Alien Spidy

Posted On: 3/20/2013  Publisher: Kalypso Media

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Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be an Alien Spider stranded on a faraway planet with no way of getting home unless you find all of your ship parts? Ok, so maybe it痴 not a scenario that has ever come to mind and I would have to say it would never come to mind for me either. But the folks at Kalypso Media have had the idea come to mind and turned into a reality. Alien Spidy is the tale of an alien spider that痴 crashes and becomes stranded on earth and trying to find his way home but faces many treacherous obstacles ahead of him. He is also in search of another spider friend Virgi. The game is a great concept but comes with a whole lot of frustration. Think Trials HD on the hardest levels. Oh yeah, that kind of frustration, but in the end it痴 still a solid game.

You play the role of Spidy. You find yourself on earth having to navigate through several different environments that contain hazards unique to each environment. You値l find exploding fungus, nasty mosquitos, thorns and so much more in your quest to get back home. The game looks fantastic, especially for an arcade game and Spidy is a character you値l come to like as soon as you watch the opening cinematic. There are 3 environments that you will face: Forest, Pond and Cave. There are a few odd creatures that you will run across that I can稚 quite determine what they are. You値l have to see for yourself.

 
 

Each environment contains multiple levels that present unique and challenging side-scrolling experiences. You値l run, jump and web-sling your way through each environment collecting glowing orbs and voiding the hazards and obstacles that you encounter. You値l have the opportunity to earn up to five stars on each level. A star is awarded for crossing a certain score threshold and while it sounds easy it is far from it. To obtain the elusive 5th star you値l have to be quick and all but perfect. You get dinged points for respawns, hitting orange colored orbs and taking too long to finish the level. You値l gain points for speed, picking up blue orbs and grabbing multipliers.

The levels are well designed and while they will change and evolve somewhat, you値l always have a certain path to take and sometimes more than one route to the finish line. The artistic designed of the levels looks fantastic but at times your spider will get lost in the background and you値l end up getting a few unwanted respawns at these times. You can always hit the 添 button and respawn quickly to try and save time if you screw up. I do wish there was a way to restart the level with the press of a button and no load time but alas if you restart you値l have to wait for the level to reload.

Now as I was saying, each level allows you to earn up to 5 stars. You値l have to earn a specific amount of stars in order to proceed to the next environment so do not be satisfied with just finishing a level. You値l honestly need to average at least 2 stars to open up just the second level alone. This was a bit of a letdown and I really felt that you should be able to proceed as long as you set a score for each level. Again, this is where more frustration sets in because I wanted to check out more of the game and was stuck in this first environment for what seemed like forever.

 
 

The leaderboards are a great asset to this game and any game of this sort. You値l be comparing scores with friends and overall leaders all the time. I do wish current leaderboards for each level would be visible when going through the map. Say either the top 5 scores, or maybe the 5 closest scores above yours. It痴 not a necessity but it would definitely drive me to jump into levels quicker. I also wish that other than just your high score that you could see the next challenge score threshold without actually entering the level. But overall the game offers up plenty of info on the map screen and you値l get 69 levels to run through.

I am going to be honest now. I had to wait to write this review for a few hours until my nerves were settled or else I would have been ripping the game apart for its difficulty level and frustration. The precision that is required in this game is almost too ridiculous at times and makes it rather frustrating to achieve the lowest score thresholds here and there. You have to have almost perfect runs at times just to get a 4 star rating. I am all for making a game challenging but there is such a thing as going overboard and at times this game does cross that line. I love platformers and I understand the trial and error that must take place and at times perfect runs but in the very first environment of the game and even in the very first levels for this to be present is not very inviting.

 
 

I do think the control system could use some work. I started using the 店 button for a quick web rather than the right stick because I seemed to have more success. It痴 not always going to be the perfect solution but it helped me a lot. The jumping at times also seemed a little bit on the non-responsive side which can also add to the frustration of the game. A few tweaks here and there and this game would be outstanding all the way around. Despite my frustrations, I still had fun with the game when I was not dying.

Is the game worth your purchase? If you like a game like Trials HD and the platformer genre than I would say most definitely. If you are a casual gamer that likes to have fun without the frustration than you may want to give this a trial run first before making the purchase. The concept, graphics, sounds and general gameplay are excellent and make this one of the top tier games on XBLA to own. Yes, I had some frustrations but in the end I loved the game. It definitely increased my profanity vocabulary though. Check out Alien Spidy and see if you got what it takes to beat the challenges in front of you.

 
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