Score: 6.6 / 10
The developers at Treyarch have paid mere lip service to the DSís touch screen (which isn't all bad in this case). Instead they have concentrated on making a solid (if frustrating) sidescrolling affair starring the infamous wall-crawler himself, Spider-Man.
following the events featured in the Spiderman 2 movie -- and when I write
loosely, I mean loose! -- the game tracks Peter Parkerís trials and
tribulations as he faces off against a full roster of classic villains
including Doc Ock, Mysterio, and the Vulture.
He swings from rooftops, fights through a nightmarescape of
Mysterio, and battles his way through a museum.
In fact most of the environments are huge, so huge that I often
found myself lost or going in circles, missing par times not but seconds
but by twenty minutes or more. Even
worse some levels have strict time limits in place.
Defeat twenty muggers and save twenty innocents and make it to
the end of the level in four minutes?
Tossing down a controller is one thing, flinging a brand new
piece of hardware a the nearest hard surface just isnít possible.
talking frustration here folks! Nailing
the par times is usually a secondary objective (which helps unlock
extras, etc.) but when a level is artificially tougher by simply setting
an arbitrary time limit the developers arenít looking to make friends.
Place on top of that an enemy AI thatís often hard to hit
without taking damage, and you have all the makings of a frustration
sandwich topped with salt.
I berate the developers for their design choices they sure did do a
great job on Spider-Man himself and the accompanying animations. He can pretty much do everything he should be able to do:
Swing on a web, climb up walls and on ceilings, enter a
heightened Spider-Sense when confronting danger, etc.
It all looks great.
read in an interview somewhere that the designers had Viewtiful Joe
firmly in mind when making Spider-Man 2.
This is exemplified with the
and the way the 2D backgrounds scroll by giving an illusion of depth and
heightening the comic book origins.
animation and the way the 2D backgrounds scroll by giving an illusion of depth and heightening the comic book origins.
touchscreen gets minimal usage and it's hardly critical to gameplay
except during boss stages when they throw stuff at you.
Mostly youíll use it during regular action to select one of
a host of special moves (activated with the right shoulder button).
The power of the DS is largely used to drive the graphics.
you wanted a one-line summation of Spider-Man 2 it would be ďAn overly
frustrating 2D action game featuring a fantastic wall-crawler.Ē But I would also add that it does little to expand the genre
and launch titles rarely, if ever, take full advantage of new hardware.
Hopefully Treyarch learns itís lesson with Spider-Man 2 and
blows us away with something new next time.
(January 8, 2005)
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