Review by Aristotle
"I never got into Spider-Man games, but this one changed me (in a weird way)."
I'll start off here by saying that I have never played any Spider-Man game before. The Movie is the first and only Spider-Man game I have ever played in my life. Why? Simply because The Movie was the only one that ever caught me eye for some reason, probably because all my friends wanted to see it. I saw the movie, and loved it to pieces, so figured why not try the game out? I bought it used from my local Gamestop, who used very good prices and lets your return opened games provided you bought it within the last 7 days and kept the receipt. I played it and decided it was worth keeping, for only $40, if not just for the hell of it, and here's why.
The graphics, in my opinion, could have been done MUCH better than they were. They were pretty grainy at times, and unnecessary slowdown plagued the game like locusts. Also, The Camera from Hell™ had something to do with it, but more on that later. Once you get past the graininess and slowdown, the graphics really aren't that bad. I just think that given more time, the developers really could have pushed some amazing visuals out of the PS2, which is how it is with all PS2 games nowadays, which pisses me off to no extent, but I'll stop there.
One of the finer points of the graphics is in the big, open areas, such as the city when you fight the Green Goblin, and you're just generally swinging around town. From far away the graphics look breathtaking, but up close, you can see horrible graininess. But enough about graphics altogether, they're not that important to me.
There's sound? Seriously? I never knew that. By sound, I mean music, and there is barely any in the game. But if you get really into the game, you wouldn't notice anyway because you'd be too preoccupied with kicking the Green Goblin's ass (much harder than I made it sound). The lack of music throws a wedgie into the works and hinders the game, but the voice-acting is absolutely flawless, which is infinitely more important than music in some games (this being one of them). Some games are action-oriented more than non-action-oriented, and with action-oriented games, I tend not to listen to the music but rather the sounds and voice-overs because they help you play the game, i.e. listening to where an enemy is. But now back to the voice overs. The Green Goblin sounds exactly like he does in the movie, same with Spider-Man, and just everyone who appears in the movie. The actors in the movie must have picked up quite a bundle from this game alone, as there is a lot of voice overs in the game, mostly through cinematics, but occasionally in-game as well. The sounds, as I explained before, have a major impact in the game, and the sound effects in Spider-Man: The Movie do not disappoint. Everything you do, everything you web, everything you come in contact with, makes some sort of noise, each clear and distinct. It really adds to the game ambience.
Editor's Note: It is a good thing graphics and sound don't bother me in the least, because if they did, the game would get a much lower score than I ended up giving it.
This is where the game shines and shines brightly, IMO, as in bust out the sunglasses. Not only does the game follow the movie better than any game I've seen, but it's so much fun to play. The main reason why I love it so much is pretty much webbing. One of Spider-Man's trademarks is his ability to shoot webbing from his wrists. You can get so into it; you can swing, hang, climb, and stick with webbing. One of the most useful features is Spidey's ability to ''web'' bad guys, i.e. spray webbing onto them to tie them up and immobilize them for about a half a minute. Then you can do what's called ''Web Gloves'', where Spidey covers his hands in webbing to make himself punch harder, and really let him have it. There are a bunch of combos with which webbing is used. One, if I remember correctly, is by pressing Left and Triangle together, which gives him Web Gloves, explained previously. Another one is Down and Triangle, which is the Web Yank, making Spidey shoot a string of web, grab an opponent with it, and yank them towards him so he can give them a smack upside the head (times ten). The possibilities are really limitless, and Spidey's web abilities are the star attraction of the game, in my opinion, and a lot of others' as well.
But anyway, there IS a game outside of webbing (really!). You, Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker, a young, mixed-up teenager, were bitten by a super-duper radioactive spider, and have been endowed with superhuman powers. You take on the role of Spider-Man as you swing, kick, punch, and web your way through approximately 38 levels of intense action (some levels not as intense as others). What really confuses me is what they think defines a level. Some levels took me less than five minutes and were as straightforward as they come, yet some others took me days (yes, plural) before I knew what the hell was going on, what to do, how to do it, and so on. Right now, I am on the second encounter (fight) with the Green Goblin. Goblin is, most assuredly, the hardest video game character I have ever had the sheer unfortunate luck of encountering. Not only is he cheap, nearly invincible, and in possession of an ultra-sweet glider, but he has the strength of ten Spider-Men; i.e. one punch from him takes off half your life. I was able, somehow, to manage him the first time, but I literally cannot beat him this second time. Other then Goblin, you run into some other enemies; Scorpion (I think it's Scorpion, if I remember correctly), Vulture, and Shocker, to name a few. My favorite out of all of them had to be Vulture, as he's an old half-man, half-vulture creature who doesn't like you and flies around you, throwing stuff at you. You get to test out your aerial fighting abilities there, which is more fun than it may sound. But I think I'm telling you too much of the game for your own good, so I'll stop with it here and let you find out the rest on your own ^_~
As with any game nowadays, the controls have to be very complex or else you won't be able to accurately control the character. This definitely applies to Spider-Man: The Movie, as he has so many moves and abilities that every single button was used on the PlayStation 2 Dual Shock 2 controller. Easy to learn? Yes. Easy to master? Depends on how much you play; for me, yes. Easy to perfect? Hell no. You'll still end up dying due to a controller issue hours upon hours into the game. But it's all good, because it's all fun.
Before I continue, I'd like to make a comment on The Camera from Hell™ that I mentioned previously. As the name implies, it really is from hell. This is one of those instances where the developers weren't sure how to implement the camera system because Spidey's always moving so fast, so they did the best they could, but it turned out to be garbage anyway. You're moving along a narrow catwalk with fifteen armed bad guys below you, when suddenly the camera unexpectedly swerves and changes the orientation of the game causing you to fall to certain death below. It also never knows what to do in outside areas, when web-swinging. There is a nifty feature called Camera Lock-On, which by depressing I believe L1 when engaged in battle with a major boss, the camera locks onto the boss and never lets him out of your sight no matter where you are or what you're doing. Joy. It helps, but is no excuse for the horrible camera.
Back to the controls from that camera tangent. The controls make sense, really; X jumps, O punches, Square kicks, Triangle shoots webbing and does everything related to shooting webbing, R2 swings (from webbing), R1 web-zips (if you're running and there's a wall/object in front of you, pressing R1 shoots a line of webbing at it and you zip to the wall), and I forget what everything else does. You really don't need to know anything else except what I just mentioned. You just have to play for a while before the controls really become engraved in your head (and hands).
Replay Value: 99/100
The webbing makes the game, as far as I'm concerned. If a game was made about Spider-Man in which all you do is shoot webbing, maneuver with it, and everything you do is related to webbing, I'd be the first in line. The rest of the game? It can only go so far. Once the levels start getting insanely difficult (I'd say maybe 15 and up), you only give it so many tries before calling it quits. I've found that an excellent strategy is to play a game a whole lot until you tire of it, then shove it in a closet for several years. When you come back to it, you'll forget what it's like, and you'll be enthralled with it all over again. That's how it is with the levels in Spider-Man: The Movie. They only hold your interest for so long. But then again, the reason it got such a high score is solely for the webbing. Solely.
Why not 100? Simply because I think the levels are too hard, which, speaking of that…
The major flaw of Spidey here is the difficulty of the levels. I forget which level it is, but there is one level where you fight Goblin in the air, then fight him in a building, then fight him in the air again, then fight him in another building, then fight him in the air yet again before the level's completed. All with about 3 life power-ups, against the strongest enemy in the game. *pukes* I don't know about you, but that's a little ridiculous for me. I don't play games for challenge, I play them for having fun and screwing around. Some people like games to be as insanely, hair-pulling difficult as possible; you'd love this game. Me? Bah. Webbing is all I need ^_^ The first levels are ridiculously easy, however. This lasts until about level 13, when things heat up. Then it goes downhill from there.
Buy or rent?
…it all depends on your tastes. Those who would do themselves a favor in buying this game would be diehard fans of the movie and series of course, people who love insane difficulty, i.e. gluttons for punishment, and people who like screwing around with webbing, i.e. me ^_^ Those would NOT like the game are people for whom screwing around with webbing is not enough, people who like easy games, and people who don't like highly action-oriented games. That's all I'll say.
Spider-Man: The Movie could have been a lot better than what it turned out to be, at least on the PS2. They could have improved the graphics, added music (good music, otherwise the purpose would be defeated), and toned down the difficulty (major emphasis on that last point). Other than that, the game is perfect. Not too long, not too short.
Replay Value: 99/100
Total Average Score: ~79.6/100~
Total Score I Think The Game Deserves: ~88/100~
Total Score The Game Gets:
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Scoring Method:
This is one of the better games, people. Don't pass it up, or let the audio/visual departments fool you into thinking it's mediocre/bad. Thank you very much.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/10/02, Updated 12/05/02
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