Sorry about all of the Spider-Man themed articles as of late, it’s just that after the news last month about Sony leasing Spider-Man to Marvel Studios I went Spidey crazy and just started playing games I had never tried before (like Spider-Man 3) and replaying ones I had (The Amazing Spider-Man). While it might be more appropriate to compare Spider-Man 2 against The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as they were both the tie-in games to the second chapter in their respective series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a game has a lot in more in common with Spider-Man 3, both as a movie and as a video game:
- In the case of the movies, both SM3 and TASM2 failed to build upon really good chapters and each tried to cram in way too much stuff into their run times to the point of silliness. These films poor reception by fans torpedoed any future planned installments as well as spin-off’s and forced a continuity reboot.
- With respect to the games, they too followed up really good chapters and should have easily been good as all there respective developers had to do was build upon what already worked. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, similar to Spider-Man 3, also arrived during the time of a change in the console cycle, though at the time Spider-Man 3 arrived in stores, that particular generation was well under way, but people (including myself) were also still clinging onto their PS2’s.
I’m going to break things down into four categories : graphics, gameplay, acting and replay value and determine once and for all which is the worse Spider-Man movie game: Spider-Man 3 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2. NOTE: There are many different versions of these games, but for the purpose of this feature, I’m looking at the “current generation” versions of both: The Xbox 360 for Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on the PS4.
Neither Spider-Man 3 nor The Amazing Spider-Man 2 really wow with their graphics and by the time TASM2 rolled around, we already had seen a virtual New York City recreated in a Spider-Man game five times, making it considerably less special. Overall though TASM2 is a better looking game all around with human character models that don’t look like their eyes are going to explode from their heads and a lot more varied environments in its outside of the city stages.
LOSER: Spider-Man 3
Despite being released seven years apart from one another, TASM2 and SM3 are a lot of like from a gameplay perspective. Both place the main hero in an open-world New York City where you can activate missions to advance the plot or pass the time with side-missions and hunting collectibles. I really enjoyed Beenox’s take on web-slinging in TASM2 where your right and left web-shooters are mapped to the left and right triggers, but they also made the cardinal sin of removing the joy from swinging around by poorly implementing a morality meter into the game that forced you to keep playing the same boring side-missions over and over or else get hunted by robots or stopped by road blocks. For everything that it did wrong, SM3 at least allowed you to freely swing around at your own leisure and only do side-missions if you so wished to.
In the web-slinging department SM3 has a slight leg up over its competition, but every other activity outside of this is much better in TASM2. Combat, though still not great, takes a page from the Batman: Arkham formula and is much more fun than the button mashing fisticuffs found in SM3. Missions also have a lot more variety, placing emphasis on stealth and tracking down costumes to level up. Honestly if the hero/menace system was removed from TASM2, it would be a much better game, maybe even recommendable.
LOSER: Spider-Man 3
SM3 is the definition of a movie game, recounting the events of the film it’s based on while also selling people on the fact that the cast of the film provided their voices. TASM2 is more a sequel to Beenox’s first The Amazing Spider-Man which itself was a sequel to the movie of the same name and is really only a movie game because it sells more copies being one; Don’t expect to hear the likes of Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone or Dane DeHaan anywhere here as they’re all replaced by sound alikes.
While it adds a some prestige of sorts having the actors from the film reprise their roles for the game, all of the actors in SM3 sound like they’re not having much fun and are only in it for a pay cheque. I wasn’t a fan of Sam Riegel as the voice of Spider-Man in either TASM or its sequel, but at the very least he is a talented voice actor. The rest of the cast isn’t that memorable but are fine, which is more than can be said of professional film actors like James Franco who sound like they’re going to fall asleep.
LOSER: Spider-Man 3
Once your done Spider-Man 3, if you even make it that far, you’re more or less left with nothing to do than swing around New York and compete in tedious races and combat tours for medals or hunt down a scattered collectible. TASM2 is very much the same, though in that games case you’re forced to do those side-missions to keep annoying enemies and obstructions out-of-the-way. This makes hunting for collectibles and getting back into the world more like a job than fun, and that is again even if you make it to the end of the game before giving up.
LOSER: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
TOTAL: Spider-Man 3: 3; The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 1
LOSER: Spider-Man 3
Though neither game are really worth playing, especially when there’s much better Spider-Man games on the market, Spider-Man 3 is a considerably worse game than the one based on the second-installment of Sony’s do over franchise, and that’s even with the terrible hero/menace morality system. The debate may go on over which is a worse film, each having some great moments mixed in with a lot of bad, but when it comes to the games, Spider-Man 3 is the clear loser.