FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews everyone's favorite web slinger.

Transcript Edit

You know, sometimes I wish I was a film critic. A video game that's twice as long as a film still gets laughed out of the locker room by its orifice-cripplingly long peers, whereas if I was a film critic, I could watch six films in a day and spend the rest of the week pulling birds with my John F. Kennedy impression and everything else I imagine Bob Chipman does with his spare time.

But I guess the other man's arse is always cleaner -- video game criticism has its advantages besides the fact that "video games rule and movies drool." For example, statistics show that only 20% of the people who start playing a game will finish it, so I can pretty much say whatever I like about the end of a video game and 80% of you buggers have no choice but to believe me! The Amazing Spider-Man was a recent movie which was [totally fantastic / above average / watchable / poor / about as much fun as sifting through a vat of funnel-web spiders for your pet black widow (Delete where appropriate)] and I ended up playing the video game tie-in, and I will say straight away that I thought it was very odd for the game to end with Gwen Stacy fisting Peter Parker with a handful of baby grasshoppers.

The game is set after the film which I haven't seen but it hardly matters -- I'm going to assume there was some adversity but it was basically sorted out by the end and an awful lot of people in their mid- to late-twenties tried to pass for teen agers. For the video game to take it upon itself to do the sequel is certainly ballsy, but you can predict ahead of time that every single character is going to wind up right back where they were at the start of the plot in case the studios decide they can squeeze an official sequel out of this continuity, assuming they don't decide it's time for another reboot because more than 17 minutes have passed.

With Dr. Curt Lizardy-bum behind bars, a new threat emerges when Oscorp uses his research to create a new race of hideous animal people because, hey, they don't want to have to rely on Mexican day-labourers forever. Unfortunately, this leads to a hideous, mutating plauge being unleashed upon the people of New York City which gradually escalates until-- Wait, didn't this happen in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows? And by some strange coincidence it's set in the same city. You'd think they would've tightened up the quarantine regulations by now.

Understand that I wouldn't have touched this game with a ten-foot internet pole if console releases weren't always pretty fucking miserable around this time of year. But then again, the Spider-Man 2 tie-in game was surprisingly great, and The Amazing Spider-Man also takes the free-roaming approach.

So when it was just a little spider step from being really really good, but no big spider jump down into the rotating knives and they fucked it up. And they fucked it up the way they always fuck it up having it so you web-sling around the city by pointing at where you want to go and holding down a button, unlike Spider-Man 2 where you have to manually time and angle your web-slings carefully to maximize your speed. Would it be reasonable to say that we might play a Spider-Man game because we want to know what it's like to be Spider-Man? To think as Spider-Man? And, indeed, to frequently fuck up as Spider-Man? Not because we want to be a little gnome that lives on Spider-Man's shoulder? Amazing Spider-Man goes one further; there is literally a button that allows you to pause the game and point to where you want to go, whereupon Spider-Man will just go there. And then you click your little gnome heels together and show him the way to the leprechaun's gold.

So this is one of those games that's too cool for its players, and only content to let them ride shotgun in its cool car if they agree to duck down at the first sign of hot mommas. Every single boss fight is beaten with the ancient secret martial art of Press-The-Indicated-Button-When-We-Say-So to make Spider-Man execute some lengthy pre-animated finishing move, taking control from you before you can do something completely embarassing.

And when it's not being the cool guy reluctantly bussing yo honky ass from place to place, it's being a nervous mother at the playground ready to whisk you away at the first sign of boo-boo and seal you in laminated plastic. The opposite button to the one that lets you point to the place and go to the place is the "Go-To-Any-Place-Besides-This-One-Where-Things-Are-Fast-Shitting-The-Bed" button, which you slam like a pornography enthusiast mashing Alt+Tab as the boss walks in to make Spider-Man immediately lose his pursuers and hide upon a random wall. "It's okay," reassures the game, "we leave no crap-out behind in these parts. You just swing down and have another go once Spider-Man has finished regenerating his health while making really unnatural gasping noises like an anime character trying to make a decision."

Interestingly, the actual missions are largely stealth-focused, which makes sense because when I look at a guy dressed like a patriotic circus acrobat who constantly reads from his stand-up set that his aunt assured him was hilarious, I think, "Here's a guy who wants to go unnoticed!" Or perhaps more appropriately, "Here's a game that wants to be Arkham City!" Except it's laughably easy to stealth take-down everyone because you can do it from anywhere on the ceiling, not just selected gargoyles. It's touch-and-go at that point whether or not Spider-Man does one of his really long pre-animated stealth take-downs that maximize the chances of being spotted by someone else, but if that happens you can just hit the "I-Just-Pissed-My-Pants" button once or twice and the enemy will instantly forget where you went, what they were doing, and how guns work.

One could argue that the whole webbing-dudes-to-ceilings thing doesn't make Spider-Man completely unsuited to stealth gameplay, but I feel something has gone wrong with a superhero game when I can web-swing into an encounter with three ordinary dudes with assault rifles, and they subsequently pound me into mulch before I've got the first wisecrack out.

You know, some people disliked the new redesign of Spider-Man's costume and it seems many of them were on the dev-team of this game, because by the end of pretty much every mission, Spider-Man looked like he was trying to wear a brightly coloured shark-fishing net three days after the warranty ran out. But Arkham City and Asylum both had gradual costume deterioration and Amazing Spider-Man wasn't about to be shown up, dammit!

Ultimately, the game is let-down by its lack of teeth. It's unchallenging and, for all its obvious aspirations, never more than an insipid fish-paste sandwich to Batman's fearsome whale penis baguette. And it fails to learn the most important thing Batman could've taught it, and that's to have a hero who keeps his trap shut before the player starts fantasizing about grinding a corkscrew into his fucking jaw. Spiderman cracking wise is supposed to be what makes him popular, but when I'm trapped with him for the average length of a console video game, I always end up wishing he'd take copying Batman to its logical conclusion and get himself beaten up by Tom Hardy wearing a mask he made from Darth Vader's Y-fronts.

AddendaEdit

Playing video games in his late twenties: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

I don't actually know if anyone disliked the new Spider-Man costume, but I have been on the internet long enough to make an educated guess

Yeah Dark Knight Rises was alright I suppose

Extra: JamEdit

So the Escapist Expo is still in September and you should still totally come, but also in October I've got a second novel coming out! It's called Jam, and you can preorder it from Amazon and tfaw.com.

It's about an apocalypse.

With jam in it.

ScreenshotsEdit

The Amazing Spider-Man 1

Gwen Stacy fisting Peter Parker with a handful of baby grasshoppers

The Amazing Spider-Man 3

...which you slam like a pornography enthusiast mashing Alt+Tab as the boss walks in

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

...while making really unnatural gasping noises like an anime character trying to make a decision

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.