Review by KeyBlade999
"Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man... Web-slinging into walls!"
~ Review in Short ~
Gameplay: Your typical platformer with some other stuff. Difficult to fully enjoy.
Story: You'll get a few brief blurbs; very shallow. Based off of the comic book series.
Graphics: Fell victim to the single-color with multiple shades often in GameBoy games. Very bad.
Sound and Music: Doesn't fit the mood of almost any of the areas. Only one background theme. Little in the way of sound effects.
Play Time: Maybe about two hours, if you know what you're looking for.
Replayability: Low, as you have a very set course and no sidequests.
Recommendation: Don't get it. Period.
~ Review in Long ~
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (henceforth referred to as Spider-Man 2 for simplicity's sake) is another one of those comic-turned-game games we see often nowadays. The comics are good and, often, so are the movies that so often accompany them.
But the games tend to live in shadow. Why? Continual rapid releases very much begin to dilute the enjoyment from gameplay, as well as prevent decent time in game development. The Spider-Man games on the Sony PlayStations are a prime example, and it takes a lot to get out of such a rut. Spider-Man is going to get out of his rut.
But what about the games still in the rut?
The whole set of Spider-Man games are actually based on a 50-year-old comic book series.
Not a whole lot to say as far as the history of the game goes, mainly because I know very little about it. This game was made in 1992, so I can only assume its prequel was made in 1990-1991. Spider-Man 2 (this one) was created by the companies LJN and B.I.T.S.
So, no, this is not part of the more well-known set of games made by Activision and Neversoft, which stick a lot to more home consoles -- the PlayStations and Xboxes, for the most part. Their Spider-Man 2 happened to be one of the heights of the series, which later got in virtual repeats of the same thing across a few more years. In July or August of 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man is planned to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and is definitely looking to be a nice new take on the series so plagued by repetition.
But we're not here to talk about that.
Some of the controls are fairly basic and work fairly well for your basic platform. The D-Pad maintains a walking/running speed and crouching. The B Button is jump and, if you wish, kick. The A Button is punch. That kinda covers the basics.
Wall-climbing maintains a lot more difficulty, first in telling what constitutes a wall. Why? Mainly because you should be able to climb in some areas that you don't get to. Take inside a building. You can climb on the left/right walls, but not the one in the background or the one you're seeing through.
Then you have to double-jump and lean into the wall. Often, you don't get a lot of space for this. Then, when you have to disembark on a vertically-narrow hallway, you often have to keep trying because you'll hit the ceiling.
Web-swinging in itself is mildly okay, control-wise, though most environments discourage it due to narrow areas or too many things to grab onto. Then there's the fact that you have limited web fluid, absent in the comics and movies, and that, added with lack of accuracy in MANY situations that require it, makes web-swinging almost needless. I managed to do the game with only two or three web-swinging times.
Concept of the Game:
You'll start the game in the streets of New York City. The game plays like your typical platformer -- I'd probably say moreso like the Legend of Zelda II, because it also has a mild RPG feel to it.
There are a few areas you can go in the city, none too special: the city, sewers, a factory, a lab, an amusement park, and the Empire State Building (which actually makes for a nice level).
In each level, there's one thing you will not know unless you play with an instruction booklet, and even then, it's fairly vague. Most of the game wants you to focus on going to the next level. Unbeknownst to most without instruction booklets or guides, you'll need to find a key item in some levels or you cannot go to the next level. It's annoying sometimes to not know WHAT you need to find, either, or what it looks like.
Many of the levels also have a boss, which is overly simplistic. Most of the bosses in the game will let you get by unscathed or by the skin of your teeth. There is VERY little middle ground here.
Playing the Game:
In this game, you'll not easily be losing lives (not necessarily a good thing). Very few things will cause instant death here, though a lot are concentrated at one point. The enemies do fairly small damage to your health, and we're talking through grenades and stuff! Many levels have a lot of health pick-ups and extra lives, as well as strength boosters and web fluid refills. Stat-wise, the game seems easy.
Of course, bunches of web fluid is the main thing I want to focus on. These, too, are focused in one area of the game. It is extremely annoying to run out of your web fluid -- and, trust me, as you progress, you will run out of it -- and have to trek a long ways back to find it.
You'll really be spending a lot of time in an area wondering how to get what you're looking for. For example, I literally spent two hours trying to progress to the second hour. It's not very fun.
Then the bosses. The first one will be annoying to all who play. In fact, they're all annoying. They're either too easy because they deal too little damage, but you can't figure out how to get AT them, or they're extremely hard being that they deals lots of damage at once or even have ways of instantly killing you because of bad level design.
And, oh God help you should you lose you all of lives and receive a game over. You don't get the option to continue gameplay. You never receive any passwords (for no system was implemented), and you don't even get a Save/Load feature. Lose all of your lives and you'll start over. That is perhaps the most annoying thing with this game.
To sum up the gameplay entirely, there are going to be parts where you breeze through, mostly bosses, but you're going to spend a lot of time just trying to figure out where to go and how to do it.
Don't get me wrong: I very much enjoy Spider-Man. If you could group all of the story here together, though, you have a problem. Why? There's just brief blurbs of a story that is actually more oriented to the gameplay. In other words, it more focused on "you have bad guys to beat; go beat them".
Anyways, here's what little you're given. Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) wakes up one day with a throbbing headache. He looks at the newspaper to find that he has been framed for a $1,000,000 robbery.
And, of course, bad guys are terrorizing the streets: Hobgoblin bombing Main Street, Carnage wreaking havoc at the park, Graviton messing with gravity, and the mastermind behind all of this is atop the Empire State Building. (Yes, seriously, they tell you where the game is to end. That's a big hole in the story, for why not just go there immediately?)
Not exactly the best of the GameBoy, you'll pretty much receive a bunch of varying tints and shades of green. But that's not really the big problem I have with this game.
I've seen New York City and, when you look at the background, you experience that "tall buildings in a suburb" idea. Those buildings are far too scattered and un-neighbored to be New York. Buildings whose width should be near that of the Empire State Building are maybe a quarter of it, if that.
The sewers are unusually clean-looking and go overly deep into the Earth. You never get to learn what will instantly kill you -- trust me, I walked into an electric generator at the amusement park and died, without even knowing what it was.
To sum it up, there is a lot of room for improvement.
SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: 2.5/10.
The quickie-review at the top of the review really gets it.
The background music is always the same, no matter where you are. Whereas a laboratory should have a techno theme and the sewers a darker theme, for example, you only find one repeating track. Granted, it does kinda fit the techno theme previously mentioned, but that's not my point. My point is that you should have varying music tracks for varying areas, and you only get one track. And it is full of static; there's no excuse for that.
And sound effects? Practically none.
PLAY TIME: 3/10.
The game can either last fairly long or not so much.
After I wrote down what to do, I was able to finish the game in about an hour and a half to two hours.
Of course, before that, I had to play the whole thing blindly. It took me about five times as long that way. So, isn't that good? No, it is not. A game that lasts two hours shouldn't be forced into ten hours through bad gameplay. Eighty percent of the blind play time was spent wandering, wondering what to do.
You'll probably play this game the long way around the first time, and that'll drain all liking for this game from you. That much, I can say for sure.
I played this game a second time around, knowing what to do, just to compare. As mentioned previously, I cut my time by eighty percent knowing what to do. I had gotten very sick of the game by then.
Another big reason for the low replay value, aside from bad gameplay, is the strict linearity. You'll have to do something to be able to go somewhere, and no alternatives. All you can do is go back to a previous area if you want, but, rarely, you're not going to get anything out of being there. Moving forward is all you'll get out of gameplay.
THE END. Overall score: 2.9/10.
That's my point of view on the game. Honestly, Spider-Man has seen better days, and I'm not talking plot-wise. The game was spoiled by bad gameplay, especially the big "What do I do!?!?" thing. And, once you know what to do, you don't play long. The story is too shallow to permit putting it in, and it wasn't worth playing that second time. The graphics, in concept and design, seriously leave something to be desired, and the sound and music are just horrible.
In short, I'd stay far away from this.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/12
Game Release: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (1992) (US, 08/31/92)
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