Spider-Man PlayStation 2
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All-New Aerial Combat Capability
Allows Spider-Man to engage his enemies in dizzying aerial battles above NY's crowdedstreets. Spider-Man has complete mastery of his surroundings, including rising anddescending while swinging, banking around buildings, cutting web-lines for sudden drops,and zip-lining to adjacent buildings to avoid immediate danger.
All-New Super Villains: Take on the Green Goblin and otherarch-enemies including Shocker, Vulture, and experimental HK Units compliments of OscorpIndustries.
Re-Live Spider-Man's Movie Experience and More: Replay scenes andconfrontations from the movie, as well as new exclusive encounters that detailSpider-Man's backstory.
New Combat System: With an all new and remarkably advanced combat systemfeaturing dozens of combos, you'll be able to serve justice to common criminals andsuper-villains alike.
GAME's CJRavey dons his red and blue jogging suit, and throws himself off a tall building. Please don't try this at home - play Spider-Man The Movie instead.
Spider-Man the Movie for GameCube, Xbox, PC and PS2 is a statistical impossibility. Based on a great film version of a comic, it's a fantastic game version of a film. Do you follow? Actually simply called 'Spider-Man' on the box, we're calling it 'The Movie' to differentiate it from earlier versions - just look out for the funky new Spider-Mask on the front.
Quite often games based on a great license decide that they can ride on the excitement or buzz of the franchise alone - and although Spider-Man is certainly aided by the inherent coolness of 'being Spidey' it stands up on its own merits too, aside a few gripes. What the game does do, (and listen up all license buyers) is use the strengths of everyone's favourite web slinger - his recognisable visual style, the strong story and the web slinging super powers - and give gamers a real sense of continuing the excitement of the movie.
Basically a third person action game, Spider-Man initially feels a lot like the PlayStation version released some time ago. Any wall surface (pretty much) can be crawled on, and you can swing from wall to wall, punch and kick bad guys (including using your double hard web gloves) create webbing domes to protect yourself, and incarcerate the thugs in temporary blasts of web fluid. All well and good. But developers Treyarch have gone way beyond the PlayStation title, and by the time you're done, Spidey will have learned thirty kick ass fighting moves - as well as taken part in some stunning aerial battles.
So how does all this work? Well, with lots of frantic button mashing if you're a bit cack handed like I am - but it's soon possible to become adept. Almost too soon, some would say. You would think that having a wall crawler would make viewing the game tricky - and you'd be right.
Faced with an almost impossible challenge, Treyarch have made the most of it, but sometimes the camera views are the sort that even the lead developer's mum would find hard to love. If you're crawling up a wall, up is forward, even if you're crawling down. As the camera changes there's a delay in control change (so you don't instantly change direction) so if the camera suddenly flips your controls are reversed - but not immediately. The camera isn't automatic as such, you operate it yourself - or you'll find yourself running straight into perils. I must admit to a few 'thrashing around in the corner' moments as I struggled to get my head around the control scheme. It must be said, many won't get past this frustration - but chill out; yes it's the game, it's not you. But bear with it, you won't regret it. Also, elements like the Zelda-style camera lock mean that you're not relying on Spider-Sense alone.
When the game takes to the open skyline of New York, it comes into its own. Tapping A during a swing allows the web-head to suddenly break the line and either dive in a suicidal fashion down (in a funky Spidey-pose) or dart off in another direction. You'll have to suspend belief as Spider-Man suspends himself from an invisible ceiling over the city - but he always seemed to do that in the comics (because if he's way above the skyscrapers, what IS he hanging onto?)
When you take on aerial enemies, you'll need to dodge missiles, swing through the air with a cannonball kick, and drop onto them from above with a well aimed punch. It's extremely satisfying and as with Rogue Leader dog fights, a genuine art to master.
The game follows the plot of the film, and even uses the original voices (well, almost - Kirsten Dunst is following Sarah Michelle Gellar's example and is a noticeable absence; what's with these girls?) Cult film hero Bruce Campbell even voices the 'help' sections, to sometimes amusing effect; and Toby Maguire is present and correct as Spidey - though the game reveals how bland he can be when he's working too hard to be sensible Peter Parker. Let's hope he livens up for the movie sequel. Willem DeFoe is great as the Green Goblin though - even though the film rendition of the costume does nothing for me (where's his little purple night cap?)
Speaking of the movie - the game is a spoiler for the celluloid action, so get the game to play after you've left the cinema. You'll find it captures the sense of sheer fun that the film does; and both are true to the comics in their won way. It's difficult to believe that there are people who don't know the fate of Uncle Ben, or the origins of Spidey, but I'm not going to risk spoiling the plot for anyone who wants to discover it anew.
Gripes, I had a few - mainly based around that darn camera angle system; but also a few other niggles. Why, when you die, is there a short delay during action? Just as you feel you're about to deliver the winning blow or kick, your body catches up and realises it's dead - and you enter the death animation. Why do you die, pretty much without warning, when you drop near street level on a 'web swinging' level? I can't remember Spidey being allergic of swinging low over the traffic - and it's a fairly lazy way of preventing the player from exploring the street level. Now, OK, a GTA 3 style living city would be a bit much to ask - but wouldn't it be fantastic if Treyarch could have managed it? At least it's not the mass fogging of the PSone game; though they cheesily wrote that into the script.
Overall - these are minor issues that you will either forgive, forget, or not even notice once you're away.
Now, I'm a cheesy guy. I love spin offs, re-versions, remixes, merchandise - I love anything that continues an interest or obsession; and I don't believe it has to be done shoddily, neither do the film makers or developers in this case. Go see the film and then go get the game. Both made me feel like a kid again - and I'm happy to revel in the consumerist joys of spin-offs, especially when they're as superbly done as this one.
Spider-Man the Movie is out now for GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Bar some control differences - and bonus levels on Xbox, it's basically the same game. A Game Boy Advance Spider-Man game is also out - this is a 2D variation of the same wall climbing, web slinging gameplay and it's pretty damn cool (not just a GBA afterthought). All versions, and strategy guides, are available online and in store at GAME. Screenshots we've used are from the Xbox version.
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