Monday, September 05, 2005

Ultimate Spider-Man

Last year's Spider-Man 2 for the Nintendo DS was one of the more successful and noteworthy games in the system's launch library. But if our current play with Ultimate Spider-Man for the Nintendo DS is anything to go by, perhaps we may have been a bit too glowing in our review of last year's game when it came out. Ultimate Spider-Man is similar in design to Spider-Man 2 but the new game has clearly been given far more time in the oven, and given way more creative freedom in the action design. We were able to put a bit of time in the final build of the Nintendo DS game, and we walked away thoroughly impressed with the direction the series has taken on the handheld.

The graphic engine has definitely been given a boost from last year's game, and the art style now uses toon-style shading to mimic both the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book as well as the console version set to release day and date. Everything moves at a tremendously smooth 60 frames per second clip, though it did bog down once or twice when the camera made some walls transparent during transitions from outdoor to indoor environments.

Ultimate Spider-Man also features two player battles using the wireless capabilities of the Nintendo DS, and in this mode each player chooses a character from the game (Spidey, Venom, Peter Parker…and others that would be considered "spoilers" if I said who they were) and simply try to beat the other person up. We played this mode for several minutes, and while it has its moments, don't expect it to be the selling point of Ultimate Spider-Man.

Release set to late September so keep an eye on latest releases.

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