Spider-Man: Both Sides Now
Although Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is the second video game starring the webbed one that Activision has released this year (Spider-Man 3 was timed to the May blockbuster), the cooperative fighting game brings the look and feel of the comic books to life.
Friend or Foe features characters resembling those in the movies, but they have a cartoonish feel. And the game is clearly aimed at a younger audience, which means the brooding and love triangle of the films has been replaced with a wise-cracking Spidey and seemingly nonstop action-packed situations.
The game offers a fun two-player experience for all ages as well as an intriguing storyline. Spidey teams up not only with other superheroes, including Black Cat and Blade, but also with such arch villains as Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Venom and Green Goblin. Mysterio has taken control of the criminal minds using the meteorite featured in Spider-Man 3, and after battling each foe, they ally themselves with Spidey (and Nick Fury, who's orchestrating the operation) to seek revenge on Mysterio. The plot opens up unique moves and abilities for players, who can control some of the sidekicks, tag-teaming with Spidey as they battle against an onslaught of enemies in such exotic locales as Tokyo, Transylvania and Nepal.
Additional moves such as shooting projectiles and wrapping enemies in webbing can be earned through tokens as you button-mash your way through the game. Friend or Foe is perfect for playing with a friend, as stringing together fighting combos is a blast. This brawler doesn't push the envelope when it comes to fighting action, but its twist of friend and foes fighting in tandem makes it a game worth replaying. The PS2 or PSP versions are best. The PC version is best played with a gamepad, and the Wii version doesn't make much use of the motion-sensor controls.
-- John Gaudiosi
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe Everyone 10+; Xbox 360, Wii ($50); PlayStation 2, PSP, $40; PC $20 Activision/Next Level Games Spider-Man: Friend or Foe Everyone 10+; Xbox 360, Wii ($50); PlayStation 2, PSP, $40; PC $20 Activision/Next Level Games