Review by Braben
"Overrated, just like the movie."
The Spiderman movie was the big (the huge to be more accurate) blockbuster a few years ago, and as good blockbuster, it had its video game port, and as every video game port based on a big blockbuster, this game is not all that good, never terrible or directly bad, but not too great either.
Even if the title says so, this game doesn’t follows “exactly” the movie’s plot (something that could have been good if the game weren’t so mediocre) because aside from the Green Goblin there are also some other super villains like that Scorpion whose name I can’t remember or the Shocker (something I don’t get is: where is Venom, or Carnage?, they are some of the most badass villains ever created, the movie could have been a million times better with any of them as the main enemy, sight!), however, as I was saying, there are new enemies as well as scenes that are not in the movie (and I have read that in the Xbox version there is another villain and another stage), anyway, this is pretty obvious because movie based games simply cannot stick too much to the movie’s plot or the game would be nearly unplayable, so this was fine with me, what’s more, I think that this was necessary.
Good, but nothing really outstanding, and I would say poor for a game destined to be cannon fodder for the big masses and all the little kids, freaks, and hardcore fans that were amazed with movie. The enemies (excepting for most of the mechanical ones like those robot- spiders) are very poorly made for example, and Spiderman himself is not all that impressive, and I don’t even want to remember when he is still with his Peter Parker clothes, in those parts the game sure looks cheap. The scenarios are very uninspired also, they look empty and well, that is it, empty, and if we add the little variety of enemies and their lame designs then the overall look of the game is not all that appealing.
Now, I can’t help but to admit that those parts where you have to use your web to go through the city building is extremely well done, specially during the night, those parts sure are spectacular (too bad they are so boring).
The CG scenes are simply nauseating, yuck they look terrible, damn, I was only able to see a few seconds of the intro, because my heart is not strong enough to see that kind of stuff. Creepy.
I can’t even remember if there was music or not, probably there was (ok, there was), but I can’t remember absolutely anything, and that can only mean that it was average at best, because people normally use to remember those soundtracks that were specially bad or annoying, and although I can’t remember a thing about it I am sure it wasn’t specially bad.
About the voice acting, well, I know that the English version was dubbed by the real actors, but in the PAL territories the dubbing, as usual, is terrible, and in this game is even worse because at least in Spain the voice of Spidey was dubbed by the same guy who did the voice for Guybrush in the Monkey Island saga, now, that guy’s voice is truly magnificent when he is dubbing Guybrush, but hearing Spiderman say stupidities all the time with that ridiculous voice is exasperating, he sounds so mighty stupid that is hard to believe while you are playing. And that is another one, I don’t know if it is the same with the original version but the commentaries and “joke attempts” (calling them jokes is a sacrilege) Spiderman does while kicking butt are so unbelievably stupid that even a little baby would feel ashamed, with all those ridiculous things he says more than Spiderman this games looks like My Little Pony versus The Merry Bunch of The Green Goblin in The Happy and Endless World of The Cotton Candy, oh my goodness...
This game is some kind of beat em-up mixed with platform elements, too many platform elements for my tastes, elements that while not enough to completely ruin the game, without them this could have been a very cool beat em-up and a very cool game in general.
The combats are not all that good, as I sad before they work in a more or less traditional beat em-up style, but they way Spidey kicks some ass is not all that convincing, the way our kicks and punches hit the enemies are very so-so. We have the possibility to obtain and use a wide variety of combos (we obtain them by finding golden spiders that are hidden in each stage) that are a truly nice add, and as I have just said there is a nice amount of them, then we can also use our spider web anywhere whenever we want (until we run out of it) as well as the possibility to climb over some walls as well as some other things spiders use to do (at least radioactive spiders). The battles aren’t bad but they lack something, I don’t know exactly how to explain, they are not “powerful” enough.
The beat em-up parts while somehow lame, are good enough, but there are parts that are simply dead boring, mainly those where you have to chase the Green Goblin or those stupid mechanical spiders across the city using your web, they are a real pain, I had one hell of a time beating those stages because I found them to be too boring, you have to be constantly checking if you are going in the right direction, in the right altitude.... insufferable.
For me the biggest mistake here is that the stages have objectives, I’ve always hated that in most action games, it is ok if there are some stages where you have to do something different, but it is ok only if there are “two or three” stages that work that way or some small parts in certain scenarios where you have to look for an item etc, but never in every single scenario because that way everything gets tedious and boring, here in most of the stages you need to something to beat them, kicking the hell out of everything you have at sight is not enough.
Something that is nice in the other hand is that the game is divide in missions, and we are able to choose each stage whenever we want and try to beat it doing different things to obtain bonus points to acquire those extras that are very common nowadays (and that most of the time are a complete waste of time as I am going to try to explain now).
This game sure was tough, because aside from the high difficulty (the enemies may look cheap but their attacks are everything but cheap) and the boredom you will experience with some of the stages, if you want to unlock all the secrets better have loads of patience, luck, and skills with the pad because it is not going to be an easy task by any means.
Like it is usual nowadays, the extras consist on extracts from a movie that everyone has already seen, the possibility to play with enemies and characters with big heads, or with some other crap like that, so the only really interesting thing here is the possibility to play with the Green Goblin and some other enemies, that is a neat secret I have to admit, and the variety of playable enemies is pretty big (yet, of course, this is only considering that you still want to play some more after beating the game, something that I found very unlikely). To obtain this extras in each stage we have to do things like clearing the stage in a limited amount of time, beating all the enemies on the stage, and things like that. This is nice because while the extras they unlock are lame, at least doing all these things can be fun if you still want to keep playing after beating the entire game.
Spiderman: The Movie is a mediocre game, even the graphics, that is what modern games rely on nowadays to fool the masses, are mediocre (again, mediocre for a game like this one, because they are not all that mediocre), it is not a bad game that is true, sometimes it is even fun and everything, but it gets boring and has too many annoying stages. Rent it once and then look for something better.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 04/09/04, Updated 05/04/04
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