Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has a special version of his latest game, tricked out to benefit from the Nintendo Wii’s unique controls. Your arms are going to get a work out as you swing around New York City saving the citizens from harmful thugs and ruthless super villains.

The Nintendo Wii is a special console that takes a new approach at Spider-Man 3 that differs from its high power console brothers. Coming off my marginally dismal review of Spider-Man 3 for the Xbox 360, I’m hoping the unique motion controls can help spidey climb up and reclaim some of his former gaming greatness. If you feel you need a background update on Spider-Man versions of the past, spin over to our Xbox 360 review, its covers the accomplishments and steady rise of Treyarch. First off you should know that the Wii version of Spider-Man 3 was not developed by Treyarch who worked on the PS3 and Xbox 360 version. The Wii version was handled by New York proud, Vicarious Visions who also ported over a Nintendo DS, Nintendo Gameboy Advanced, Playstation Portable, and Playstation 2 version. There is one more version of Spider-Man 3 and that has been ported over by the Canadian team, Beenox for the PC.

Spider-Man 3 mainly follows the plot line of the movies, but also shares some new adventures and mini crimes to solve. The Wii version has been downsized in content, however this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a write off. Instead of ten main villains, you’ll get six which still include the movie’s primary villains, New Goblin, Sandman and Venom. Who you are missing from the 360, PC, PS3 version is Rhino, Kingpin and Scorpion. Even with the loss of those three you gain the sonic blasting, Shriek and Vampire, Morbius... Activision’s version of Pale Force.

The real core of the Wii version is the motion sensitive controller which will require you to plug in your Wii-nunchuck. The majority of aspects regarding movement and combat have been remade to work with the motion sensitive controls. In combat you will move the both Wii controllers around to perform certain moves and string together combinations and you will also use the Wii remote to swing through the city which is a cool unique feeling. These controls help you feel more in touch with Spider-Man and make the game experience feel more alive. I was astonished how fluid the game mechanics and controls interact making it near breathtaking swinging through some missions.

The controls in Spider-Man 3 for the Wii make Spider-Man 3 worth checking out, although I did encounter some downsides while swinging through NYC. For one, the motion controls are lacking in precision. Using a regular controller allowed me to navigate Spider-Man more precisely which became frustrating over time using the dual Wii remotes. In the same vein combat came down to me wiggling the remotes around trying to perform different moves, on the other side I knew what buttons did what, and I could actually be more effective during fighting sequences. I found the most frustrating time with Spider-Man 3 was dealing with the controls during timed missions and when dogging enemy attacks. Even with some slight announces and many over swings, I’m still enjoyed the controls as they offer a new gaming perspective.

Besides the motion controls, Spider-Man 3 offers a more focused and navigation friendly game. I felt the menu system, objectives and game layout was handled better. On the Xbox 360 the menu system was overly complex and clunky and it’s all tightened up on the Wii version.  In a change you can upgrade Spider-Man you self in the Wii version after you earn in game experience. This section is called ‘Hero Upgrades’ and it works on a web system where you can raise certain areas of expertise including acrobatics and combat attacks. Another change to the Wii version is that black suited Spider-Man can be unlocked a lot sooner then the over versions, I’m talking about one hour which is a nice change from hours upon hours on the 360. The black suit is a lot of fun and stronger then normal Spidey, but you do have watch  how much time you spend with the alien symbiote.

Spider-Man 3 can broken up and played however you wish. If you have played a Spider-Man game in the past, Spider-Man 3 resembles Spider-Man 2 the most. Like, Spider-Man 2 the main missions and side adventures can eat up a lot of hours and provides a fun super hero experience. If you're in it only for the main plot lines you might be a little disappointed because you need to explore and take in all the sights and sounds to get the most of Spider-Man 3. Spider-Man 3 isn't groundbreaking and a rough jump from Spider-Man 2, so hopes are high that the next Spidey game can keep the series moving forward in content and innovation.

Graphically I was expecting a little more out of Spider-Man 3 mainly because we know they have a huge team and a pool of reference to pull from, aside from the movie, but the other development houses under Activision. Spider-Man and the other major characters as the most impressive with a horrible texture blur mess down on the streets below. Cars and people in this world are below par and will have doing double takes on all the clones walking around NYC. I know it’s early in the game, but the Wii hasn’t really pulled out any stops besides the first part. I’ll put the blame on the porting situation for Spider-Man 3 the Wii version.

Don’t expect miracles from the sound as well, Spider-Man 3 is plagued with a number of repeating thugs and pedestrians. The audio synch is also messed up when receiving missions which happens 90% of the time. The good to all this is that the Wii version also shares the “A” List of celebrities given their likeness to the project, minus Kirsten. The voice narration from Bruce Campbell is also added and priceless. If you’ve played more then one version you will notice each actor has subtle differences and Bruce is still entertaining as ever with some new pokes at the man in the tights.

Each console version of Spider-Man 3 seems to have their advantages and disadvantages. On the Xbox 360 you have achievements to aspire and the PS3 version has the New Goblin as an unlockable character. The Wii version has a refocused game engine with motion controls that bring you closer to the action. In no way would I rate one above the other considering they each have their strong points. If graphics are your thing the Wii isn’t going to satisfy you, but if you’re in for the total overall experience you might want to web up this version of Spider-Man 3.

Gameplay: 6.5, Graphics/Sound: 4.5, Innovation: 6, Mojo: 6. Final: 6 / 10

The Good Focused Navigation, Wii Remote Swinging, New Villains, Black Suit Spider-Man
The BadGraphics are Lacking, Audio Hiccups, Less Content Then other Versions.

Reviewed by Jimmy | 05.19.07


  • Welcome to the dark side: For the first time ever, control the legendary black suit, which magnifies Spider-Man's strength, agility and durability. Punish your enemies with explosive new attacks and incredible upgrades, including fearsome room-clearers.
  • Let freedom ring: Go anywhere at any time in a larger, dynamic, free-roaming New York City and get involved in whatever you want, whenever you want. Players decide how to proceed through the game and set their own goals.
  • The city is your playground: From towering skyscrapers to the vast new subterranean sewers and subways Spider-Man must patrol all of New York.
  • Super Villains galore: Experience multi-stage, dynamic boss battles against the headlining villains from the movie as well as a host of legendary comic book foes who all take advantage of their environments, their minions, and the large-scale destruction that their superpowers cause in trying to defeat Spider-Man.
  • Go, go gadget: In addition to faster web-swinging, certain events and environments open up additional Spider-powers for you to control.


Spider-Man 3

Vicarious Visions
May 2007
X360, DS, GBA,
Wii, PS2, PS3, PC