Gaming

Marvel’s Spider-Man Review: Spidey in all his glory

‘Face it, Tiger. You just hit the jackpot.’

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As one of the most beloved superheroes of all time, there’s a significant amount of pressure in creating anything about Spider-Man and video games are no exception. In Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, the folks over at Insomniac Games captured exactly what it means to be the wall-crawling hero in red and blue tights.

This game has everything: quips, great action and gameplay, quips, a masterful recreation of New York, quips, a story that’s original but feels familiar and stays faithful to its source material — oh, and did I mention quips?

Spidey's not shy about taking selfies

Spidey’s not shy about taking selfies

Web Slinger, Defender, and Innovator

A critical part of the game that Insomniac had to nail is web swinging and nail it they did. It’s the perfect balance of simple but not negligible, and it ends up being really enjoyable. While R2 is the main button for web swinging, there are other buttons you’ll end up using if you want to up your style.

In fact, part of the game’s skill tree is all about improving your traversal or web slinging skills. There are upgrades that let you do tricks mid-air, increase your speed while swinging, and while there’s a superhero landing that we’ve seen countless times in movies, another badass skill you can get is the superhero hero takeoff which is essentially a stylish high leap from the ground that adds flare to how you move.

The other two primary skills mainly have to do with combat. The Defender and Innovator skills consist of clever ways in which you can maneuver Spidey and his webs against foes. While the combat buttons feel basic enough — press square to punch or kick, triangle to use your web against baddies, circle to dodge, X to jump, and L1 and R1 to choose and use one of your gadgets — the combinations feel endless. The relatively simple controls together with the absolutely kinetic pace, fantastic action sequences, and the ability to use your surroundings ensure that the combat never feels stale.

You don’t always have to come out swinging, though. One of my favorite parts of the game is taking down thugs stealthily. The Innovator skill set comes into play here. Sneaking around an enemy base and using your web to immobilize henchmen is extremely satisfying.

New York is up for exploring

I haven’t had the chance to explore the game’s open-world as much as I would want to but when you get the game, you definitely should. You don’t have to worry about missing the sights, as part of the game is making sure you do explore the most remarkable landmarks The Big Apple has to offer. Peter Parker the photographer is also tapped into during the game. Part of the tokens you’ll need to unlock skills, suits, and other power-ups include taking photos of certain landmarks. A bonus for Marvel fans, the landmarks aren’t limited to ones we know of in real life. 😉

As seen in trailers, you’ll find various backpacks around the city. Collecting the backpacks leads to unlocking power-ups and suits so there’s a real incentive to hunting them all down. How is Peter, who is behind on his rent, able to afford all those backpacks? That question will be answered cleverly as you collect more of them. Inside the backpacks are memorabilia and is an interesting way of telling the eight-year history of this particular Spider-Man.

A funny bit about exploring: If you ever get tired of swinging across town (and after a while, you will), there’s a fast travel option that will let you use New York’s subway not as Peter but as Spider-Man. If you don’t crack a smile at some of the subway cut scenes, you need to re-evaluate your life.

Peter Parker: Nephew, ex-boyfriend, brilliant lab assistant, superhero

Without sharing too much detail about the story, what this game truly gets right is how Peter Parker balances his life as both Peter and Spider-Man. In various scenes you’ll see him talking to Aunt May on the phone while dealing with villains. In this story, his main love interest is Mary Jane Watson (MJ for short) and they had been broken up for six months. Their paths cross again as MJ, who works as an investigative reporter for the Daily Bugle, follows the same crime that Spidey is trying to solve.

In this game, you’re not just Spider-Man, you’re also Peter Parker

The dynamic between Peter and MJ struck me the most. As a guy who also attempted to get back together with his ex, the game captured that back-and-forth perfectly and while it’s not the most gripping thing about the game, it’s a testament to how Insomniac didn’t put anything in the backseat and chose the right moments to highlight the various things that make Peter the hero that he is.

MJ also happens to be a playable character, and in what I believe is one of the better missions in this game, you primarily control her while working together with Spider-Man all while discussing how their relationship has gone. It’s truly a very Spider-Man mission and I am glad this game has it.

The game also captures the brilliant mind of Peter Parker — something that’s not always evident in the movies. Working as a lab assistant to a brilliant scientist we’re all familiar with, this is one of the relationships in the game that will truly hammer home how tough it is living a double-life if you didn’t inherit a billion-dollar company from your parents.

Easter Eggs

Long-time Spidey fans will have a field day on this game early on. There are plenty of callbacks to scenes present in both the comics and the films. One of the most iconic Spidey panels of all time from The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #33 — the one where he musters all his strength to get himself out of being buried in a rubble — is paid homage to in the early stage of the game.

This iconic panel has been recreated in various Spider-Man adaptations

There’s also a reference to the very famous upside-down kissing scene in the first Spider-Man movie featuring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. The train scene in the sequel of the aforementioned film was also alluded to in a critical scene.

Other Easter eggs are placed elsewhere in the game, particularly in the landmarks that you’ll need to take photos of.

This game, while a standalone story, is incredibly self-aware and does a lot of well-placed fan service that will please both comic book and movie fans. To a certain extent, it has a Marvel Cinematic Universe feel to it. Which means you have to see it through until the end.

“Face it, Tiger. You just hit the jackpot.”

Marvel’s Spider-Man is amazing, spectacular, and the ultimate video game experience for any fan of the friendly neighborhood wall crawler.

I cannot say this enough: Insomniac Games captured the very essence of Spider-Man and turned it into a video game that’s aware of the character’s history across all forms of media.

This is a masterpiece and will no doubt be referenced as one of the most faithful adaptations of one of the most iconic superheroes ever.

Marvel’s Spider-Man isn’t your ordinary superhero game

Spidey now his own open-world adventure! #SpiderManPS4 #NationalSpiderManDay

Posted by GadgetMatch on Thursday, August 2, 2018

Gaming

Globe, AcadArena launch Esports merit scholarship

Who knew playing video games has its benefits to your education?

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esports

By this time, some students are already having online classes as a result of the pandemic. Even so, the younger generation still finds time to play video games to their hearts content. For others, while school hasn’t started yet, they use this time to hone their skills in otherwise competitive titles. Now, Globe and AcadArena have something very special planned that will provide more opportunities to college students.

As part of their student organization support system Alliance, Esports AcadArena is launching its first Esports merit scholarship. In partnership with Globe, this scholarship hopes to provide financial assistance through active participation in Esports activities. Essentially, student organizations from member universities may avail of this scholarship for select students.

The scholarships offers three types of merit depending on the student’s activities within their organization. There is the Family Good Game Grant which offers financial assistance to the student’s family provided he qualifies in AcadArena’s tournaments. Also, there are Competitve and Leadership Merits granted onto individuals with good chararcter and performance.

To know more about the Alliance Program or if your organization is interested in applying, visit AcadArena’s webiste.

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Gaming

Microsoft is acquiring Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5 billion

Gearing up for the console war

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Microsoft has announced it’ll be acquiring ZeniMax Media for US$ 7.5 billion. The gaming company is behind many high-profile titles like Doom and Fallout. Furthermore, the gaming company owns Bethesda Softworks, which owns top-sellers like The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored.

To be more precise, the deal includes multiple divisions like Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

The announcement comes just a week after Microsoft’s failed bid for the short-video app, TikTok. Instead, Oracle and Walmart won the race and officially became technology partners of the game. However, the gaming acquisition will immensely help the Redmond based giant sell its Xbox console.

“All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said in a blog post announcing the news.

The new Xbox and PlayStation are scheduled to come later this year and this deal gives Microsoft an edge in terms of game exclusivity. With the Coronavirus outbreak, gaming has picked up radically in 2020 and the future looks bright in the short term.

Microsoft will be seeking to bring all of the new studios’ upcoming titles to Xbox Game Pass on day one across Xbox consoles and PC.

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Gaming

Buying a PS5? You might not have to wait long for a discount

This is according to a report by iPrice Group

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The pricing and availability of the PlayStation 5 was revealed in a recent showcase.It also showed off the various games coming to the next-gen console. However, not everyone may be rushing to get their hands on the PS5. If you’re one of the few who are holding off, here’s how long you should wait.

According to a report by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group, pricing for the new console might see a price drop as early as May 2021.

They came to this conclusion after studying the price history of the PlayStation 4 Pro — the console that precedes the PS5. They collected and compared selling prices of the console throughout the years on over 150 online shopping websites.

The average online selling price for Sony consoles tends to drop by six percent (6%), six months after the release and up to eight percent (8%) after a year.

The discounts also tend to come with game promotions where the consoles come bundled with certain early releases. The pricing discounts come from partner retailers. Sony itself doesn’t slash prices right away.

Following this analysis, the company predicts the following pricing by May 2021:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 685
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 564

By November 2021, the consoles could be had for these prices:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 634
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 521

While you can always be hopeful, we advise to take these numbers with a grain of salt. We don’t know for sure if the prices will actually drop.

However, be on the lookout from your local retailers no matter what market you’re in. You might just snag a great deal!

 

 

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