Right now developers are in a bit of a dilema when it comes to development. Often times when a game is designed for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, there is some question whether or not to put the game on the Wii. There are changes due to the controllers being different and the video output resolution at a max of 480P. However, for those who haven’t made the leap to the high-definition era, not to mention the install base of the Wii, sometimes these limitations can outweigh the costs. It looks like this was the direction Beenox and Activision went with on Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
Edge of Time features two different Spider-Man characters. The traditional Peter Parker is represented in an alternate present day, while Miguel O’Hara of Spider-Man 2099 is from the future. Miguel works at Alchemax and discovers that his boss Walter Sloan has created a time portal. Miguel is unable to prevent Sloan from entering the portal and can feel the changes made in the timeline. He is able to contact Peter through a DNA link that Peter had to give for his employment at Alchemax. That’s right, Alchemax has been in operation for several years and instead of being a guy capturing Spider-Man in action on his camera, he is a scientist for Alchemax making a pretty nice salary. All of a sudden he hears a voice in his head and Peter and Miguel must work together in their own way to foil Sloan’s plan and reset the timeline.
You may know from watching Star Trek that causing something to happen in the past can alter the future. This is apparently true in the Spider-Man universes as well. By working together each one will make changes that affect the other’s timeline. For instance, at one point Miguel is fighting against a giant Sentinel-like robot. Peter has found the tech lab and found the original prototype. Peter destroys the prototype and the Sentinel Miguel is fighting against disappears. The effects aren’t always predictable though, as smaller, faster robots appear to fight against Miguel.
Graphically, the game doesn’t compare to the other consoles. The intro where the text was integrated into the sides of walls now shows up as blocky text in the upper right hand corner. The textures look faded and the instructional text is harder to read than the original Dead Rising text. While the Wii can produce some exciting visuals from original content, it is starting to look long in the too with titles ported over. There were also several issues of clipping.
The voices of Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 are done by Josh Keaton and Christopher Daniel Barnes. What is interesting is the fact that they voiced different versions of Spider-Man in Shattered Dimensions (Ultimate and Noir, respectively). Their banter works well even if they seem to argue a lot. Their voice acting is probably the best part of the game. Val Kilmer makes an apperance as the bad guy, Walter Sloan.
While translating the controls for the Wii from the other consoles is a challenge, the remote and nunchuk combination is so terrible that I can’t image who made the decision for the control scheme. The analog stick is used for normal movement. The C button is used for your Hyper-Sense and Accelerated Decoy. Hitting A jumps, and B will websling unless you tap it and you web zip. The issue comes with the combat. All of your basic attacks are done with the D-Pad. Down is for your basic melee while left does the long range attack. To the right fires your web shots. Moving the D-pad instead of hitting buttons doesn’t feel natural and gets confusing with which direction does what. You also have so much combat in the game that it gets tiring. That doesn’t mean that the plus, minus, 1, and 2 buttons are left out. You have to use all of them and reaching them isn’t very comfortable.
Combat is an important part of the game, and you’ll need to collect icons throughout the levels to gain upgrades. Golden spiders are the holy grail of collectibles because they allow you to upgrade the health, shield, and stamina of Spider-Man. Other items will either give you health or gain points towards upgrading your moves. Some of the moves are shared between both Spider-Man universes, but some of them are unique to each one. You’ll need to determine who you need to upgrade for the best success.
Transitions throughout the game are seamless. While you will see a loading icon in the lower left corner, the game never truly stops. It loads as you are watching a short cutscene. It really makes the game feel immersive since you never really break from the action, and the switching from one universe to the other naturally transitions during dialogue.
There is a Web of Challenges that lets you try to complete objectives. They are mostly combat based or agility based. So you have challenges based on the worst part of the game (the combat), or a way to actually get some webslinging in. If you complete these, you do get alternate costumes for both versions of Spidey, but you’ll have a better chance to complete these after finishing the game.
While I felt that the PS3 version was average, the Wii version is truly disappointing. The combination of lower resolution graphics, faded textures, and horrendous controls made this version unbearable. If you only have a Wii and have the urge to get every single Spider-Man game, do yourself a favor and buy an Xbox 360 or PS3 and don’t get this version of the game. You’ll thank me later.