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Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace (Game Boy Advance) artwork

Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace (Game Boy Advance) review

"Graphically, Spiderman is a step ahead of other 2D sidescrollers and platformers on GBA, such as Castlevania and Klonoa. The crisp, detailed sprites are very smoothly animated. Instead of the 3-frame running animation in Castlevania, I can't even tell how many frames the running animation is in Spiderman."


I've always been a fan of comic books, particularly marvel. When I
heard that they were bringing the Spiderman franchise to GBA, I was
excited and optimistic. Being a fan of old-school style 2D sidescrollers and
platformers, I knew I'd have to eventually get the game, especially
after seeing the screenshots and reading the reviews. Finally, I
purchased this game, and I was impressed, and I'll tell you why...


The graphics in Spiderman: Mysterio's Menace definitely above par.
They set a new standard for 2D visuals on GBA. Graphically, Spiderman is
a step ahead of other 2D sidescrollers and platformers on GBA, such as
Castlevania and Klonoa. The crisp, detailed sprites are very smoothly
animated. Instead of the 3-frame running animation in Castlevania, I
can't even tell how many frames the running animation is in Spiderman.
It just looks very fluid. Sometimes, I actually think that they're
polygons. The backgrounds are well-drawn, multi-layered, which give the
game an illusion of depth. On-par with the 2D graphics of many PSX
games. In-between levels and boss fights, you'll get to see some cool
hand-drawn comic-book style stills...Really neat stuff. The whole game
just has a really nice comic-book feel to it.


Atmospheric background music is accented by not-so-good sound effects.
Punches and kicks sound generic, making simple, low-quality ''smack''
noises. Music is often gothic and mood-setting, adding a nice dark
element to the game. Overall, you'll notice the music, but the sound-effects
will basically sound pretty stupid.


The gameplay blends the usual elements of the average sidescroller,
with quite a bit more. Because you're spiderman, you can swing from your
web, stick to walls, and use your web-fluid to create a shield, and
shoot projectile blobs of web, having two different effects. You can also
pick up a variety of items, including some cool armor suits. One of
the little problems that really bothers me about the gameplay is the fact
that the developers decided to add in certain obstacles (such as lava
and water) which cause spiderman death upon contact, much like in old
mario games. If this were a true platform game, that would be fine, but
since this is more of a sidescrolling game, with complex level design
and the often need to backtrack, I find this element pretty stupid.
Also, during hand-to-hand combat, control can get very messy and
irritating. Often, you're basically fighting blind, because stuff just doesn't
work right. Other than that, the gameplay is easy to pick up, and fun.


Overall, the game is a good challenge, with three difficulty levels,
and a lot of obstacles and enemies to face. Unfortunately, there are
only 7 levels (yes, that's right, 7) to play through. This is nothing
compared to most sidescrollers. Nonetheless, the 7 levels are difficult
as is.

Replay value:

There's really only so much you can do with 7 levels, especially when
most of them only take around 10 minutes to complete. You can always
try it on all three difficulties, but that's not something everyone will
want to do, plus, even then, there's not many hours (only about 3 and a
half.) There are certain secrets and powerups you can find on levels,
but it's not really that big of a deal. I'd guess that the average
player will probably only spend 2 hours on this game before completing it,
and after that, they'll only go back for more if they really enjoyed
it. This is the major downfall of the game. The length is PATHETIC.


Spiderman does actually have a story, and it's kinda cool. It all
sounds like something straight out of a comic book. Each level is like an
episode... The story is propelled very well by the comic-book still
cutscenes. Most cutscenes are only a few frames, but there's a fair bit
of dialogue to go along with it, and it all just sounds really
authentic to the series. Many of a comic-book fan's favorite villains will be
here, like Rhino, Hammerhead, and of course, Mysterio. I thought that
the gameplay was a nice touch.


I'd recommend buying this game, but only if you know not to expect a
very long journey. The gameplay itself is very good, as are the
graphics, story, and for the most part, sound. But still, in the end, it's all
down to those 7 levels, and then that's it. While the 7 levels may be
extremely fun, there's only 7 of them! This brings the game's score
and overall quality factor considerably down. I expected at least 12
levels, and I would've liked around 15. Unfortunately, that can't be
changed now, so the only thing to do is enjoy each of them.

That aside, the game is very enjoyable. Hopefully the sequel will
bring us much, much more.

ender's avatar
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)

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