Spider-Man (Nintendo 64) review
"It's amazing how long Activision has been in business, and now they're out with a great new game for the N64. Spider-Man 64, based on the Marvel Comics superhero, provides an edge-of-your-seat gaming experience the first few times you pop the cartridge into the system, making any Spidey fan bound to love this game. "
It's amazing how long Activision has been in business, and now they're out with a great new game for the N64. Spider-Man 64, based on the Marvel Comics superhero, provides an edge-of-your-seat gaming experience the first few times you pop the cartridge into the system, making any Spidey fan bound to love this game.
Peter Parker, otherwise known as the man behind the Spider suit, is at a science expo, in order to report to the local newspaper on the event. But the trouble starts when a man disguised as Spider-Man sneaks his way into the building and runs a muck among the people. Overwhelmed by the imposter and its evil acts, Peter Parker changes to Spider-Man as soon as possible and begins a hunt to catch the perpetrator and return any stolen items back to the scientists at the expo.
That was the basic storyline. As the plot unfolds further through the game, cut-scenes will appear between levels, appearing in comic-panel form. I won't reveal much of the plot, for fear of giving away spoilers, but unfortunately, later in the game, the story strays too much from the central point of view -- to capture the Spider-Man imposter. Before you know it, the game and the cut-scenes will be going off on all different directions, and as you near the end, you'll nearly forget what the heck the point is to even beating it.
But the game design is nearly enough to make up for the story glitches. Spidey is equipped with many moves, the most basic being the ability to punch and kick enemies, though the most important is being able to throw a web to swing between buildings or fling yourself to the opposite wall, floor, or ceiling. As you proceed, you will be collecting web cartridges that you will need to use as weapons, giving you the ability to do such things as throw a ball of webbing at enemies ranging from bank robbers to policemen to lizard men.
As an added bonus to the Spidey fans, you'll find comic books throughout the game. Each one you collect will be added to your collection, for the purpose of viewing the covers. Okay, so it's not the greatest bonus in the world, but it serves its purpose to the more die-hard Spider-Man fans. But there are also several different Spider-Man suits you can collect in the game, making you look different as well as making you stronger or giving you some new special abilities.
The game control in Spider-Man is very tight, but hard to control in some areas. Say, if you're walking around the walls of a building, it can be hard to figure out which direction the controls are really heading until you finally get it right or screw up. For instance, you might think that pushing the joystick up will make your character go straight up the wall, when it'll actually makes Spidey turn in a different direction, even though it's not what you expected to happen.
But another part of the reason for slightly clunky control goes to the camera angles. While the joystick movements can seem a little out-of-whack at times, the camera doesn't help much as it may focus on Spidey using strange angles that can hurt some of your movements, especially when swinging across an expanse with your web.
The graphics otherwise are just about as good as they come. The scenery is very highly elaborated on, and the look of the cut-scene comic panels can take your breath away. Most of the characters are just as good, if not even better than the nearby scenery, though with some characters' faces, the polygon blocks will be a little too apparent, with edges not smoothed out, making some of them almost look like they have Johnny Bravo's square head.
But anyway, the sound and music are exhilarating, and become more so as the game progresses. Spider-Man 64's music composer(s) did an excellent job of creating the musical pieces and fitting them into the game's aura and mood; all except the small, repetitive, and soon-to-be highly annoying piece you hear whenever you defeat an enemy. The sound effects expand upon the game even more, with awesome kick, punch, and web-slinging sounds and even better voice renderings of characters, making most everyone sound exactly like they do from the Spider-Man cartoon show.
Perhaps challenge is one of the bigger, though not the biggest, drawbacks in the game. The problem is, and like many other gamers who have played Spider-Man 64 will tell you, this game is way too short. There are three different difficulty levels to play with, but none of them lengthen the game any; they just merely allow enemies to take more energy off of your life meter, and, in the easiest setting, allow you to substitute some challenging areas in the game for short, animated cut-scenes.
Now we get to the biggest problem with the game, and that's the replay value. While Spider-Man 64 may be an awesome experience for the first, or even the second, time you play, the game tends to get very dull afterwards. There's nothing new and exciting to look for, no secrets to go hunt down. It'll all be just same-old, same-old, same-old. Even the thought of collecting all of the hidden comic books isn't very motivating, because the comics don't really DO anything.
So if you're looking for a very exciting one-time thrill, this is a good choice for the game you want. Buy it if you're a Spidey fan, especially a die-hard one. It may come in as a little fun years later after you get your first exciting experience out of it. If not so interested in such a short-lived game, rent it instead. You'll still have the opportunity to try out such an interesting game, without having to spend your money on a cart that may last you only a short while.
Story (5/10): An original story that tends to stray too much off the main plotline later on.
Gameplay (7/10): An exciting action-fighting game with some neat moves and weapons as well.
Control (6/10): The control direction can be deceiving at times, but also due to camera angles.
Graphics (8/10): Very awesome and elaborate graphics with some glitches here and there.
Music (7/10): Well composed, mood-fitting tunes, with only a couple which can get annoying.
Sound (10/10): Great use of sound effects is evident, along with very well-done voices.
Challenge (4/10): Spider-Man 64 tends to be way too short and easy.
Thrill (9/10): A great first-time thrill that makes you want to continue 'till you're done.
Replay (3/10): After the first experience, there's not much to make you want to play again.
Overall (7/10): Marvel Comics should be proud at this work, as it is quite a good game.
Community review by royalranger (Date unavailable)
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