A review I wrote of the iPad game Ultimate Spider-Man Total Mayhem HD for the website www.squarego.com
Spider-Man can, indeed, do whatever a spider can. However, spiders are regularly in good video games whereas Spider-Man only gets one once in a blue moon. Now he comes to the iPad in Ultimate Spider-Man Total Mayhem HD, will this game be added to the good or the bad pile?
Total Mayhem is a beat em up and for the majority of the time the fighting is fun. You can either punch enemies in the face or web them in the face before throwing them into the nearest wall. You have a meter that drains whenever you use your webs so you have to mix things up which helps things from getting stale.
The game looks bright and vibrant and is animated well for the most part. Sometimes it looks a little rough round the edges; characters pass through walls and things don’t quite connect with each other. It’s not broken, but it’s there and can make the game annoying, for example during a battle when Spidey fell through a fence at the edge of a platform.
This kind of situation isn’t helped by the controls. This being an iPad game, this is done with buttons on the touchscreen. Generally, it’s not too bad. The game has a way of locking you onto enemies so you aren’t completely lost. This is also true of the platforming sections; when you jump over a gap the game will ‘suck’ you onto the other platform even if the jump isn’t perfect. However this isn’t consistent and sometimes you’ll think you made a jump only to miss it and fall to your doom.
Thankfully, the game is quite lenient and if you fall, you simply tap part of the screen to fire out a web and return to your last checkpoint. You’ll see this screen a lot as, thanks to the on screen controls, a lot of the more complex jumping sections are made even trickier. This isn’t just a problem with this game, more of an inherent problem of trying to map physical buttons onto a touchscreen. The game does the best it can with them but doesn’t do anything to improve them either.
The main bulk of the game is a story mode with Spidey fighting his way through New York coming across a few of his main villains like Doctor Octopus and The Green Goblin. These levels don’t take too long to go through but there are extras to keep you coming back, like the comics you collect during the levels which unlock artwork. There is also a ‘Boss Rush’ mode which is just you fighting the Bosses with a timer; fun for a while but, thanks to the controls, does drag a little.
One thing that should be noted is that whilst reviewing it the game crashed so badly that the iPad had to be reset. This happened four times in as many days so it might be worth keeping an eye out for any updates.
It’s a decent game but one that doesn’t try to push any boundaries. It’ll divert you for a while and whilst it does it is fun. When it comes down to it that’s all the game is though: a diversion and not a very long one at that.
Three stars out of five
Reviewed on iPad