previews\ Apr 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Spider-Man 3 - NDS - Preview

Make no mistake; May will be the month for Spider-fans. The highly-anticipated Spider-Man 3 will hit theaters nationwide, along with several different licensed games across several systems, as well. At a press event hosted by Activision, the company showcased several different versions of the game, including the DS tie-in with the film. The game will feature 2D gameplay in a 3D world, as well as unique touch-screen based combat and a new “rage” feature tied into Spider-man’s experience with the symbiote (or “Black Suit” as it’s become known) for a truly compelling handheld experience.

The game presents a “2.5D” world, presenting itself as a side-scroller with a 3D world. The game sets you on a path, but will still shift and change as though it were a three-dimensional game.

Spider-Man 3 Nintendo DS screenshots

The controls have been changed quite a bit for this one. Combat will be completely relegated to the touch screen, where you’ll have to slash the stylus across the screen to perform punches and combos. Slashing forward will perform quick attacks, doing diagonally will allow you to perform different directional attacks, like low blows and uppercuts. You can shoot webbing by double-tapping on the screen to tie up your enemies, and so on. Movement, jumping and swinging all require the D-Pad. Luckily, southpaws (like myself) won’t be up a creek, as the face buttons have been mapped to mirror the D-Pad.

The “rage” meter is what allows Spider-Man to activate the powers of the Black Suit. Attacking many enemies will switch the symbiote on, and constantly fighting will keep its abilities flowing. The suit allows you to move quicker and hit harder, and it certainly helps in intense situations.

Like in the console versions, boss battle are a layered affair, where you must not only fight your opponents, but run them down when they try to escape. The Lizard sequence was playable in the preview build, and it spanned a few different quests, where you’d have to only fight him, but follow him through the city rescuing people and fighting other bad guys as you go. Eventually, you track him to the sewers, where you finally fight him one on one, by wailing on him and then electrifying the floors to finish him off.

Spider-Man 3 Nintendo DS screenshots

Graphically, the game looks pretty good. The 2D view doesn’t hinder the game’s 3D polygonal aesthetic, and the environments are huge, bright, and colorful. Spider-Man moves quite fluidly, and the villains look pretty good on the DS’s screens.

Spider-Man 3 is looking to be a fun action game that will utilize the DS’s capabilities quite well. Check it out this May along with the film.

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