Corrugated_Fox commented on PhantasM_'s list Spooky Season 2023 Games
8 hrs ago
YoDoops finished Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Enough time has now passed since Spider-Man: Miles Morales's debut as a PS5 launch title that the 'new car smell' of next-gen has been washed out and the game can be fairly judged on its own merits as a standalone title. Having done so, my second playthrough of Miles Morales proved to me that this game is much more than just being a graphical showpiece and stands tall as perhaps the finest Spider-Man game in its own right.
Cynics may say that this game is just a blatant reskin of the first game with a handful of changes. While there may be a kernel of truth to that to a certain degree, for me, Miles feels so much better to play in basically every way.
This is mainly thanks to his own unique moveset, style, and animations that compliment his character and make him much more fun to play around with off-rip compared to Peter (yes, yes, get your exaggerated swagger jokes in now).
Granted, perhaps my bias is showing a bit here since I've always preferred Miles as both a character and a Spider-Man much more compared to Peter, even before Into the Spider-Verse came along and only cemented that further.
Many point to Miles Morales's truncated length compared to the first game (~12 hours vs. ~24 hours), but if anything, I find that to be a net benefit that works in this game's favor. Miles is a much more focused experience and a testament to the notion that sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to action-heavy superhero games, as it turns out. Spider-Man: Miles Morales gets in and out without wearing out its welcome, particularly in regards to the game's side content.
The shortened game length and tightened focus also lend themselves to the story and setting to great effect. While Miles largely reuses the same map as the first game, Miles's new home of Harlem is greatly expanded from a small area that blended in with the other districts to a lively, bustling neighborhood with its own rich culture and identity that are easy to get attached to.
Basing the game almost entirely in Harlem is an inspired choice to help build Miles and the player's bond with the area and further drive the story's stakes as it goes. To that point, since the narrative is entirely focused on Miles and his close relationships with his friends, family, and neighborhood, the stakes are decidedly lower than the first game's rogue's gallery of threats, but they become just as, if not more, impactful because of that intimacy with the protagonist and setting.
Really, if I had any criticisms at all of Miles as a game, it's maybe that the secondary antagonist isn't nearly as compelling as the main villain, though I freely admit that that's likely by design. After all, one is a deeply personal foe from Miles's past that he doesn't want to fight, and the other is a generic mustache-twirling villain that only exists to drive the plot forward. The latter is a decent foil to the former in the larger context of the story, but one lacking in depth that could have been explored in some way.
Even still, I'm bold enough to declare that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is maybe as perfect as a Spider-Man game as you could get, outside of Spider-Verse being somehow adapted in video game form, which does kind of happen here thanks to the suit that comes animated in a lower frame rate to match the vibe of the movie, but I digress.
Miles Morales is a fantastic coming-of-age story where the kid in question also happens to be Spider-Man. It's a shorter game than the first, yes, but that also lends itself to being a tighter experience with far better traversal and combat abilities, a great cast of characters, a dynamic hip-hop soundtrack, and of course, gorgeous visuals.
Insomniac undoubtedly has their work cut out for them with Spider-Man 2.
1 day ago