I can only imagine what Uncle Ben would say if he had picked up Spider-Man 3: "You're on next-gen platforms now, Spidey, and you sure as hell don't look it." You know that "PS2 game with shiny characters" look that plagues PS3 and 360 ports? It's dripping all over this webslinging-filled action game. That, and vicious slowdown when you break objects. The rest of the game is a pretty straight-up combination of the better bits of Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man (which isn't a bad thing, but we expect more), except with absolutely punishing quick-time but-ton-pressing events. A, B...ugh! A, B, Up...damn! A, B, Up, X...f***! And with each failure we get an unskip-pable cut-scene during which Tobey Maguire sleep-talks through the same stupid line for the dozenth time.
Sharkey seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the web. PS2 graphics? Really? Despite some objects popping in, this PS3/ XB360 version of Manhattan looks great. The story may be more comic book than movie (think rampant lizards, mad bombers, and a gang of Gothic Lolitas), but the action is all here, and mission variety abounds. Webslingin' remains the selling point, but the combat--although built from the ground up for this game--still consists of random button mashing. Also, those quick-time events aren't that horrible, but they certainly falter next to those of God of War.
As these two debate the game's graphics (for the record, I'm more in Sharkey's camp), allow me to tell you about the unbalanced boss fights. Even with the improved combat system, you'll actually dish out little damage, which drags out these encounters (those infuriating button-press sequences don't help here, either...sorry, Brooks). And while I enjoy the mission diversity, I was hoping for a livelier metropolis. I know if I saw my friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swingin' by, battlin' some foes, I wouldn't just stand there nonchalantly. I'd point, scream...do something!