Spider-Man makes his debut on the Playstation 2 with a pleasing performance. Published by Activision and developed by Treyarch, Spider-Man: The Movie can be considered the best super-hero videogame yet, which in the end doesn’t say much.
“Go Beyond the Movie”
“Bitten by a genetically engineered spider, high school student Peter Parker is suddenly empowered with supernatural abilities, including Spider-Sense, web-slinging and wall crawling. Assume the role of Parker as he adapts to his new powers and becomes Spider-Man. But Beware — the city’s villains won’t be pleased to see a new hero on the scene.”
# 1 Player
# Memory Card (for PS2) – 80 KB
# Presented on DVD-ROM
# Defend the city from the clutches of evil with all-new combat moves and dizzying airborne acrobatics.
# Move through stunning scenes from the movie as you explore enormous city environments with newfound maneuverability.
# Battle the world’s toughest villains, including Shocker, Vulture and the Green Goblin.
# Features Dolby Digital: Pro Logic II.
“Birth of a New Hero”
“Orphaned at a young age, Peter Parker lives in Queens, New York with his beloved Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Peter leads the life of a goodhearted, yet solitary, teenager making his way through high school.
On a school trip to a research institute, Peter Parker’s class is given a demonstration of genetic research conducted on spiders. Peter is bitten by one of the genetically altered spiders. The next morning, Peter discovers that suddenly his vision is perfect and his previously scrawny body has become more muscular — he now has incredible strength, and his hands mysteriously adhere like glue to anything.
Peter gradually teaches himself to gain better control of his powers. Initially, he uses his ESP-like “Spider-Sense” and superhuman strength, speed and agility to make money in order to impress the lovely Mary Jane. However it is only through the tragic death of his uncle that Peter learns that “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is these words that transform Peter Parker from a teenager with extraordinary powers into the amazing Spider-Man, a super-hero out to protect the city from a never-ending supply of perils.
Meanwhile, in a lab at OsCorp, Spider-Man’s ultimate nemesis is about to be born…
Are you up to the challenge?
Clearly done with movie influence, which results in a very nice package. We are treated to an opening video which shows Peter Parker getting bitten by the spider and then continues to show Spider-Man in action against his nemesis the Green Goblin. We are then asked to Press Start and taken straight into the menu. The menu consists of the following: Continue, Start, Load/Save, Options (Audio, Controller, and Camera Options), Specials (Credits, Cheats, Training, Secret Store, and Level Warp), and Gallery (Movie Viewer and Production Art).It may seem like a lot but unfortunately everything is short lived, more on that later.
In-game we have Spider-Man’s health and web meters which is the main thing we will have on screen. By pausing the game you have access to Audio Options, Restart Level, Options, Combat Controls and Exit to Menu. The FMV sequences help move the story along nicely and the loading times are very small. Overall the movie license is used well and allows for nice presentation.
We use component output for all consoles to allow the greatest visual quality, you will not get the same results for lower quality output. The graphics are smooth and crisp, the textures appear to be sharp as well. The main character models are detailed and then your generic thugs aren’t. The lip-synching is perfect, as is expected from a game that has no translation stages to go through. Most of the animations are done very well and make Spidey seem true to life.
The levels are done very nicely, especially the outdoor ones. The city is gorgeous, day or night. The extremely detailed cities are composed of sky scrapers, bill boards, lights, reflections, and much more. Everything is truly brought to life. The indoor levels are just as good but obviously aren’t as eye catchy as the outdoor ones. Certain lighting effects indoors are also a little questionable, but otherwise everything is very nice. Swinging through cities may be considered the price of admission alone.
The FMV sequences are done very well and help move the story along nicely. Of course the Playstation 2 is capable of even more impressive visuals, as clearly shown through other games, but Spider-Man is quite a feat on it’s own.
The main theme song is great and you will be humming it to yourself other than that all other music in the game is less than inspiring. You won’t even recognize the fact there is music when playing the game. The sound details when playing are done very well, you will hear people say “Look, It’s Spider-Man” or have Spidey and enemies say lines to each other, sound is almost realistic.
The voice-work is perfect. Maguire and DeFoe reprise their film roles in their respective parts to good effect, while the God-of-B-movies, Bruce Campbell serves as a very funny narrator. The sound overall is very nice and Pro Logic II is considered a better sound output than others.
Well the bulk of the game, unfortunately it has some hindering problems. The camera angles are very annoying, especially for the indoor levels. I have many gripes with it being that if you use the Right Analog to move the camera around then Spider-Man will turn the other way. The camera also places itself at very bad positions which can sometimes play a role in seeing your enemy etc. Outdoors the problem is less apparent but still can be a problem for certain gameplay elements such as the camera lock. This is the main problem that is seen throughout Spider-Man.
I will now go over the “classic” controls, there is also an enhanced option. I will cover the basics of classic. The controls are as follows:
Punch/Action – Square Button
Kick – Circle Button
Web – Triangle Button
Jump – X Button
It’s very simple but there is a lot more than that, which obviously you will figure out when you play on your own. The camera really hurts the game but it is still very enjoyable, especially the outdoor levels which only occur a little bit and are come and go.
Unfortunately Spider-Man is short lived. With the main game taking anywhere from 3-6 hours to complete it leaves the Spider-Man fan disappointed and wanting more. Luckily you can unlock the Green Goblin and play as him with some changes in the story, which will easily add on a few more hours. Then there are bonuses to unlock but most of those are easily unlockable just playing the game your first time through. There are also many secrets in the game available to you for your own personal use. The training mode included in the game could be as long as the main game. There is a lot to learn it seems in Spider-Man and I found all of it unnecessary. It may not be gushing with bonuses etc. but it gets the job done.
Closing Notes (Must read!):
These comments may be the most important read out of everything here. Since I am reviewing all three versions and have played all three I can give you the most fair comparison, it is apparent that I only modified my main review to fit each console. I’m going to use this spot to explain my scores for all three versions so you will see the same exact comments for all three reviews. I have been questioned always as to which versions is better etc. well I will explain.
The XBOX version is graphically the best, but it may not be as much as everyone is thought to believe. We have compared all three versions visually with each other and all three consoles are running with the same output (component), so we can determine best how much the difference is. Like I said in the first line of this paragraph it isn’t as much as everyone thinks. All three versions look great but none tap the potential of all three systems and they are almost identical to each other. Yes, you heard right, there is only a slight difference between each version. So yes you may notice the difference from PS2 to XBOX but trust me it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Now that I have explained what I feel on the graphics element, I will explain the gameplay part. It can be clearly seen that I have given each version the same gameplay score. I’m sure many people are confused by this, it’s very simple it’s because they are all the same thing. They each have the same gameplay elements, the only difference is the controller you will be using. I feel that a controller doesn’t raise or lower a score for this type of game.
Each one does its job, and it really lies in the person who will be purchasing this game to choose. If you are a multi-console owner then I recommend getting the version you feel the controller is most comfortable to use. If you only own one console, it is quite obvious you will have to pick that version up. It really won’t make a difference because you will be experiencing the same game as everyone else. That is my humble opinion on that subject.
Overall each version is very similar, with the XBOX version having the extra villain and levels. You decide which is best, I am only here to review the games, not sell it to you.