Spider-Man: Total Mayhem

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Spider-Man: Total Mayhem Review

In a tried-and-true comic book videogame setup, Spider-Man: Total Mayhem kicks off when most of the important super villains from Spidey’s world are sprung from imprisonment and set free in New York. Naturally, it falls to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to put them all back in their place.

This latest piece of highly polished software to be released by Gameloft is an action beat ‘˜em up with a lot going for it. First of all it’s got that Marvel license, and it’s a great fun to see all of the famous super villains making trouble for our costumed hero. And, unlike some licensed games, the Spider-Man theme isn’t just tacked on– it’s used in a meaningful way.

In this game you can do just about everything that makes Spider-Man the hero he is. You’ll be swinging between buildings, shooting globs of web at henchmen, and climbing buildings in every level. Also in line with Gameloft’s other high-budget titles, the gameplay is exceptionally well varied from level to level. It’s like you’re moving from one big set piece to another as you make your way through the game.

Run, Spidey, run!

The cornerstone of Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is its amazingly fluid fighting system. You’ll easily string together combos in the double digits just by tapping a few buttons. Sure, you can do this just by standing there and mashing, but it’s way cooler try out different button combinations with D-pad inputs to see what will happen. Before long you’ll be pounding a guy’s face, dashing over to pummel his friend, then webbing his chest and helicoptering him into a group of enemies. It ends up looking like an expertly choreographed ballet of violence, and it’s very fun to take part in. Many items in the environments are destructable as well, and you get rewarded for going berserk on them.

The most common rewards are orbs that float out of enemies or items you’ve given a beating. At any time, you can pause the game to spend these orbs to upgrade your strength, defense, or special move. You’ll also find tons of pieces of comic book art hidden throughout the levels, which are viewable from the menu screen. They’re gorgeous drawings fitted to the iPhone’s screen, so you can take a screenshot and use them for wallpapers if you want.

Slingshot time.

The levels are large, detailed, and very well constructed. The New York depicted in the game is as colorful as its comic book inspiration, and it’s filled to the brim with danger. Fires rage out of windows and boxes tumble down the sides of buildings as you scale the walls. Giant fan blades turn and floor panels become electrified in conveniently orchestrated patterns as you make your way across them. You can’t move the camera, but there’s no need: it always provides a good view of what’s going on.

The game’s storyline, told primarily in cutscenes between levels, puts you up against the super villains one by one as you figure out how they escaped. It’s not the most gripping of stories, and the acting is sub-par, but it keeps the action moving. Our only other complaint is that we had more trouble beating Rhino, the boss of the second level, than we did fighting any other villain. But that’s a fluke in the otherwise smooth difficulty curve of the game. These minor deficiencies are overshadowed by the enormous amount of variety and fun on offer in the rest of the game.

We haven’t even touched on the unlockable trophies or your ability to snap photos of the bosses as you fight them, or the web meter that enables your super move when it fills to capacity. This is a deep game with an incredibly fluid and fun fighting mechanic, that offers something new and different around every corner. It has plenty for everyone, whether you’re a fan of the web-slinger, or beat ‘˜em ups, or gaming in general. Our point is this: download Spider-Man: Total Mayhem if you have the money to spare. Nuff said.

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Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem Hands-On Preview

Our first stop at E3 today was the Gameloft party bus, parked outside of the LA Convention Center. In addition to the highly anticipated sequel Dungeon Hunter 2, we also had our first hands-on with a new beat ‘˜em up starring our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem’s first and best asset is its beautiful graphics. As you can see in the trailer and screenshots, the game’s colors pop like hand-drawn illustrations off of a comic book cover. In the two levels we played, one set on the streets of New York and the other swinging through the city at night, we were absorbed by the detailed graphics. We think Gameloft is setting a new standard for 3D graphics on the iPhone, and can’t wait to see what they do with the iPhone 4’s new retina display (though they were unable to share any specific details at E3).

Spider-Man controlled well, too. There are buttons for jumping, punching, and web-slinging, with 18 combos to be executed by mixing up your moves. For example, Spidey might snare a punk with his web, then swing him around wildly, knocking down other punks. You can also bang up the environment, like putting a few dents in an innocent hot dog stand.

Your Spidey Sense in the game is represented by “quick-time” minigames, like sliding a spider icon from left to right to jump out of the way of an oncoming car. During fights the spider icon will sometimes appear, and with a quick tap, you’ll perform a slick dodge, jumping over a minion’s knife slash or a boss’s fireball.

The game has 12 levels, and in typical Gameloft style, they seem to have a lot of variety. When we were swinging through the city at night, gameplay consisted of a combination of touching the screen to bounce off of flying robots, and hitting the web button to grab a flagpole or building spire. It’s an on-rails, timing-based level, but it was a lot of fun.

We’re really excited to see Spider-Man treated so well on the iPhone. He looks great, controls great, and the action seems nicely varied. We saw a lot of great iPhone games today, but this may have been our favorite so far.