Game Review: Spider-Man Total Mayhem
Release: September 1, 2010
Available Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad
ESRB Rating: 9+
Website: Gameloft, Spider-Man Total Mayhem
Up until now, I questioned whether the iPhone could really challenge the Nintendo DS or PSP in the handheld gaming market. Spider-Man: Total Mayhem has turned me into a believer. Of course, this is only one game in a sea of Doodle Jump clones and Zombie Fart apps, but it is certainly a step in the right direction for the platform. Gameloft have translated Spider-Man’s powers into a tight gameplay package that rivals anything I’ve played on any other platform.
Total Mayhem doesn’t break the mold when it comes to button-mashing beat-em-ups, but it does polish it into a perfect gem. Progressing through levels requires you to dispatch enemies by pummeling, web-slinging, and dodging, all with the greatest of ease and fluidity. To add variety, levels feature swinging, wall-crawling, and rail sliding sections that challenge you to collect orbs and artwork unlocks. At the end of these stages you’ll fight one of Spidey’s many foes. These battles are fun and enjoyable, save one.
The second stage boss is the Rhino. While the other boss battles give you clues as to how to defeat them, the Rhino stage is devoid of any assistance. Instead you are left to pummel an enemy that can take much more damage than you while also taking away a great deal of your health with every hit. Dodging his attacks are the key, but it wasn’t until I went online to search for help that I found out how to defeat him. Even when I learned how to stun him, it still took me several restarts (and a lot of cussing) before I finally finished him off.
Extras that you can unlock include a Boss Rush mode and artwork. The artwork can be viewed so you can take a screenshot on your phone and use it as wallpaper. This is a fantastic addition and something that we need to see in more games of this ilk.
The Rhino is the one small issue in a land of awesome for this game. Once you get passed it, the $6.99 you pay for this game will feel like money well spent. Gameloft have taken the Spider-Man license and packed in plenty of bang for your buck. This is the first game on the iPhone that I feel justifies the platform for games. Of course, I might be a bit biased since I am a Marvel Zombie. But, if they can do Spider-Man right on a device like the iPhone, then let’s hope we see more of our favorite heroes go mobile.