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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Treyarch

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2002

 

 

- Voice actors from the movie are in game

- More of the old (which is okay)

- Pure Spider-Man fun

- Does a great job putting you in Spider-Man’s tights

- So much stuff to unlock!

 

 

- More of the old.  No major innovations

- No multi-player option

- You have to advance in the game to get ANY extra features

 

 

Review: Spider-Man: The Movie (PC)

Review: Spider-Man: The Movie (XBox)

 

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Spider-Man: The Movie

Score: 9.3 / 10

 

A 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.  

 

spider-man-movie-ps2-1.jpg (21269 bytes)          spider-man-movie-ps2-2.jpg (13875 bytes)

 

I 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.

 

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You 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.

 

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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.

 

If 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.

 

As 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.

 

If 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.

 

One 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.

 

spider-man-movie-ps2-3.jpg (15450 bytes)          spider-man-movie-ps2-4.jpg (25790 bytes)

 

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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