Review by Maxx

"A horrible second attempt"

I tried playing through all of the first Spider-Man game on the Game Boy but I could never get to the battle with Venom because the game was just too hard. Well this sequel takes that difficulty and slams it right into your face. And don't think it's just because the enemies are harder to defeat or whatever, it's more because almost everything about this game is broken.

Before I get to that I will talk briefly about what this game does right. The story has Spider-Man being framed by a team of villains and he has to set out and defeat them all in order to clear his name. This is marginally more interesting than the story in the first game. It's also carried out in a marginally better way, through what I assume was supposed to be comic book-like scenes. Except you never see more than one full "frame" at a time so the effect ends up looking awkward. I think it's only briefly explained how they frame him, using robots or something, and the story is somewhat helped along by appearances by other Marvel characters, some of whom you won't be able to identify unless you know a lot about the comics.

One interesting concept this game has is the use of web slinging. By holding down A (I think) you can shoot strands of web that can attach to overhead ledges and allow you to swing back and forth. You can also hang off the web and climb up and down it. Although primitive in its execution, this is still a neat idea that gave the game a little bit of life. Unfortunately this mechanic is not featured much in the game except for one amazingly frustrating sequence near the end.

The only other review for this game says that it is very linear. I agree with this somewhat, as there is really only one way to progress in the game. The problem is the game doesn't tell you what it is. The game actually doesn't tell you much at all. There are no levels in the traditional sense, only about three or four areas linked together that you can travel to. This is another inventive idea that is ultimately screwed up when implemented. Gaining access to some of these areas requires a special item. The game is very helpful with this in that it rarely tells you what the item is or how/where to get it. In most cases I don't know how you could even play through this game without some sort of guide handy, especially because you can easily overlook most of the items you are supposed to collect.

Halfway through there I lapsed into talking about what the game does wrong, so I'll just switch to that subject for the rest of this review. Another aspect that makes this game hard to play through is the frequency at which you get your ass handed to you, whether it be from the right off the bat boss battle against the Hobgoblin or the infinite number of robots and armed thugs that attack you throughout the game. Like the special area-specific items, power-ups and health regenerating items are also easy to ignore, which is a shame because you will be wishing for them as you try to fight your way through this one.

The controls are pretty much worse than the first game, and they weren't all that great in that one to begin with. For starters you can't just jump. Every jump is a jump kick. But by tapping B twice you can do a flipping double jump, which also allows you to stick to walls. Trying to jump off walls and get onto another ledge is very aggravating, as is much of the game. You have a punch attack that does next to nothing, so only use it when completely necessary.

The graphics aren't much of an improvement either. Spider-Man looks even worse in this game, having something of a deformed balloon head. The backgrounds are more detailed but this often causes a problem with telling which walls you can stick to. The music is....abysmal, with maybe two tracks that loops the entire time. The cast of villains is decent but fighting them is a pain simply because fighting anything in this game is a pain. Overall, this game improves in theory and then falls flat on its face in practice.

Sound: 1/10
Graphics: 4/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Replay Value: 2/10

Reviewer's Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

Originally Posted: 01/05/07

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