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REVIEW: Spider-Man, Friend or Foe?

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Looking for that next great epic gaming experience? Spider-Man: Friend or Foe isn’t it.

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh. After all, Friend or Foe isn’t terrible. It’s just boring. But it’s the most simplistic video game I’ve played since Super Nintendo days. Granted, the game is being targeted as a family-friendly title. In that regard, Friend or Foe is a success. (My 3-year-olds love it!) But any gamer looking for a challenge had best look elsewhere.

The attraction of Friend or Foe is obviously the ability to play with — and as — some of the great super-villians in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, like Doc Ock, the Green Goblin and Venom. But while these characters each have some unique abilities, the overall experience seems watered-down.

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Again, that probably has more to do with the game’s lack of challenge — why bother trying to pull off fancy moves when you can beat the game by simply pounding the punch button?

There are upgrades that can be purchased for Spidey’s web shooters and all of the characters can have their stats boosted. But that’s really not necessary to reach the game’s end. Even in death the game is simple. I bought the farm a grand total of eight times during the course of the game’s six levels and 24 stages and always re-spawned where I perished. Never once did I have to start over from the beginning. I suppose this is part of that family-friendly game design.

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The bottom line here is that Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is what it is: an extremely simple game that’s not broken, just boring. Oh, and it’s also the easiest way to snag 1000 Gamerscore points on the Xbox 360.

Review rating: 6.0/10
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Next-Level Games
Sugg. retail price: $49.99
Rating: E+10 (for ages 10-and-up)