COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: The Amazing Spider Man

Updated: 03/08/2013 9:47 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

I really enjoy playing games based on superheroes and comic books. I am also a fan of Spider-Man games and I have played almost everyone. In fact I still have the original “Spider-Man” game for the Atari 2600. At the time I thought it was the best game ever made and I played it all the time.


This past week I received a review copy of Activision’s “The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition” for the Nintendo Wii U.  In my opinion it is a very exciting and intense game to play.   There is so much action and things going on around you that you have to play the game several times through to catch everything.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” is based on the feature film that was released last year by Columbia Pictures and the game continues where the movie left off. A group of re-imaged super villains have just escaped their prison cells and you must try and capture them and stop them from taking over New York City. You play as Spider-Man and you must use your web slinging abilities to capture villains like Rhino, Lizard and Scorpion. 

I thought that the story was pretty good and it was interesting. I really liked the interaction between all of the characters and the conversations between them were very well written.

The graphics are amazing and look great on the Wii U. Spider-Man’s costume looks awesome. The characters are very well drawn and the villains look amazing and are very detailed. The backgrounds are stunning and Manhattan and New York City look fabulous. You swear you were there.

The bosses are phenomenal and are huge. One of the first bosses you encounter is a mechanical spider and it’s huge. It’s as big as some of the skyscrapers and you have to try and figure out a way to defeat it.

The controls are pretty easy to learn and there is an in game tutorial. Like most games whenever you encounter something new or learn a new ability a menu will pop up and tell you what you need to push to do that particular thing.

Another really nice feature is that when you need to interact with something an icon will appear and tell you what button you will need to push to do something. I thought that this was very helpful. For instance if you need to open a door you an icon will appear and will show the “X” button. If you push the “X” button the door will open.

I also thought the web swinging was really well done and was easy to do. You can swing from just about any surface in the game. You can also climb up and down on walls and you can use a new special move called the “Web Rush.” If you hold down the “R” trigger time will slow down and you can see all of the places you can jump or swing to. There will be a Spider-Man icon on all available spots and once you select the area you want to go, Spider-Man will automatically leap or swing there.

The combo system is great. When you are fighting a group of villains for guys you can link all of your attack moves together to make one awesome looking combo. You can block, strike, and do special attacks and you can do huge amounts of damage.

You will also gain experience by beating enemies and completing tasks. With the experience points you can unlock new moves and abilities and also make your attacks stronger. There are also magazines and comics hidden all over the map and if you find them they will also give you experience.

One really cool thing about “The Amazing Spider-Man” is that you can travel all over Manhattan on your own in the free roam style of game play. 

If you pause the game you can pull up a map and see where your next objective is or you can do a side quest if it appears on the map. You can also bring up a legend so you can see what type of side quests there are to do.

In the pause menu there are also a bunch of different features that appear. You can look at the map and see where your next objective is. From time to time you will get emails from different characters and you can read them here. The emails usually give you information about a level or something you will need to do in the game. You can upgrade your skills and moves.

The GamePad really added to the game play of “The Amazing Spider-Man.” As you are playing, the GamePad displays the map and if there were new challenges you could see them and go to them quickly without pausing the game.

Another really cool feature is that you can play “The Amazing Spider-Man” on just the GamePad in the “Off Screen Mode.” There is a box in the upper right of the GamePad screen and if you click on that, the game will be displayed just on the GamePad so other people can watch television. I think that this is one of the greatest features of the Wii U.

Another awesome thing about “The Amazing Spider-Man is that you get all five DLC challenges already loaded onto the game. You get “Gwen’s Hunter” which is a game like “Space Invaders” where you are a bug and you have to shoot a row of other bugs that are shooting at you.

Then there’s “Rhino Challenge” where you get to play as Rhino and you have to smash as many cars as you can in a certain amount of time. There’s the “Stan Lee Adventure Pack” where you get to be the famous Stan Lee and you have to swing through a city and grab pages of a script you are writing. 

There’s “Destroy the City Mission” where you get to take control of the S-O2 and have to destroy the city. You have to destroy buses and cars and you have to watch out for Spider-Man who is trying to capture you. The last challenge is called “Lizard Rampage” where you get to control Lizard and your mission is to destroy towers and attack guards.

I thought that all of the challenges were really fun and were easy to learn how to play. 

There are also a bunch of extras that you can unlock by doing certain things in the game. You can unlock character profiles where you can learn about the characters in the game and view a 3D model the in game character. You unlock full comic books that are scattered throughout the game.

You can also unlock art in an art gallery. One unique thing is that you can take photos of different things in the game and you can view the photos you have taken in the extras menu. Last but not least, you can view the game credits.

I really think that Activision’s “The Amazing Spider-Man Ultimate Edition” for the Nintendo Wii U is a great game. The story is entertaining and you get to be Spider-Man so what’s not to like about that.

Spider-Man’s moves are really cool and it’s awesome that you get to freely swing through the city and go anywhere you want. There are tons of side quests and items to find that are scattered throughout the game. The graphics are also amazing and the bosses and villains are unbelievably cool looking. I had a great time playing this game and I know that people who are fans of Spider-Man or action games will really enjoy “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.