Review by Werts
This game is like a really good smoothie.
When I make a smoothie and I taste it, I say to myself, "I'll never make a taste quite like this". And right I was, for you just can't emulate such a good product.
And that's what happened to the Spider-Man video game series.
Every game after this one has failed to reproduce the sheer awesome that is this game. It's the one and only.
It's Spider-Man for the Nintendo 64 (and Playstation).
"Oh no", says Eddie Brock, taking pictures of Spider-Man stealing a laboratory experiment. There's some huge gathering for some reason as Otto Octavious is demonstrating his new science thingie. Now, if Spider-Man's causing havoc, then why is Peter Parker in the crowd just as clueless as anyone else?
That's the beginning. The story starts of weak, like it's just some generic superhero thing, but by the end of the game, the story has you on the edge of your seat. Without spoiling, I'll tell you some more.
Eddie Brock loses control of himself and becomes Venom. Meanwhile, when the real Spider-Man decides to search for the culprit, he spots a bank robbery with the Black Cat, stops it (which takes several levels), and goes back on his hunt for who knows what. The SWAT team decides to hunt down Spidey and just as he barely avoids that, he runs into the villain Rhino and receives a challenge from Venom, who stole his wife. From there, Spidey needs to rescue Mary Jane, team up with Venom, and figure who is responsible for this whole mess.
The way the story is presented is a nice touch. On the N64 version, it's told in "comic book form" - that is, the players presses the A button on the controller to show the scene while it flips from one panel to the next, with some minimal voice acting.
I say it's a nice touch, but in reality, the N64 users were ripped off. The Playstation version has full cinematic cutscene featuring voice acting and not just still images. I never even knew about that until a while ago.
Gameplay is nice, although as expected, it's not as complicated as later Spider-Man games. There's a punch button, a kick button, and a web button. You can string together combos of punches and kicks, which each have their own power and speed, or you can use different web attacks by pressing different buttons and the web button.
The camera's never a problem, and I've never experienced any lag with the game. The enemies at first are quite easy, then begin to get drastically harder towards the end of the game.
Web swinging is again simple, but nice. Although the webbing sticks to the sky, it works great. Not much else to say.
The bosses are good, and with some nice variety. Rhino is your typical video game boss (with a pattern and all that), Venom is easy the first time you fight him and of course more challenging the second time. Instances where you felt like a boss was being repeated was rare, and each boss was a blast to fight against. The last boss, in particular, is quite a shock.
The levels also have variety, and unlike later Spider-Man games where it focused mostly on the free roaming aspect of the levels, these were more confined, and I like it that way. The bank robbery levels are good, the SWAT chase levels bring new gameplay onto the table, the subway levels are neat (even if chasing after Venom could get a little annoying), and the last few were the best.
And no, if you haven't gotten the hint yet, there's no free roam.
The graphics are pretty good for its time period. Could have been a little better, but hey, it's fine. It just bugs me a little that the web design isn't on Spidey's costume.
Another way N64 users got ripped off was the fact that the villain, The Lizard, makes a cameo in the Playstation version and not ours. What, we can't have The Lizard because we use a different system?
There are many collectibles and unlockables, although most of them are tedious to find. Comic books, for example, are scattered all around and while some are in plain sight, others you'll have to get out of your way. And the only thing you get with the comics is the cover of it and short description. Meanwhile, the different Spidey costumes you can use are fun to try out, especially since most of them give you (or take away) the abilities Spider-Man has.
The replay value is a given: the game is just so good, you'll want to play it. The only problem with the replay is that it's the same thing, so if you play the game ALL the time, it might get boring.
Overall, this game is a must for anyone looking for an awesome Spider-Man game, which nowadays is quite hard to find.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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