Thankfully it's not all bad news for Friend or Foe. One of the first things you'll notice when you sit down with the title is that all of the voice acting is well done; the script feels like it was ripped right out of the comic book, one-liners and all. The story itself isn't very deep, but I had a good time fighting each of the brainwashed villains and seeing what Spidey had to say to them. Unfortunately I didn't have nearly as much fun fighting through the levels to get to these bosses, but I suspect that there are a lot of kids out there that will enjoy the easy nature of the game and accept it for what it is.
I also really enjoyed the fact that this game is a solid two-player action game, it's rare to see a co-op action game these days and Friend or Foe is a good way for two people to pass the time. It would have been nice if we could have played these levels online with a friend, but I understand that Friend or Foe is more about having a friend over and going through it together. What I really appreciate about the game is just how easy it is for somebody to start playing mid way through the story mode. At any time the second player just has to push the "A" button to take over for the computer, which is the way all two-player action games should work. Thankfully it's also easy for the second player to be switched back to the computer, all you have to do is pause the game and hit one of the buttons to give the computer full control over player two. I'm so sick of action games that allow you to play with a second player, but only if you start the game and finish the game together.
Speaking of playing with a friend, when you're done saving the world from brainwashed villains and other baddies, you and a friend can go into the one on one versus mode. In a lot of ways this two-player mode reminds me of a stripped down version of Power Stone, one of Capcom's greatest 3D fighting games. You and a friend enter a large arena and run around punching and using your attacks, trying to be the one left standing. By only allowing two players to go in and battle it out, this competitive mode feels somewhat lacking. Had they gone all out and let four players fight in this large arena they would have had something special, but as it is this mode just feels more like an afterthought than a real extra mode.
The graphics in Friend or Foe are very simple, often to the point where you wouldn't know it was an Xbox 360 game. While there are a few effects that look good, the game itself looks more like the licensed games we played on the original Xbox. That's not to say that the game is bad, but you definitely won't be blown away by the simplistic look of the game.
If you're looking for a cute little action game for a younger gamer then you could do a whole lot worse than Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. The game is a fun two-player experience, full of great characters and some really good voice acting. I do question the game's price point and easy difficulty, but this would make for a really good weekend rental. There's some fun to be found in the second Spider-Man game of 2007, but not everybody is going to enjoy it as much as the younger set. There are a lot of really good ideas in this game; I wouldn't be opposed to seeing some sort of sequel that improves on all of the problems that bring this first installment down.
If you're a kid then Spider-Man: Friend or Foe may be right up your alley, but the game is plagued with a high price point, easy difficulty, and gameplay that is far too repetitive. If all you're doing is looking for a good clean game for a younger gamer than you can't go wrong with Friend or Foe, but everybody else may want to give this one a rental before plunking down $60 on this relatively short experience.
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