"It Is What It Is..."
The Amazing Spider-Man was an overlooked film by most, but those who saw it know that it did the Spider-Man comics justice. The film felt more like Busiek's Spider-Man yet still had a bit of Stan Lee flare to it. As a huge fan of the film, I was hoping that The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition for Wii U, based on the film, would help bring Spidey back to prominence in the video game world.
The Amazing Spider-Man varies in its gameplay, ranging from exploration, web-slinging, and basic brawling type combat. While on the surface things seem fine at first, it quickly becomes easy to see the rust underneath the paint in this under-developed, not very well thought out, open world "brawler".
There has been a major attempt here to try to bring a Batman: Arkham Asylum feeling to The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition, but instead of being tight and powerful, fighting is weakly executed and designed, feeling off and all over the place. Sure, the type of combat here gets you through the game, but it's not the type of gameplay that will bring you back for more. While Spider-Man can look slick pulling off his moves, there isn't much overall variety in attacks. Maybe fifteen years ago this kind of stuff would be amazing, but now it takes a backseat to dozens of titles. Still, it could be worse, much, much worse. So what am I trying to say here? If you love Spidey, you'll deal with it.
Things get better when it comes to the open world aspects of The Amazing Spider-Man. The Wii U GamePad doesn't come into play very often, but it will give you an easier way to view the HUDs, which is convenient for navigating the city and accomplishing missions. However, it's here where the The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition fails again. The game brings a slew of generic, repetitive missions to accomplish, filling the space between bosses and the beginning and the end. This is the most heart-breaking part. As if the brawling wasn't dull enough, missions don't have anything to offer. This is a common flaw of the open world genre, but it would have been nice to see it working here. Sure, a lot of missions in inFAMOUS would seem repetitive, but the gameplay was so much fun, it didn't matter much when you'd come to that next "defend the bus" mission. The Amazing Spider-Man can't help but fail in delivering unique missions. On top of this, the urban environment lacks detail and depth, thus providing an open, yet boring and unrealized setting.
Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man runs into the same problems most hackneyed, licensed games run into. It's underdeveloped, attempting to be a safe carbon copy of other games in order to sell numbers and not break new ground. Still, despite all of its flaws, I had an absolute blast with the game. Why? Because I am a Spider-Man fanatic. I loved the new Spider-Man film, and The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition is the best I can get for a game based on this film (as of the writing of this article at least). I don't want to be jaded, filling my head with thoughts of Arkham. I want to remember that not all games are created equal, and so I can leave my gaming experience in the past and just enjoy the fact that I can swing around as Spider-Man, fighting baddies, and taking care of business.
Even if graphics aren't up to par, even if sound design was last on their list of cares, I can't deny kicking back, relaxing, and getting behind the Amazing Spider-Man.
That being said, The Amazing Spider-Man is really only for those who desperately are seeking to play Spider-Man again, in an open world setting, or those who are just über-fans of the new film. If you like superheroes or are looking for a good open world brawler, you can do better. For those who were huge fans of the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions, be wary, there is very little reason to play this game on the Wii U too. A few extra costumes, a few bits of already available DLC, and the Wii U GamePad HUD is about all that is new here.
GameDynamo's Score for The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition (Wii U)
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