Spider-Man: The Movie
Score: 9.3 / 10
few weeks ago when Spider-Man hysteria was at its peak, the question
asked wasn't if you had seen the blockbuster movie, but how many times
you had seen it. At the
height of all this, Activision released Spider-Man games on all the
major consoles. On the back
of the box it states that you will be able to "Go Beyond The
Movie." Well grab some
popcorn, prop your feet up, and read on.
reviewed the last Spider-Man game, Enter Electro, a few months ago on
the PSOne. While I found
the game to be entertaining, there were a few annoyances that kept the
game from being great, mainly the constant camera angle switches.
Fortunately this has been fixed in the inaugural edition of the
Spider-Man series to the PS2.
I understand that designing a game that accurately portrays Spidey's gracefulness is a difficult task, but in previous games the right “feel” wasn't represented. This is the area where Spider-Man: The Movie (SM:TM) makes the biggest jump.
notice the change in the game's first level, when you find yourself high
above a number of skyscrapers. As
I swung from building to building (while wondering what the hell
Spider-Man attaches his web strings while he swings from the sky), I
marveled at how believable the experience was.
I couldn't quite change directions as easily as I would have
liked, but I actually felt like I was falling when I let go of my spider
web and fell hundreds of feet towards the ground.
Aside from a more free-flowing web swing, there are two new swings that Spidey has in his repertoire. The Zip-Line more or less makes Spiderman travel like a missile and the action can be doubled as an attack. Yo-Yo Spidey allows you to suspend Spider-Man from a ceiling and peer up and down. These two new modes of transportation, coupled with all the old ones from previous SM games, makes for an authentic wall-crawling experience.
you saw the movie, you'll notice that there are a lot of similarities
with the game. Tobey
Maguire (Spider-Man) and a few other actors from the movie lend their
voices and as a result the game feels a lot like the movie.
The plot line is essentially the same, but there are a few minor
changes with Shocker, Vulture and Scorpion making appearances.
The graphics are pretty darn good. Spider-Man and the other main characters have a lot of detail, but the enemies and pretty much everyone else looks generic, though the levels look really nice and in a lot of situations you get to interact with them. In many of the levels you find tires, fire extinguishers, or some other small items to throw. Overall, it's slick-smooth presentation.
Spider-Man, tasked with saving the world, (or at least beating up on the
Green Goblin and saving Mary Jane), you have a few options on how to do
it. You can take a barbaric
hand and foot style of combat, Double Dragon'ing yourself past the
enemies or you can use any number of your web attacks.
You have got to be careful though with your web attacks because
the amount of webbing you have available is limited.
Using the punching and kicking method is enhanced as you gain
Combo moves. You earn the
Combo moves by either doing some special task (retrieving a lady's
purse) or by finding special icons in the game.
There are two types of control to choose from, classic and enhanced. Classic is the control scheme from the PSX games and Enhanced is new to the PS2. The difference between the two is that in Enhanced, the web moves are a L2 +square/ circle/triangle/X combo instead of the old trianglepad combo. I didn't really find one more comfortable than the other, but I found the Classic one easier to pick up because I had used it before.
you are new to the series, you don't need to worry, as there is an
extensive Training mode (think MGS's VR mode).
There are 14 different types of specific training to help you
master your skills before starting a new game.
of the things that I enjoyed most about the Spider-Man games on the PSX
were all the extra goodies to be found and SM:TM does not disappoint.
Holdovers from the PSX versions are a photo gallery of Spidey in
action, movie viewer, and level select.
New is a viewable gallery of the original design art for the
movie and some photos from the film.
The PSOne versions of Spider-man were also known for their humorous dialogue. This continues with SM:TM. The training mode especially showcases a lot of tongue-in-cheek banter between Spider-Man and the "Voice in the Sky" (Bruce Campbell) giving directions. This alone makes the game more enjoyable to play.
Maybe it's because I am such a big fan of the Marvel Comic Book hero, but I didn't find a whole lot wrong with SM:TM. The only thing I can point out is that there isn't a whole lot of innovation or improvement over the PSX games outside of graphics and a few little things here and there. But the PSX games were excellent action/adventure games, so there wasn't a whole lot that needed to be tweaked (besides the camera). If you’re a fan of Spider-Man and you own a PS2, I would suggest at least giving this game a weekend rental if not an immediate purchase.
- Tim Martin
(July 23, 2002)
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