Spider-Man: Web of Shadows DS Review

Spider-Man is no stranger to the Nintendo DS. Now he's back in an all-new adventure, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, which pits him against a rapidly growing alien enemy that's turning New York City into its own private breeding ground.

Like previous games, Web of Shadows plays out in a 2-D/3-D fashion. The visuals are drawn out in 3-D style, but the action takes place in a 2-D format. As Spidey progresses through each of the levels, he'll stop and beat up symbiote enemies before moving on, either by working his way through doors or web-slinging to a higher level. What's unique about Web of Shadows is that he can do it one of two ways. He can either retain the traditional red suit that he's worn for years, or try his luck with a black symbiote suit. Both of them have unique abilities that you can upgrade using an integrated shop. The more abilities Spidey unlocks, the better his arsenal becomes.

Of course, going with the symbiote suit comes with a price, and Spidey feels the ill effects of its power. Fortunately, no matter which way you go (good or evil), Spider-Man plays beautifully. You'll have no problem launching web attacks, creating wicked combos and reaching new areas. There are a couple of puzzles that take time to figure out, but overall, you'll find Spidey handles just fine. Having to backtrack through environments, however, was a bad idea on Activision's part.

Visually, Web of Shadows has a comic-book appearance. Spidey animates wonderfully, with different styles for both suits. The levels are well done, if somewhat redundant with all the backtracking. Enemies look good, too, from the smaller gobs of symbiotes to the bigger ones pounding him to a pulp. There'e a nice-looking mini-game as well, requiring you to draw energy orbs over to Spidey when he's run out of energy. The music is good but not great, and the sound effects cover typical Spider-Man territory. Peter Parker's quips are pretty humorous, however, if somewhat out of place.

While it lasts, Web of Shadows is an enthralling adventure. That's while it lasts, however. Its biggest problem is that it's over too soon, no matter which way you play. You're through with it in a matter of hours, with no bonus missions or secrets to unlock. There's also no ability to bring a friend into the fray, so the hopes of playing side-by-side with Spider-Man and Venom are immediately dashed.

If you're looking for a quick and fun Spider-Man adventure, Web of Shadows will entertain you. If you want something a little deeper with more bang for its buck, however, you might want to seek out something else.

What's Hot: You get both the traditional and symbiote suits with unique powers, smooth-flowing gameplay, good comic book presentation.

What's Not: Backtracking through the same areas gets old, ends too soon, very little replay value.