Spider-Man:Total Mayhem, the action-packed, comic book-inspired title from Gameloft, is now available from the app store. While Spider-Man is a typical Gameloft offering right down to the weak storylines and questionable voice acting, it also contains the most important one of all: it’s a polished, console-style game that’s flat out fun to play.
Spider-Man:Total Mayhem Pros:
- Detailed, expansive cityscapes
- Three action buttons for easy combo moves
- Lengthy gameplay
- Multiple difficulty levels
- Unlockable black suit for added replay value
Spider-Man:Total Mayhem Cons:
- Weak storyline and questionable voice acting
- Cannot control camera’s viewpoint
- Occasional unresponsiveness from Spidey Sense button
When several of the most notorious villains suddenly find themselves freed from incarceration by an explosion at the Triskelion, it’s up to our friendly neighborhood superhero to put them back where they belong and stop the dangerous virus that is already spreading to the city’s inhabitants. Through 12 levels of play, Spider-Man wends his way through the city, beating up thugs, freeing tied-up citizens, scaling facades, sliding along ropes, collecting artwork, and slinging his way from building to building to right the wrongs of society. Each level is a unique setting, in regard to both location and height above/below street level, with great detail and lengthy play. Each level should take around 15 minutes to complete. As you make your way through, you’ll also encounter boss battles with the ultimate baddies: Sandman, Rhino, Electro, Venom, Doc Oc, and Green Goblin.
The most significant aspect of the gameplay is the combat system, as you’ll fight nearly everyone you encounter. You are given a virtual pad for movement and three action buttons for jumping, attacking, and web slinging. These three buttons open up tons of possibilities for combo moves that are as stunning as they are smooth. The help section outlines how to perform all of the varied maneuvers, though trial-and-error, or even good old-fashioned button mashing, will likely reveal several of these moves for your use and enjoyment. While fighting, you’ll see a lightning button from time-to-time that allows you to use your Spidey Sense to slow time and avoid an attack by an enemy. Dispatching enemies will often reward you with green or red orbs, which are good for health replenishment or skill points. Skill points are used to upgrade your abilities with regard to Strength, Defense, and Speciality.
Graphically, the highly-colorized environments show good depth and nice detail. Whether slinging between building tops and watching scenery speed by you, or scaling walls with flames pouring from windows while boxes fall from the rooftop, the gameplay stays fresh and exciting throughout. Even the mechanisms required to dispatch the bosses vary enough that you’ll require several attempts to figure out a suitable pattern to use to your advantage. Your health bar and ultimate combo bar reside in the upper left corner, giving instant feedback and allowing you to tap (when full) for an added vicious attack. Your enemy’s health bar appears in the upper right corner during a fight. The soundtrack offers an emotionally-charged, action-movie style background that enhances gameplay and provides a nice alternative to the relatively weak sound effects. For the bone-crunching hits that are being laid out, we’d expect some better effects than the ones found in the game. The touch controls are decent, though we did seem to have some occasional unresponsiveness from the ultimate web combo bar and the Spidey Sense button. Otherwise, it was smooth sailing.
Replay value is decent, as completing the game unlocks Spider-Man’s black suit, offering a different experience upon replay. There are also 4 difficulty levels, so replaying on a different level can offer a greater challenge. However, having struggled mightily against Rhino in the boss battle, we don’t look forward to dealing with that aggravation again. There are trophies to earn, pieces of artwork to collect, and photos to take of the boss battles. Other points of frustration included the inability to control your viewpoint (which can lead to some confusion as far as where to go next, though trails of red orbs or small green arrows usually set you back on the right track) and the lack of spontaneous web-slinging throughout the city. As fans of games like Rope Raider, even the inclusion of some type of mini-game to satisfy this itch would have been great to see. There’s a lot to like about Spider-Man and we’re having a blast working our way through and marveling at the acrobatic fights. At $6.99, it carries the typical Gameloft launch price point while offering 4.5-Dimple spiderific fun.
Spider-Man:Total Mayhem Review,