Wouldn’t it be awesome to be Spider-Man? Having complete freedom while you swing through the city, dealing with your enemies in any matter of creative means you see fit with your super web sticking powers and mobility? Doesn’t it just sound like a ton of fun? Well shut your face, because Kalypso Media doesn’t agree and wants to stomp on your nonsensical free will with their new game Alien Spidy.
Alien Spidy is a 2D cartoonish platformer which has you running through levels avoiding obstacles and enemies while collecting orbs as fast as possible so you can boost your score and up your level star rating Angry Birds style. It’s all functional enough, control is nice and it’s generally easy to get your Spidy thing to shoot web where it’s wanted. The problem with the web is it has those more realistic LittleBigPlanet 2 dangly thread physics when the game would probably benefit more from Bionic Commando style straight swings for the sake of flow.
But control is not the problem here, what makes Alien Spidy a lot less fun to play than it should be is the severe linearity of it all. Don’t take the opening to this preview out of context, the point isn’t that web swinging should lead to open exploration, but Alien Spidy takes all the fun out of it. There’s a chain of orbs in each level that you have to swing through quickly and practically perfectly to get a high rating on it (something I personally failed to do on every single one).
It’s frustrating because there were times I was using the decently implemented web swinging for some fun moments, such as shooting web into the ground to stylistically evade enemies. However Alien Spidy’s level designer is a bossy little so-and-so who decided this wasn’t what I was supposed to do so punishment was handed out with a cut to the high score wallet. The point of this seems to be to give the game some sort of replay value, but what it actually does is makes finishing a sometimes challenging level inherently unsatisfying because you’re told you didn’t do it properly. For a lot of gamers autisticly replaying the same levels again and again until you learn the exact path and gain a high score isn’t strong motivation.
You get the feeling that if Kalypso Media did make a Spider-Man game it would be set in the ventilation system of the building you need to get to the top of, narrowly avoiding attacking rats and loose change. If you fail you would just fall out of the vent and take the stairs to the top of the building, so mission accomplished but still hindered by the sense of failure as this probably wasn’t what Uncle Ben meant.
In truth Alienspidy is looking functional enough and fans of 2D side scrolling will probably get something out of it when it hits the PSN, Xbox Live Arcade, PC and Mac soon.
Product Information from the Developers
After losing contact with his explorer friend Virgi, our fearless alien hero Spidy heads to Earth in his spacecraft to find her. While entering the Earth’s atmosphere, his spacecraft suddenly fails and starts to break up, causing Spidy to crash-land on the strange planet, with his craft scattered across forests, throughout ponds and into dark caves. Spidy finds himself alone on an alien world and faces the epic challenge of tracking down Virgi, battling strange new enemies and finding the missing pieces from his spacecraft in order to repair the damage and make their escape home.
The stage is set for the adventure of a lifetime as Spidy embarks on a perilous journey through a visually stunning 2D/3D world, where quick reflexes and fast-paced platform action create a fun and rewarding gameplay experience, which is easy to pick up, but challenging to master.
- A unique blend of fast paced physics based platform action and challenging puzzles
- A visually stunning, cartoon-styled Animated world
- Use the analogue control to perform intuitive skill-based manoeuvres as Spidy swings from danger, shoots his web and avoids numerous pitfalls and enemies
- Explore three unique game environments with over 69 diverse and challenging levels
- Overcome a huge range of enemies and fight epic boss battles
- Accessible for both casual and core gamers…it’s easy to pick up, but challenging to master
- Unlock over 300 collectables and achievements
- Replay levels to earn higher scores and improve your leader board rankings