.

I only found the brutes to be quite problematic, since they have that 3-hit homing combo that have remarkable range, where if you don't dodge at the last second they smack you.

Another problem I had was that I wish you could aim web throws, specifically webbed up enemies. The best strategy for dealing with enemies is to web them up and stick 'm to a surface. With regular goons you can air-launch them, web them up, and then pull them into the ground, but brutes you need to swing around. And the game makes it so you always aim webswings towards another enemy, when I just wanna plaster them against something or toss them off the building.

Casual Shinji:

Johnny Novgorod:
I think the Arkham comparison wouldn't be as aggravating if Insomniac had even bothered to create a new counter icon instead of copy-pasting Rocksteady's. Devil's in the details.

That's been there since at least Spider-Man 2 on PS2. The combat in this new game is way less Arkham and more a refined polished version of Spider-Man 2's combat. It's also not the same icon as Arkham.

It's not the same half-circle of white little blinking lightning bolts? That's what I was referring to.

Johnny Novgorod:
It's not the same half-circle of white little blinking lightning bolts? That's what I was referring to.

No, it's the same white, halo the previous Spider-Man games (pre-Arkham) had. And it's on Spidey's head, not the enemies. The ironic thing is that despite the comparisons to Arkham, I initially started playing it like an Arkham game and it just wasn't working. And I've seen LPs of people who did the same, and the game was kicking their ass. It wasn't till I got Arkham out of my head and saw the combat as its own thing that it clicked.

Yeah trying to Batman your way through the game is a sure fire way to see the loading screen a lot.

Plus there is no 'counter' in this game.

My main issue with combat comes to the escalation curve, the Arkham games had a steady curve that built up through the game. This roughly corresponded to skills you would gather.

Spider-Man really chucks you in the deep end with Brutes and firearms whilst your still trying to master the combat system with zero skills. Meaning I died a lot through the opening sequences (treating it like an Arkham game didn't help). The games tutorial section did not ease you into the combat. Rather than 'learning the game' I just found the entire thing frustrating.

By the end of the game I was enjoying combat a lot due to the variety of how could deal with a situation. But with the double health, suit upgrades that minimized damage, increased in fight healing and array of a ton of web gadgets. I'm less convinced I got better just the hard parts are at the beginning and once you hit level 50 Spidey just becomes OP.

I've played the game through thoroughly so I certainly enjoyed it a lot but I think its combat and difficulty curve led a lot to be desired.

Casual Shinji:

Johnny Novgorod:
It's not the same half-circle of white little blinking lightning bolts? That's what I was referring to.

No, it's the same white, halo the previous Spider-Man games (pre-Arkham) had. And it's on Spidey's head, not the enemies. The ironic thing is that despite the comparisons to Arkham, I initially started playing it like an Arkham game and it just wasn't working. And I've seen LPs of people who did the same, and the game was kicking their ass. It wasn't till I got Arkham out of my head and saw the combat as its own thing that it clicked.

Ah gotcha. I've only played one Spider-Man game (Enter Electro? On PS1) so I wouldn't know.
How petty is Yahtzee being, on a scale from "PS2 Spider-Man Died For Your Sins" to "Critic"?

Johnny Novgorod:
Ah gotcha. I've only played one Spider-Man game (Enter Electro? On PS1) so I wouldn't know.
How petty is Yahtzee being, on a scale from "PS2 Spider-Man Died For Your Sins" to "Critic"?

Well, if the combat doesn't gel with you, which it obviously wasn't for him, you're probably not going to have a good time. He lamented having to clear enemy bases, because it meant more combat, while I couldn't get enough of them. And while I partially agree that having a Doc Oc origin story eats up time that could've been spent on other super villains, it makes for one of the most satisfying conclusions to a hero/villain conflict I've seen in any superhero game or movie. Marvel villains in general work better with some proper character build-up, because unlike DC villains, their gimmick doesn't really hold up very well on its own.

There's still other similar games that do things better. Infamous 1 and 2 has more satisfying traversal i.e. more skill based, and more fun random enemy encounters. And the Arkham games are just more creative in how they handle gameplay and narrative. But it's still one of the most polished Spider-Man experiences that, unlike the majority of the Marvel movies, actually has some bite to it. It's certainly the best Insomniac game in a really long time.

Casual Shinji:
I only found the brutes to be quite problematic, since they have that 3-hit homing combo that have remarkable range, where if you don't dodge at the last second they smack you.

Others home in as well, though admittedly the brutes are the only ones who are a real threat because of how much health they can take off. It just annoys me when I get tagged and my combo is reset because I dodged just a hair too early and the guy trotted to catch up to me.

Johnny Novgorod:
It's not the same half-circle of white little blinking lightning bolts? That's what I was referring to.

In fairness, the way they do Spider-Sense goes back like half a century in the comics, and so it makes sense to see it in a Spider-Man game. More than in Arkham. Now, it's not always portrayed identically, and cartoons and movies don't necessarily show it (the 90s Spider-Man gave him an acid flashback instead), but it's a super common thing for Spidey to be depicted by the buzzing lines around his head *(and sometimes around his body).

When I first saw Arkham Asylum's combat, my thought was Spider-Man. Not just because this style of combat showed up in prior Spidey games, but because of how well the danger sense fits with Spidey combat.

Ralancian:

Spider-Man really chucks you in the deep end with Brutes and firearms whilst your still trying to master the combat system with zero skills. Meaning I died a lot through the opening sequences (treating it like an Arkham game didn't help). The games tutorial section did not ease you into the combat. Rather than 'learning the game' I just found the entire thing frustrating.

Really? I found the early learning curve to be a bit slow. I'm only now,

finding myself a bit overwhelmed by the curve and I'm wishing it had been a little more even because I'd been on cruise control for the last several hours (or what felt like it, anyway).

Something Amyss:

Ralancian:

Spider-Man really chucks you in the deep end with Brutes and firearms whilst your still trying to master the combat system with zero skills. Meaning I died a lot through the opening sequences (treating it like an Arkham game didn't help). The games tutorial section did not ease you into the combat. Rather than 'learning the game' I just found the entire thing frustrating.

Really? I found the early learning curve to be a bit slow. I'm only now,

finding myself a bit overwhelmed by the curve and I'm wishing it had been a little more even because I'd been on cruise control for the last several hours (or what felt like it, anyway).

Russ bought it up in his review and I've had conversations with friends that have encountered similar problems.

I agree though I'd say it's the first 20% of the game which is frustratingly difficult. After that it becomes steadily easier the introduction in third act to the top tier grunts does add a new difficulty level but only due to improved health for them. It doesn't raise the stakes in terms of how you defeat them. In fact apart from one or two bods they armed with the same stuff Fisks guys at the start.

Which is why I say the escaltion curve is off your fighting the same type of thugs you did at the start but have a far larger array to deal with them. They do introduce new bad guys throughout the game but none really represent a new challenge or something to master. Just throw another electric web at them works work just about all. Shield guys represent the hardest threat (to me) throughout and they were introduced right at the start.

Think about Arkham Asylum each new thug type was introduced slowly and required more than just punching them to death. Firearms which are generally difficult to and deal with are introduced late game. I never felt that the escalation in Spider-Man directly corresponding to where I was in the game just to introduce a new thug type. And as noted the new thugs very rarely shook up the combat.

But the tutorial sequence introduced a whole ton of bad guys type none of which I had time to learn. After a while I did and through skills was able.to cruise through the game apart from bases. Bases were just dull padding though and could of cut in half IMO

Something Amyss:

Johnny Novgorod:
It's not the same half-circle of white little blinking lightning bolts? That's what I was referring to.

In fairness, the way they do Spider-Sense goes back like half a century in the comics, and so it makes sense to see it in a Spider-Man game. More than in Arkham. Now, it's not always portrayed identically, and cartoons and movies don't necessarily show it (the 90s Spider-Man gave him an acid flashback instead), but it's a super common thing for Spidey to be depicted by the buzzing lines around his head *(and sometimes around his body).

When I first saw Arkham Asylum's combat, my thought was Spider-Man. Not just because this style of combat showed up in prior Spidey games, but because of how well the danger sense fits with Spidey combat.

I personally enjoy the Arkham combat, even outside Arkham games (but usually within WB's IPs). Having never consumed anything Spider-Man outside a few movies and the one obscure PS1 game but being a massive Arkham-phile I assumed they were taking after Bats. And ordinarily I think a game can only benefit from that but Spider-Man has enough of an identity that comparisons to another superhero should be easily and readily avoided.

Ralancian:
Shield guys represent the hardest threat (to me) throughout and they were introduced right at the start.

Shield guys were pretty easy for me, given they just require you to dive under. Or wall-bounce, but I don't remember if that's a default skill or an unlock. Perfect dodges are also really easy for me, and I'm not particularly good at games. The timing window seems overly generous even before the skill that improves it. Considering early in the game they fall pretty quick, too, I didn't even bother using the web grab for the longest time because I could drop them with basic skills quickly enough.

I'm not saying you're wrong for not liking them, but I didn't find shields hard myself and I found it puzzling. I've heard similar complaints that brutes were a problem the first time you encounter them in the wild, but they work just like the first "boss" and the only real threat is if they start their combo.

Maybe I just took more stylistically to this game than I usually do with games. I don't know.

Johnny Novgorod:

I personally enjoy the Arkham combat, even outside Arkham games (but usually within WB's IPs). Having never consumed anything Spider-Man outside a few movies and the one obscure PS1 game but being a massive Arkham-phile I assumed they were taking after Bats. And ordinarily I think a game can only benefit from that but Spider-Man has enough of an identity that comparisons to another superhero should be easily and readily avoided.

It's not an unfair assumption. AA didn't create the combat, but it really refined t to a level where it was smooth and mostly responsive and you could feel like a massive Bat-ass taking on a mob of thugs all at once. It really deserves to be the go-to example for modern combat of this style.

But growing up a Spider-Man fan, I though this combat was pretty close to tailor-made for Spider-Man. The fast, fluid combo-driven attacks seem like exactly what would replicate the antics of a man with superhuman speed and agility. And it already (kinda) has a Spider-Sense! It seemed like a natural fit even without Spider-Man 2.

On the other hand, there have been precious few Spider-Man games that were even decent, so....

Can someone explain the destructoid-rants that have been on the end credits for the last few episodes?

EDIT: Seems it was only this episode. Maybe it was on the Jimquisition I saw some more mention of it?

Twinrehz:
Can someone explain the destructoid-rants that have been on the end credits for the last few episodes?

EDIT: Seems it was only this episode. Maybe it was on the Jimquisition I saw some more mention of it?

Weird I recall at least 2.
I think both sites are owned by the same people now, so they're cross-promoting? Yahtzee shared the post-ZP stream with some guy from Destructoid.

 

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