Side-scrolling brawler games and superheroes seem to be a perfect match. Superheroes are known for fighting their way through swaths of enemies, and having a game that constantly scrolls to one side sets up climactic supervillain showdowns waiting on the other end of the level. And Spider-Man: Toxic City 3D is a very good side-scrolling superhero action game.
You play as Spider-Man and must stop the Green Goblin from turning New Yorkers into hideous monsters. At times, you'll also play as Spidey's alter ego Peter Parker--without the costume--but with all the same moves, including the webslinging, which would be a dead giveaway if anyone from the Daily Bugle saw him. The game starts you off fighting street thugs, but you'll work your way up to mutants and killer robots quickly enough.
At the same time, the game tells a story about Peter and his love interest, Mary Jane Watson. Because you're off fighting monsters as Spider-Man, you'll miss a date to the school dance only to have more villains show up by the time you arrive. (And in a humorous twist at the end, Mary Jane herself becomes instrumental to defeating the Green Goblin.)
The environments in Spider-Man: Toxic City 3D are heroic in their own right. You'll climb up vertical surfaces and dodge falling barrels, as well as run across landscapes with a camera that swivels around you to show off the environments. Plus, the levels offer a good variety, from the school dance to a bank robbery in progress, ending with a big fight on top of the "Imperial State" building.
The game's real problem is that the controls are a bit too clunky. You can't run and jump at the same time, and the aerial combat never feels quite right. As a result, you'll often find yourself keeping the notoriously acrobatic superhero grounded, relying on punches and kicks instead. Certain jumping segments are also a lot less fun because of the controls. Still, even though it's a short run, this brawler gives you plenty to do. You can unlock achievements, collect hidden comic books, and try to beat your best scores in survival and time attack modes.
This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner SlideToPlay.com.