|GameCube Reviews: Spider-Man|
| The Final Say!|
Spider-Man - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 10 June 2002
Review Score: 8.6/10
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Too often a game based upon a movie rarely recreates the excitement felt at the cinema, so it was wonderful to play Spider-Man on the Cube and truly feel immersed within the movie once again.
For those of you who haven't seen the movie or read the comic, or have had your head in the sand since about 1963, Spider-Man otherwise known as Peter Parker, school nerd and science geek. A bite from a radioactive spider changes Peter's life forever, changing him into the Amazing Spider-Man (also the name of the first ongoing comic book to use that title - Spider-Man first appeared in a comic book called Amazing Fantasy #15).
Following the basic outline of the movie, Spider-Man the game takes you on an exhilarating trip as everyone's favourite web-slinger. The control system is very intuitive and the game engine permits you quite literally to do everything a spider can.
There are only four points on which the title fails the player a bit and affected my general score. I will cover these before lavishing praise on an otherwise fantastic title.
The game is over quickly, almost too quickly considering how much games software costs. The designers have taken it a step further and gone beyond the movie in an effort to expand the opportunity to live within Spider-Man's New York. However, finish the game and you will see how much effort Treyarch have put into it by making it very replayable. During the course of the game, you will accrue points. Upon completion you can unlock new areas of the game which is a very nice touch.
The game's camera is a niggly creature and will take a little time getting used to. I think we are all used to quite active cameras now that only require occasional tweaking. Acquaint yourself with using the C stick pretty extensively or fall behind. I found that you sometimes would not turn as quickly as you may like which would cost health if being pursued.
Loading times are a bit too long and a pause is taken every time a new mission starts or even to go to the save menu. The pauses are not too long (worst case scenario about 10 seconds), however with the speed of every other title in loading and saving, this comes as somewhat of a frustration.
Finally, there is no in-game save feature and missions are not always paced very well. For example, there is a stealth mission later in the game that is very fiddly and the chance of failing relatively high. There is no save for over an hour of gameplay and rather than enjoy what was an awesome piece of gameplay, I was stressing about making it through to the next save.
And now onto all the good stuff!
The game from the get go, rocks! As far as I am concerned, when I was playing this title, I was Spidey himself. You can swing with the greatest of ease through the city and the amount of combat combos that are available to Ol' Web-Head are staggering.
Health, Webbing and Combos are represented as glowing stylised spider icons that Spider-Man can pick up as required. When you approach them and your health and webbing is full, Spider-Man will find some amusing way to tell you that he doesn't need them.
Web swinging through the city becomes second nature and a great pleasure. Shooting webs over the city and watching a living city moving beneath you has to be seen to be believed. An impulse you must avoid within the game is letting go of your web to see if you can swing down to street level amongst the cars as you can in the movie. You cannot and will fall to your death. I found this to be quite a disappointment as it was one of the most fun things I was anticipating in the game and is featured very heavily in the advertising for the movie.
Developers Treyarch have done themselves proud with the title by expanding beyond the movie for a more immersive gaming experience. In addition to the Green Goblin, you must face Shocker, the Skull Gang, Vulture and Scorpion in their own missions. Quite possibly more time could have been spent with Vulture as within the comic, the Vulture is an interesting character with quite an amazing back story.
Almost a backup character in this game is your webbing. The amount of things this stuff can do is amazing and webbing is your closest ally. From incapacitating foes to hurling them about, your webbing is the best tool at your disposal, use it wisely as unlike the movie, you can and will run out.
Sounds within the game are extremely well done and nothing really is lacking. Voice acting is very good with the exception of the Mary Jane character, who actually doesn't look or sound anything like Kirsten Dunst. Whether or not this was a licensing issue I am not sure but it takes just a tiny bit away from the game.
Overall Spider-Man is a rock solid game that will have you glued to your GameCube from start to finish. The game has an extremely polished look on Cube and the characters (except for Mary Jane), all do the movie characters justice. There are also versions of Spider-Man available on PS2, XBox, GameBoy Advance and PC which we hope that Activision will allow us to cover for you.
Get swinging with Spider-Man today!
- Tory Favro
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