Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
|Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions|
Griptonite Games (DS)
|Platform(s)||Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360|
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, platformer, stealth, Metroidvania (DS)|
|Mode(s)||Single-player video game|
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a video game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man. Players control four different versions of Spider-Man, each originating from a different universe in the Marvel Comics multiverse. Previous Spider-Man voice actors Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dan Gilvezan, and Josh Keaton each voice one of the four Spider-Men.
The game revolves around an artifact known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos. When it is shattered into pieces during a fight between Spider-Man and Mysterio, it causes problems with multiple Marvel Universe realities. Madame Web calls on four versions of Spider-Man from four realities to assist her in bringing the realities back into balance: the Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Shattered Dimensions received fairly positive reviews from critics, with reported aggregate scores averaging 62% to 79% at GameRankings, and Metacritic reporting scores of 76 out of 100 or lower. Reviewers generally praised the idea of bringing four Marvel universes together, and lauded the voice acting and humor, though criticism was aimed at the story, choice of villains and the overall design of the cutscenes as well as technical difficulties.
The player can control four versions of Spider-Man, spanning the Amazing, Noir, 2099, and Ultimate universes. During some of the boss battles, Shattered Dimensions switches to a first-person perspective. The player can then use the analog sticks (or the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in the Wii version) to control the given Spider-Man's arms, punching their opponent and dodging their attacks. The punches can also be modified by holding down certain buttons.
Each universe's Spider-Man has their own unique fighting style :
- Amazing Spider-Man uses a combination of melee and web-attacks, mixing up-close and long range combat. He can deal increased damage by using weapons created by using webbing on the environment.
- Spider-Man Noir uses stealth and timing to silently defeat his enemies in combat. Noir gameplay focuses heavily on sneaking around enemies and uses color to indicate detection by enemies, with the screen turning black and white when concealed from enemy sight.
- Spider-Man 2099 uses acrobatics and his suit's advanced abilities in combat, adding unique free-fall gameplay segments. He has accelerated vision similar to a spider-reflex which allows him to dodge attacks quickly.
- Ultimate Spider-Man uses the powers of the symbiote suit to overwhelm enemies, using abilities like symbiotic spikes and tendrils, as well as a Rage mechanic.
The Nintendo DS version of Shattered Dimensions differs heavily from the console and PC versions. The game instead features side-scrolling gameplay, with each Spider-Man controlling identically to the others, and does not include the Ultimate Universe. This version also has several different bosses from the console versions, such as Amazing Tinkerer, Noir Calypso, and 2099 Silvermane.
A mystical artifact known as the "Tablet of Order and Chaos" is shattered into seventeen pieces during a battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio, who promptly escapes with a piece. Madame Web appears and reveals that twelve of the fragments have been scattered to three other realities across the multiverse, including the Noir, 2099, and Ultimate universes, each with their own Spider-Man. To restore balance to the multiverse, she recruits the Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and a black-suited Ultimate Spider-Man to retrieve the fragments from each of their worlds. Each Spider-Man easily retrieves their first tablet fragment and returns to Madame Web, who warns that the villains of their worlds will be drawn to the fragments' power. Meanwhile, Mysterio discovers that his fragment has granted him real magic powers.
The game begins in the Amazing universe, with Amazing Spider-Man pursuing Kraven the Hunter in a jungle for his tablet fragment. When Amazing Spider-Man confronts him, Kraven uses the fragment's powers to gain super speed. Amazing Spider-Man manages to defeat Kraven and claim the fragment. In the Noir universe, Spider-Man Noir moves through the shadows to claim a fragment from Hammerhead, who plans to give it to his boss Norman Osborn. When confronted, Hammerhead uses it to fuse guns to his arms, and plots to overthrow his boss. Spider-Man Noir manages to defeat Hammerhead and claim his fragment. In the 2099 universe, Spider-Man 2099 chases Hobgoblin through the city; cornered, Hobgoblin uses the fragment to amplify his psy-powers. Spider-Man 2099 eventually defeats Hobgoblin and claims the fragment. In the Ultimate universe, Ultimate Spider-Man battles Electro at a nearby dam where Electro uses the fragment to grow larger and make minions to fight Ultimate Spider-Man. Ultimate Spider-Man tricks Electro into attacking the dam which releases water, shorting out Electro's powers and allowing him to claim the fragment. Meanwhile, Mysterio discovers the existence of other pieces of the tablet.
Amazing Spider-Man finds a fragment in the clutches of Sandman at an abandoned Roxxon Industries quarry. Sandman uses the fragment's power to take over the quarry and create minions, which he uses to attack Amazing Spider-Man. Amazing Spider-Man defeats Sandman with the use of water, claiming his fragment. Spider-Man Noir pursues Vulture, who has been granted teleportation powers. When he finally faces Vulture, Spider-Man Noir defeats him by exposing him to light, then claims the fragment. Spider-Man 2099 chases Scorpion for a fragment stolen from the Public Eye, which allows Scorpion to lay eggs that hatch into smaller clones of himself. Scorpion explains that he was hired to steal it so that he could be human again, right before Spider-Man 2099 traps him under debris and claims the fragment. Ultimate Spider-Man is challenged to appear on Wade Wilson's reality show: Pain Factor. Maneuvering his way through the set, he confronts Deadpool, who tricks him into taking a fake tablet fragment. Deadpool then uses the real fragment to clone himself, attacking Spider-Man. He manages to defeat Deadpool and claim the tablet fragment. Madame Web receives their fragments, but Mysterio attacks, threatening to kill her if Amazing Spider-Man doesn't bring him the other fragments.
Spider-Man finds the next fragment in a construction yard, discovering it was accidentally stuck to Juggernaut when on the run from Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. Juggernaut uses the tablet's power to become stronger, but Amazing Spider-Man defeats him and claims the fragment. In the Noir universe, The Goblin uses a fragment to become a monstrous goliath. After a battle under a circus tent, Goblin is defeated and Spider-Man Noir claims his fragment. Spider-Man 2099 encounters Doctor Octopus, head of Alchemax's Shadow Division, and the one who hired Scorpion. Driven insane by the fragment, she plans to use it to power a dangerous reactor. Spider-Man 2099 shuts down the reactor and claims the fragment. In the Ultimate universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. has acquired a tablet fragment and Carnage in the Triskelion. Carnage escapes, draining the life from the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and using the fragment's power to turn them into his zombie minions. When Ultimate Spider-Man arrives, the Triskelion is already under Carnage's control. Ultimate Spider-Man stops Carnage and claims his fragment. With the pieces returned, the tablet reconstructs itself and is absorbed by Mysterio, who becomes all-powerful and shatters the borders between realities, planning to build a new one under his rule. The four Spider-Men band together and defeat Mysterio, separating him from the tablet and knocking him out. As reality returns to normal, Madame Web thanks them for saving all of reality, and Amazing Spider-Man takes Mysterio to prison while the others return to their own dimensions.
Each of the different Spider-Men is portrayed by an actor who voiced Spider-Man in a prior animated series:
- The primary, present day traditional version of Spider-Man. After a battle with Mysterio in his home universe, the "Tablet of Order and Chaos" was fragmented and sent to several different alternate dimensions. This version of Spider-Man has to contend with the likes of Kraven the Hunter, the Sandman, and Juggernaut before the final confrontation. Neil Patrick Harris previously played Spider-Man in 2003's short-lived Spider-Man: The New Animated Series that spun out of the 2002 film.
- An alternate version of Parker from a dimension referred to as the "Noir Universe." Taking place in 1933, this version of Spider-Man has a darker personality and a more brutal fighting style, with a greater emphasis on stealth. Over the course of his involvement in the story, he is forced to face off against Noir versions of villains Hammerhead, Vulture, and Norman "the Goblin" Osborn before joining the other Spider-Men to battle Mysterio. Barnes previously acted as Spider-Man in 1994's animated Spider-Man TV series. He would go on to play Spider-Man 2099 in the Shattered Dimensions sequel, Edge of Time.
- A different character who took up the mantle of Spider-Man in the future, O'Hara is forced to contend with the machinations of the evil Alchemax corporation in addition to facing off against future versions of Spider-Man enemies. These include Hobgoblin, Scorpion, and Doctor Octopus. Gilvezan previously voiced Spider-Man in the 1981 animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
- A younger, only slightly altered variation of Parker from a dimension known as the "Ultimate Universe," this version of Spider-Man is fitted with a black symbiote suit that is controlled by Madame Web, which enhances his aggression and pre-existing super strength. In his universe, Ultimate Spider-Man is forced to face off against Electro, Deadpool, and Carnage before joining the final battle. Keaton previously portrayed Spider-Man in the 2008 animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man, as well as other video games like Marvel Super Hero Squad and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He also went on to play the traditional version of the character in the Shattered Dimensions sequel, Edge of Time.
Several actors return to reprise roles from elsewhere in Spider-Man and Marvel Comics media. John DiMaggio reprises his role as Hammerhead from The Spectacular Spider-Man. Steven Blum (the voice of several characters in The Spectacular Spider-Man as well as Wolverine in various media outlets) voices Hobgoblin 2099, Noir Vulture, Vulture 2099, and Silvermane 2099. Jim Cummings (Shocker's voice in Spider-Man: The Animated Series) voices Kraven the Hunter, Noir Goblin, Noir Boomerang and Tinkerer. Thomas F. Wilson (Sergeant Stan Carter's voice on The Spectacular Spider-Man) voices both versions of Electro. Nolan North reprises his role as Deadpool from Hulk Vs. Fred Tatasciore reprises his role as the vocal effects of Carnage from Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. Jennifer Hale reprises her role as Silver Sable from Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Friend or Foe while also voicing Noir Calypso. John Kassir (Deadpool's voice in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2) voices Scorpion and a couple of Deadpool's fanboys. Tara Strong (Christina in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series) voices Doctor Octopus 2099. James Arnold Taylor (who voiced Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Spider-Man: Battle for New York, Mysterio in Spider-Man 2, and Electro in Ultimate Spider-Man) voices different miscellaneous thugs and henchmen throughout the game. Other cast members include David Kaye as Mysterio, Dimitri Diatchenko as Sandman, Matt Willig as Juggernaut, Susanne Blakeslee as Madame Web, and Chris Edgerly as Spider-Ham. Additionally, Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee narrates the game's story. Jamie Thomason served as voice director, having previously directed The Spectacular Spider-Man. Jim Dooley composed the game's orchestral score.
Development and marketing
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was unveiled on March 30, 2010, where two of the universes, Amazing and Noir, were revealed. The third universe, 2099, was revealed on June 8, 2010. The final universe, Ultimate, was first shown to players at San Diego Comic-Con 2010. Beenox made each universe feel unique by creating an individual art style for each universe and giving each Spider-Man different gameplay mechanics. For example, the Amazing and Ultimate universes are rendered with bright colors and tones of cel shading, with the Amazing universe given a traditional comic feel based on those of 1960s classic comic book art styles, while the Ultimate universe was meant to evoke more modern comics from the early 2000s. In contrast, the Noir and 2099 universes are rendered with realistic graphics, with the 2099 universe given a futuristic feel while the Noir universe was given a "very dark, very gritty" appearance. The developers also worked closely with Marvel Comics to create new versions of characters not seen before in a particular universe, such as Hobgoblin 2099, Hammerhead Noir, and Doctor Octopus 2099. The story for the game was written by Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and later provided him with an inspiration for the Spider-Verse comic book crossover event, which saw dozens of Spider-Men from alternate realities teaming up.
Several pre-order bonuses were offered for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions prior to release. Players who pre-ordered at GameStop received a Cosmic Spider-Man pack, which provided a Cosmic Spider-Man outfit for each Spider-Man. It was later included as a free bonus on the PC version, along with some minor fixes, which were not patched on the console versions. The Cosmic Spider-Man pack was later publicly released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 on October 28, 2010, and for the PlayStation 3 on November 2, 2010. Pre-orders via Amazon.com included early access to Spider-Man 2099's Iron Spider costume and a book containing concept art for the game. Kmart pre-orders offered early access to Amazing Spider-Man's Scarlet Spider costume, while Best Buy included early access to the Negative Zone costume for Spider-Man Noir. Wal-Mart offered a 20-page comic book for online pre-orders of the game.
Shattered Dimensions was de-listed from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live marketplaces in 2014 following the expiration of Activision's existing licensing deal with Marvel. The game was re-released via Steam on October 24, 2015, but was later removed on April 1, 2017.
The game received mostly positive reviews from critics. GameRankings and Metacritic gave it a score of 74.50% and 73 out of 100 for the DS version; 77.95% and 74 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version; 79.16% and 76 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version; 75.30% and 75 out of 100 for the Wii version; and 62.50% and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions eight out of ten and said, "Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions has a lot of great things going for it", but scored the Wii version half a point lower despite being nearly identical to these two versions due to finnicky camera controls. Game Informer awarded it 8.5 out of 10 and said it "delivers a non-stop action ride with something new around every corner." GamesRadar gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five and said "Shattered Dimensions is a good game, but it fell short of an Ultimate Marvel Team-Up." GamePro gave the Xbox 360 version four and a half out of five stars and said, "Thankfully, [Spider-Man's] latest adventure, Shattered Dimensions, is one of his best yet, offering four unique worlds, classic Spidey action, and an engaging story that puts it near the top of the franchise both in terms of quality and impact." X-Play gave the game four stars out of five and said it "streamlines the usual trappings of the genre to focus on combat and personality. It's true that the linear gameplay and old-school combat sensibilities don't put it on par with Arkham Asylum, but the game succeeds regardless. It's fun, fast-paced, and long enough to make it well worth checking out." 1UP.com gave it a B and stated, "The change in combat options is a welcome addition, I just wish that the story had delivered on the comic legacy of one of Marvel's more enduring heroes."
Non video-game publications gave some strong praise for the game. The A.V. Club gave the Xbox 360 version a B+ and stated: "Filled with countless remember-when moments—as in "Remember when you outran that wave of sand?"—Shattered Dimensions is less literary and artful than Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it's far more fun." The Daily Telegraph gave it seven out of ten and stated, "The combat, and it's worth noting that this makes up the majority of the game, is superb. It's not particularly deep nor clever, but it's immensely rewarding, as too are the scripted first person sections which exist purely to, yes, let you punch things in the face." However, The Escapist gave the Xbox 360 version three stars out of five and said, "Creative set-pieces and an awesome concept can only hide a repetitious game structure for so long - and the stealth sections that mix it up are just frustrating."
The Nintendo DS version of the game drew mixed reviews. IGN and Digital Chumps praised the visuals. IGN felt the visuals stayed true to the comics, while Digital Chumps the smooth and detailed animations. Reviewers felt that overall the 2.5D Metroid-style gameplay was enjoyable, and fit the DS well. Sounds and voice acting were also praised. Some reviewers felt the game was too short, and that not enough emphasis was put on exploring the open world.
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The plot sets up a game that is heavily inspired by past 'Metroidvania' titles, complete with a slick presentation.
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