[27 November 2007]
Spider-Man has starred in plenty of games over the past few years, thanks largely to the three mostly-excellent movies that have been littering theaters in his name. Unfortunately, most of them suffer from the movie-tie-in affliction of rushed end product and underdeveloped gameplay. Perhaps that’s why Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is so appealing. For one, while it does offer hints that its raison d’être is the hawking of a not-yet-released cartoon version of the webbed wonder, it doesn’t have a movie to aspire to, so there are no predefined standards that are going to be crushed by a less-than-stellar experience. For two, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and finding a Spider-Man game with such a whimsical sense of humor is quite refreshing. Finally, its premise, that of a world in which Spidey fights alongside both his most precious allies and his most bitter enemies, is practically begging to be played with more than one person. You can square off against your buddies, or you can fight cooperatively in the game’s main story mode. The vaguely exaggerated, cartoony graphic style goes perfectly with the humor and the outlandish premise, and, perhaps best of all, you get all of this for a bargain price. Even if Spidey’s burned you in the past with his video game outings, give Spider-Man: Friend or Foe a try. He finally got it right.