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Spider-Man (PlayStation 2) artwork

Spider-Man (PlayStation 2) review

"If you're anything like me, you'll be wishing for more. If you've seen the movie, you're better off just playing the PSone titles."

Spidey-fans, gather around and I will tell you a tale of inadequacy in the face of gaming today: The bittersweet treat that is Spider-Man: The Movie for Playstation 2.

Whoever said ''Quality, not quantity,'' was right--to a degree. The one major problem with this game is that it just seems too damn short. Maybe it's just my imagination, but twenty-two levels of pulse-pounding, wall-crawling, web-slinging action just doesn't seem like enough. Once I'd beaten the final stage, the only thing I could utter while staring blankly at the credits screen was ''must have... more...''

Another thing is the storyline. Now, this game plays out like a bastardized version of the movie, which was to be expected. The thing that bothered me a little was the uninspired additions of Shocker, Scorpion, and Vulture. It was nice to have a little enemy diversity, don't get me wrong--but the little sidestories seem so rushed and badly planned. I mean, the way the PSone titles'--particularly the first one's--levels tied together, it was absoulutely perfect. But Spidey The Movie left me with a sense of disinterest and a bitter taste in the back of my mouth.

However, this game does have quite a few redeeming qualities that must not be overlooked.

First and foremost, the gameplay that made the PSone games so good is back and better than ever. Spidey's got a couple of new tricks this time around, and a truckload of combos that you can use to take on the bad guys. The combos are unlocked by finding gold spider icons scattered around the game's levels, and using them in fights adds style points to your final score at the end of each stage--collecting style points lets you unlock Easter eggs in the Specials menu, such as alternate costumes and special FMV sequences.

Speaking of FMV sequences, the ones in this game are very nice. When you start gameplay, you'll immediately recognize scenes from the movie (if you've seen it, that is), though as I said, the storyline is altered to fit the videogame format.

The in-game graphics are beautiful, as well. There's nothing more breathtaking than swinging off of a high building and being able to see all of New York in front of you. Spidey himself looks great, and the level of detail in the city is downright amazing; no more of that fog that seemed to shroud the entire city, like in the first PSone game. Instead we have crisp, clear visuals of every building in the area, and even the streets are visible, with cars and pedestrians--and if you swing low enough, you can even hear them calling out to you!

Which brings me to my next point. The voice-overs, though possibly not the best at times, are well done, featuring Tobey Macguire and Willam Defoe in their respective roles as Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. This is official movie merchandise, and it shows here. Adding to this is Spider-Man's typical bantering with his foes, such as this line from one of the many battles with the Goblin: ''My reputation's questionable enough without you calling me 'friend!'''

The narration in the tutorial levels is very amusing, as well. An example: ''Web-swing to the next objective. If you can't find the next objective... I can't help you. Unplug the machine, and walk away.''

On another gameplay note, the real meat and potatoes of this game, for me anyway, was fighting while web-slinging. Fighting Vulture and the Goblin were probably the funnest parts of the entire game. Which isn't to say that the other parts weren't fun, but if this game had more aerial battles like that, I would've scored it much higher.

The game does have a good deal of replay value, on the other hand. Once you've unlocked the final secret costume, you'll get to play an entirely different story using Harry Osbourne decked out in his father's Goblin Gear. The gameplay mechanics are drastically different, so it'll give you something else to occupy yourself with once you beat the game in every other way, shape, and form.

Overall, this is a fine game, worthy of the Playstation Spider-Man legacy. But if you're anything like me, you'll be wishing for more. If you've seen the movie, you're better off just playing the PSone titles--this game is too short.

kieran's avatar
Staff review by Kieran Greyloch (Date unavailable)

Kieran Greyloch is an automotive technology student who enjoys wasting every moment of his spare time playing videogames and tabletop RPGs.

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