Review by Nomadic View
It's so good it's hard to believe it's not fattening!
I know what you're thinking. "Another superhero game....it's gotta be crap." or "Another game made after a movie...it's gotta be crap." or maybe both. Let's forget about "E.T. the game" and Superman 64 for a moment. While both hold their place high in the Worst games Ever's top ten list, they have flatlined the genre's ever since. Then along comes Spider-man 2 a game made from both of the horrid stereotypes. And it didn't just over-come this obstacle, it claimed victory over it.
For fans of Spiderman this game is all but a gift from God. The free roaming aspect of Spider-Man 2 is a welcome experience to any gamer. Epically those of the Grand Theft Auto genre. I have never been a huge Spider-Man fan, but this game easily made it's way into my heart. From the top of the Empire State Building all the way down to the street level. The entire Island of Manhattan is your playground.
The game is based on the Movie, which is then based on the comics that were drawn back in the 40's. The necessary upgrades have been implemented since that time to fit todays setting in the year 2004. A small overview of the story is Spider-man the, human that can do anything a spider can, is the main character. This is the character that you play as. You basically swing around town (I'll get more into this in the game play section) doing random street crimes. This gives you the super-hero feel and responsibility. This isn't the entire story, don't stop reading yet. The story sneaks its way into the game whenever you feel like progressing it. Doc Ock is the main villain here, he blames Spiderman for his misfortune and....well, you get where I'm going with this. I'm not going to spoil it for you.
In all honesty the graphics are not this game's strong point. But with the no load times, streaming technology, and the size of the city it is understandably so. The are not terrible, there are simply average. They did however pay alot of attention to detail where they could. Each finger moves independently. It doesn't look like he is wearing mittens like in most action games. Even his toes bend! Now that's a keen eye for detail. The pedestrians are another story. They are quite generic, when you talk to them their lips don't move. All the major character in the game do have moving lips, mind you. The day and night intervals are astonishing. The windows will reflect the light. The webs actually stay there when you shoot them. And yes they actually have to stick to something this time around. If you jump off a building, once you gain speed you will enter a type of tunnel vision. The edges get a little blurry, and it'll make anyone smile.
The music isn't really catchy or anything. And it's nothing that you are going to want to burn on a cd, but it provides a pleasant gaming experience. They didn't target a particular genre of music and isolate their audience. Most of the music is a classical jazzy type music, something everyone can at least tolerate. The sound effects are amazing. When you start to jump he'll do a little grunt. If you hit someone it makes that pleasurable sounding *thud*. That noise that just sends happy through your veins. Through great jumps the wind will blow in your face, and of course it will make that *whoosh* sound. You know that sound when you stick your head out of the car. They really did everything they could to make this digital world sound like you are really there.
The game is set on Manhattan Island. Most of the famous landmarks are implemented into the game such as Statue of Liberty, the Ground Zero Memorial, Empire State Building, and much more. It is 1/2 the scale size (the buildings are full scale). The real Manhattan is 23 square miles, this game is 11.5 square miles. But that is only the horizontal. The vertical reaches heights of 1,250 feet. So you'll have a little elbow room this time around.
Spiderman's abilities are the most unique of any character. He doesn't fly, he jumps far. He doesn't shoot fireballs out ass, his vile weapon of destruction is a sticky rope. His powers are weak, but he uses them with ingenuity. Making him one of the greatest superheros of all time.
This time around Spiderman is able to scale walls, swing one his webs, use his webs as weapons, and his spidersense allows him to do really amazing things, such as dodge bullets and perform insane combos. That's pretty much a quick overview of his abilities. Now for a little in depth coverage:
Scale walls: You grip the wall by pressing the B button. He will then stick to the wall, get down on all fours, and just climb up it. But this game is built on speed. You are in a huge environment, you'll need a little bit boost. So while he is wall-crawling you can jump up the side of the building by charging your jump. Hold the jump button for about 1.5 seconds and release it to send Spidey hurling 20 stories into the air and grab onto a higher point of the building. That's kinda fast...I guess. But it's not really stylish. Don't worry about that either. Activision has your back covered there too. They also allowed a wall-sprint. While allows you to stand upright on the wall and run up it for a short period of time.
Web Swinging: This is the feature everyone has complained about since Spiderman on the psx. What are his webs attaching to?! The problem has finally been addressed. Now the webs will attach to actual things. Weather it be building, bridge, or helicopter. It HAS to connect to something. With the new attachment webs along comes the new physics system. Now your speed is built on momentum. This takes quite a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it you won't be able to quit. It takes three buttons to get the full effect of web swinging. The swing button, the jump button, and the turbo button. You can use these three to fashion your own way of web slinging. For example you can hit swing, then charge your jump, hit the turbo right before you release, and it will send you flying about 4 blocks. Or you can hit the jump at a low point in the swing to keep the momentum, and thus resulting in faster and faster swings.
Weapon Webs: He just wouldn't be spider man if he didn't tie up the baddies. Technically there is only one attack button, but it can be used in combination with the web button, to make web attacks. Such as the guillotine throw with a web, or spinning the enemy around your head. You can even pick up an enemy swing to the top of a building...and teach him a lesson in flying. The webbing never runs out. Why? Because it's based on the movie, and the webbing is organic. So feel free to abuse your webbing with no consequence.
Spidey Sense: This is the first time this ability has been used to it's full potential. This will go off EVERY time there is danger. Even if it is just a thug trying to take a swing at you....or even shoot you. As soon as you see it go off hit B. And you'll dodge any attack anytime. Practice using this. Become a master, there is no reason to ever get hit, as long as you have this ability. But it doesn't stop there. The spidey sense is a quick reflex action. The simple tap of the B button is only the scratch of the surface of this ability. You can enter full spider sense mode. This puts the player in bullet time. Making attacks and bullet dodging even easier. Your attacks are even stronger while in spidersense mode, and the combos you pull off and alot more flashy and more powerful.
That's only a sample of what you can actually do. You can do much much more.
This game won't cause much aggravation. If any at all. It's somewhat simple, but not so simple you get bored with it.
Replay Value 10/10
There are literally hundreds of challenges and tokens to find scattered throughout the city. Random crimes always and constantly keep you busy....that is if you want to do them. And roof hoping is just fun!
Rent or Buy: buy
You can't get the full experience in a rental with this game. The wide open areas, the swinging sensation. It's something that you will want to play longer than 5 days.
It's a rare occasion that a game like this comes out. When it does it makes the wait well worth it.
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