Spider-Man 3: The Game
Despite being a big Spider-Man fan, I thought that third movie was a massive disappointment, and unfortunately Treyarch's spin-off game predictably follows suit. On the plus side, Spider-Man 3's aerial web-slinging sections are pretty damn cool, even if the control system does occasionally let you down. Also, the concept of integrating the movie's plot into a wider series of happenings within the virtual New York city is a great idea, as is the basic notion of recreating Peter Parker's crime-fighting career within a sandbox gameplay environment.
It's just a shame that once the web-swinging is over and you drop out of the sky to actually get to work, Spider-Man 3 becomes a fundamentally unattractive game, with graphically sparse environments, unsatisfying combat and a haywire, jarring camera.
These game-killing problems remain constant whether you're playing the game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, to the point where analysing the differences between the two versions becomes pretty much irrelevant. For what it's worth though, this is another situation where the PS3 version has been marginally cut down to match the performance of the 360 game. You'll miss the odd effect here and there, detail has been removed (especially noticeable at ground level) and there's also a lengthy installation onto hard disk the first time the game is loaded - which makes the omissions all the more puzzling.
Still, on the plus side, the webslinging is the only truly enjoyable aspect of the game any way, and this at least looks and play just as well on either console.
A couple of earlier cross-platform titles appear to have slipped through the net, so we're going to be doing the best we can to play catch-up while still dealing first and foremost with the more recent, topical games. The Godfather is one such oversight, primarily designed for last-gen platforms, but deemed worthy of a porting effort onto 360, Wii and of course PlayStation 3.
To be honest, out of all of the supposedly 'next-gen' versions, the game seems most at home on Wii, where the technical limits of the hardware seem to be the best match for the original graphical assets. Both Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of The Godfather come across merely as upscaled versions of the same thing, feeling sparse, clinical and graphically unsatisfying in pristine high-definition. Nice fire effects though.
However, the PS3 and indeed Wii versions have a number of gameplay expansions over the more aged Xbox 360 rendition. The most obvious addition initially is the way that the combat system has been expanded with some motion sensor support. It's obviously more developed on Wii, but there's still some additional pushing and shoving to enjoy on PS3, along with a target reticule that makes tossing objects at a shopkeeper's head a little more manageable.
The addition of supporting hit squads as you ascend through the ranks of the Corleone family, along with rooftop battles and enhanced mob warfare options are all very welcome, but you can't help but reach the conclusion that a story and setting as rich as The Godfather's would have benefited from a complete next-gen overhaul as opposed to the gameplay tweaks on display here.
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