Review by Jame Son
"Don't Stop Now, Spidey!"
Well, how do you like that! It seems that I have been getting extremely lucky lately with the games I've been purchasing. They all rock! (with the exception of Eternal Ring. Never heard of it? I envy you). My luck continued with my most recent purchase: Spiderman.
Please don't get pissed, but I was originally planning on getting this game for the Cube. I have that and a PS2, and I heard the Cube version had better graphics, so naturally I preferred that. However, the store only had the PS2 version and I just wanted the game so friggin' much that I caved and bought it. But it's okay! Because this game is the shizzit!
GAMEPLAY - 8/10
I have never played any other Spiderman game before this, and I'll admit that I don't know jack about Webhead since I never read the comics or watched the show (the movie is another story), but I still managed to incredibly enjoy this game. First though, I think I should point out that there are almost two completely different forms of play concealed in this package.
The first, and far superior, form is the outside levels. These are unbelievably fun and easy to control. Spidey, for one reason or another, finds himself above NYC, and you must help him complete his missions! Hell yes! Let me tell you, web swinging over the tallest skyscrapers (don't ask me how) and landing on the head of an unsuspecting flying villian to punch his lights out are some of the most exhilarating moments ever in a video game. These levels are also very tense to play and AWESOME to watch. You have to see it to believe it.
The second form is the indoor levels, which aren't nearly as much fun. Don't get me wrong, some of them are definitely all right, but I would much rather be flying around outside than stuck inside a cramped warehouse dealing with unfair thugs and stupid camera problems. It'll take you ten seconds to maneuver the camera the way you want it, and immediately when you change directions it will shift all out of wack again. Sheesh. You can still webswing indoors, but come on! It's not the same! Also, some of the enemies just aren't fair! They'll shoot you with guns from afar and then when you go to beat them up, they'll block half of your moves! How the heck do you block a two-handed slam to the head by wussily holding your arm up to your face!? And wait until you get to the stealth missions near the end of the game. Those'll make you curse your butt off.
GRAPHICS/SOUND - 9/10
Cube and XBox may have better, but these visuals are certainly acceptable to me. This is one heck of a good-looking game. As stated earlier, it is breathtaking just to look at the screen when you are swinging over the city. Everything looks so real and there is absolutely NO fog to obstruct view. If you look down to the streets you'll even see cars driving around! Cool! The indoor levels aren't nearly as fun to look at, but they're passable. Like usual, common enemies are lacking in style and grace. They move stiffly and a lot of them look identical, but that's to be expected. Spider-man and the Green Goblin move with incredible smoothness. I love it when you're speed swinging and Spidey raises his legs up, it's pretty awesome.
As for sound, bravo! Not so much for the music. While it is dynamic and heroic at times, it's somewhat forgettable and doesn't match up as well with the situations as it could (although I do love the main menu theme. So hard-rocky, yo!). No, rather the bravo goes to the magically delicious voice acting. Stars of the movie Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe both provide their voices for Peter Parker and Green Goblin, and they rule. Especially Maguire, whose clever one-liner jokes are sprinkled throughout the game and are always funny and entertaining.
The real kudos here goes to Bruce Campbell, ''Evil Dead'' star turned training coach! During the beginner training levels, Bruce will provide the player with tips and tricks while also making you laugh your head off, with plenty of witty comments such as: ''Is that simple enough? Or do you want me to play the whole game for you!?''
STORY - 8/10
As many people already know, this game is loosely based on the movie. It chronicles the beginning of Peter Parker's Spiderman legacy, with the revenge against the thugs who murdered his uncle Ben, and then continues as he meets one of his greatest enemies, Green Goblin. Activision was nice enough to throw in other villians to make the game longer, like Shocker, Vulture and Scorpion, but it's painfully easy to see that they are just filler, and Goblin is the main pain in the webbed behind. In between some levels are fun CG sequences, with the characters from the movie interacting, but in full graphic 3D. These are very cool to see, and the story as a whole is pretty good, even if it does end some what anti-climactically.
CONTROL - 7/10
When will I give control a 10? How about when pigs fly!? This game does a pretty good job, but like always it isn't perfect.
Flying around the city couldn't be easier, I guess I should be thankful for that. No, it's combat and camera that make the controls tough. First of all, Spiderman has a number of combos at his disposal that you use by pressing different varieties of the square, circle, and X buttons. Except, it is very hard to pull off the combo you want. This can be a drag if you're going for the ''Combat Style'' bonus at the end of levels. And naturally, the camera causes control problems. With the camera always spinning around as if it was drunk, Spiderman will constantly change direction and start moving in a way that you don't want him to go (like head on into a security laser robot). Sadly, this is a control problem that won't really go away with practice.
OVERALL - 8/10
This is a great game, period. But it's not without its problems. The outdoor levels are FLAWLESS, no doubt about it, but the other levels have annoyances that some of you might not be able to get over. It's true that the camera and controls cause problems sometimes, the common thugs are boring and sometimes cheap, and the game can be unbelievably difficult sometimes (even on Normal), but just remember this: It has good graphics and terrific voice acting, not to mention the outside levels are so much fun it's not even funny.
And did I mention Bruce Campbell? Hail to the king, baby!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 04/23/02, Updated 04/23/02
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