Review by KasketDarkfyre

"I've got spider powers...and I can kill you with a tire. Truth."

Games that feature a comic book hero in battle situations are saturating the market these days in the form of Batman, Superman and other various entities. With adventure games such as Spider Man, you undertake the role of the wall crawling hero that follows closely to the movie without much of a pause, though you’ll find that the deviation in the movie from the game plot become apparent in later stages. Featuring high power combinations, web swinging action and plenty of things to discover, you might find something here that gives you the experience without reducing you to a simple side scrolling action game.

Spider Man…Spider Man…

As the title and the overall game explanation suggests, you undertake the role of Spider Man in an attempt to clear your city of bad guys all while playing the hero. You’ll find that there are portions of the game that follow the movie and the comic book, though the paths cross and fall away from each other quite frequently. Most of the high-flying moves are easy enough to pick up on and the fact that the game has a tutorial of what you can and cannot do as well as tricks that you need to learn and know is helpful for the beginner. If you can really get into the game, you might find that the thumb-numbing action offsets the aging seek and destroy goals.

When you finally get into the game, you’ll be able to learn how to use several different weapons at your disposal to pimp slap the nearest enemy. Most of these strategies require you to dive in and kick the crap out of an enemy, but you’ll find that your defenses aren’t limited to simply blocking the attacks and waiting for an opportunity to strike. One of the best features of the combat system is that you can deal out heavy hitting combinations though the targeting on any given enemy is limited to keeping them in front of you. Small deviations in the action include some web swinging from building to building, which really doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out and actual building crawling that is both fun and rather easy to accomplish.

The actual difficulty of the game depends on what you choose to do during the game and in some of the stages. Stealth is important in some areas, and you might find that simply kick down a down and threatening your enemies while wearing your leotards is fun a first, but when they start pulling the triggers you’ll be running. Crawling the ceilings is important and most of your health items will be located there, though if you’re smart, you’ll never need to seek them out. Objects littered throughout the room can be picked up and used, though some of them make absolutely no sense and not once in my years of game playing have I ever known a tire to kill multiple people by simply throwing it at them.

Control really isn’t that difficult to pick up on and understand either, with most of the basic and advanced functions being explained to you in the first few minutes of the game. You should be able to swing from building to building with the greatest of ease {though you never really put a web on anything, you just swing} and the battling is easy enough to get into. Some of the camera angles might hinder your ability though and you’ll have to learn how to correct it mid battle, which is more of a visual problem than it is a control problem. Aside from that, the control scheme and reaction time really isn’t that hard to work with and can be fun to slip into.

I Can See For Miles And Miles…

Swinging from the buildings, I realized that there was plenty of detail to be found no matter which way I took my web slinger. The enemies are detailed in a comic book fashion and even the combative sequences are fast and fluid. Something that I was sorely missing though was the true comic book feel and without the bubbles of whap and boom I really wasn’t immersed. The locations that you travel through are mostly light filled, though the darkened areas don’t have much going for them aside for cover. Using the shadows in the indoor sections is important if you want to be a Spider Ninja and rain down some serious arachnid thunder on their candy asses. Boss characters move quickly and the only thing that you have to worry about is a shifty camera that doesn’t always focus the way that you want it to.

Bump…

The music selection in Spider Man is pretty light from what I heard. There is nothing epic here that is worth repeating and you might find that the overall lack of excitement in the music will leave you wanting just a little more. The theme of the game is kept simply by the use of sound effects, mainly in the way that your enemies talk trash before you kick them in the nuts. What I’m missing here is something uplifting that really makes me want to crawl through the television, don a leotard and swing from buildings. The lack of music with the overabundance of sound effects almost equals out if it weren’t for the fact that the sounds in the game seem to repeat themselves over and over depending on what you’re dealing with.

I’m Going To Whip Kick Your Ass…

Spider Man is about average for an action game and the adventure that you find comes through with busting open doors and completing various goals. The lines between the movie and the comic blur together nicely, though at some points you might want the game to keep to one track. The combat system is admirable and the only thing there in the game play is a more diverse goal system that allows you to experience more than slapping people around like a back alley pimp. Spider Man is good for the comic book fans, and those who have seen the movie might want to check it out on a weekend rental. If you’re looking for an all out brawling game, then you might want to check out other titles with Spider Man like Marvel Vs Capcom or War of the Gems.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/03/03, Updated 03/03/03


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