Spider-Man Unlimited arrived on mobile back in September. The game instantly webbed me with its great graphics, huge array of collectible characters, and overall excellent use of the Spider-Man license. But I also caught many bugs in my review that I hoped would be fixed before long.
Just in time for Halloween, Gameloft has delivered a major update to Spider-Man Unlimited. The update adds a fourth "issue" to the game's story mode starring the Sandman, a limited time holiday event featuring Jack O'Lantern, and a host of changes and bug fixes. Most importantly for Windows Phone users, it now runs on devices with 512 MB of RAM! Read on for our detailed impressions of the new content and changes!
From now through November 1st, players can take on two limited time events: "Halloween Horror" and "Fright Night." The first offers the Scarlett Spider as a grand prize, the second Spider-Man 2099 – both six-star Spideys. Actually coming in first to get those top prizes is really hard – I've only done it two or three times – but always fun to try.
The events differ from normal ones in several ways. They take place at dusk, creating a suitably spooky atmosphere. One of the events tasks Spider-man with collectible jack-o-lanterns that have been spread throughout the city (a fun task).
Most excitingly, both Halloween missions star an all-new boss named Jack O'Lantern. You might not recognize him, but Jack O'Lantern is a genuine Spider-man villain created in 1981. He looks like you'd expect, being a pumpkin-headed guy. He floats on a UFO-like glider and tosses pumpkin bombs, not unlike Green Goblin.
I'll miss fighting him when the events end!
Easier rank ups
The new story levels require characters of level 60 and higher to play – five star or higher characters, in other words. Actually raising a hero up to that many stars was quite difficult prior to the update since you needed to sacrifice not only a double of that exact character but also two more cards of similar level.
Thankfully, the update has made ranking up Spideys much easier than before. Now players only need one double of the character whose rank they wish to raise, without the requirement of two extra characters. If you have two of the same hero, you can rank him up right then and there with no strings attached.
While rank ups are less difficult, actually leveling up characters has gotten harder. Before the update, you could get rid of unwanted Spideys by using them to level up another character. The cost for leveling up was a flat 500 vials (practically nothing).
The update boosts the cost of leveling up a hero significantly. Each character you sacrifice adds about 4,000 vials to the cost, making for a very expensive proposition. You'd have to grind a bunch just to earn the soft currency needed to get rid of unwanted characters.
Fret not, because Gameloft has added a new way to get rid of unwanted Spider-Dudes. You can now sell them from the "My Team" screen by tapping a button at the top-left corner. Spideys don't sell for a lot, but at least you gain vials by cashing them out instead of going broke as you would from leveling them up.
Enter the Sandman
This update also boosts Spider-man Unlimited's story content significantly thanks to the addition of "Issue 4: Against the Grain." Yes, they named it after one of the best Bad Religion songs ever… I like to think so, anyway.
Issues are maps containing unique, non-endless story missions. Issue 4 holds 25 such missions, which will take a few hours for skilled web slingers to work through. A new NPC (non-player character) shows up in some of these missions: Carlie Cooper. In the comics, Carlie is a police officer who befriends Peter Parker and eventually dates him. Nice to see a newer, somewhat lesser-known character join the story.
"Against the Grain" also brings in a new environment for Peter Parker and friends to run and swing through. The new area contains a train station with lots of elevated tracks and signs to dodge. Portions of it require Spider-Man to run along a moving train, which proves quite challenging. Be sure to slide under the floating mine when you first land on the train.
The most exciting part of Issue 4 has to be the new villain: Sandman. One of Spider-man Unlimited's gimmicks is that Spider-man must face not only familiar villains, but also alternate versions of those villains. And so Sandman brings along four of his variations, making for a total of five Sandmen to battle.
The new bosses are Sandman, Pure Sand Sandman, Classic Sandman, Noir Sandman, and Dark Sandman. Regular Sandman and Classic Sandman are mostly identical except for Classic Sandman's lighter shirt stripes though, making the 'Classic' variant essentially a waste of a variant.
Then again, nearly every genuine comic version of Sandman looks just like the original version. Noir#Marvel_Noir) Sandman and 1602 Sandman#1602) are the only notably different versions of the character. Perhaps Gameloft couldn't use the 1602 version in the game. If they simply chose not to include him, what a missed opportunity.
When you actually fight Sandman, he spends the entire battle with his legs turned into a stream of sand. This allows him to effectively "fly" across the level just like the genuine flying bosses. He attacks with gigantic sand fists and spiked sand balls.
When I fought Sandman for the final time in the train station, the camera inexplicably changed its angle, making obstacles difficult to see. Normally he's fun to fight though.
Squash the spiders, I mean bugs
This update also brings with it the promise of bug fixes! One bug that seems to have been squashed used to occur on the Social menu. Prior to the update, the option to gift energy to my friends nearly always failed to appear. Today I managed to send the energy without issues. Well, the social menu scrolling is still horribly slow and erratic. Baby steps!
The big question is whether the update fixes the "Energy refill" bug. At launch, some users experienced an issue in which their energy would not refills for several days. Quite a bummer, and more than a few of the affected left the game for greener pastures.
We understand that Gameloft is aware of the bug, but the publisher couldn't confirm whether it had been fixed in this update or not. My gut says it has. Have any of you guys run into since installing the Issue 4 update?
More to come
Another big addition promised by his update involves a fairly new comic character named Spider-Gwen. First introduced in the Spider-Verse book earlier this year, Spider-Gwen is an alternate reality version of Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider, gaining Spider-Man's traditional powers. The character is so popular that she will receive her own series next year.
Gameloft promises more female characters to come, including Spider-Girl, a favorite of mine. Like Spider-Gwen she is an alternate reality character, this time the daughter of a retired Peter Parker. Another female character that was not mentioned but could be introduced is Silk(pictured on right), a girl bitten by the very same spider that gave Peter his powers.
Gwen and Spider-Girl will be introduced to the game within the next few weeks, likely as prizes for completing limited time events. Again, these grand prizes are tough to get, so don't expect to earn them right away. But they also get added into the mix when you buy characters with ISO-8, so you're bound to get them if you stick with the game long enough.
Spider-Man Unlimited was already a great endless runner prior to the latest update. Now that it boasts even more content and one or two fewer bugs, it's just that much better. Give it a chance, read our strategy guide for tips, and you just might get hooked on the game's nearly unlimited fun factor.
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