Spider-Man: Friend or Foe

Sept 24, 2007

Friend or Foe is ultimately another iteration of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but based solely on Stan Lee's teenage arachno-star. You and a Spidey friend will scrap endless gangs of "minions" throughout several lushly laid-out locales - including New York (obviously), Tokyo and snowy Nepal. On your journeys you'll bump into every major Spidey villain and they'll be available to help you in your quest to... do good stuff, once you've defeated them in battle. With so many camp cameos, and the sheer silliness of having evil creatures like Venom meekly follow you around (you can control your sidekick at any time by holding down Y), the adventure is little more than a violent bit of pantomine.

But, armed with this knowledge and with your best beat-'em-up brains in, this is looking like a moderately fun bit of arcade action - it's Double Dragon in a comic book skin, and thoroughly old-school despite its glossy cartoony next gen design. At least in the basic version of the game which we've explored, there's little depth to any levels - some nod towards exploration is given by hiding a few collectables here and there, allowing you to unlock artwork and the like, but this is a shamelessly straightforward scrapper - you can't even die, and your special powers are unlimited - but with mates free to tap in as your sidekick for co-op at any stage in the action, it should yield plenty of post-pub entertainment, even if the whole premise is a little... odd.

Additionally, the Versus mode sounds like it could be quite fun, with the choice of 15 heroes and villains to slug it out in ten arenas. The 360 is still starved of quality beat-'em-up options and scrapping in the Spider-man world could be a great option. But... with no online mode to speak of and a maximum of only two players, it's sadly looking like a pretty anemic package.