riostarwind's Spider-Man: The Movie (PlayStation 2) review

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A look back at Spider-Man: The Movie (The Video Game)

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When a new game comes out based on a long running franchise I just can’t help but look back at the past. Instead of doing the obvious thing, (AKA play Spider-Man 2) I decided to look at Treyarch's first attempt at making a web slinging adventure. Although most would stick to what was in the movie they decided to go a bit deeper into the many villains of the spiderverse. While still telling the gist of what was on the big screen. Which was mostly just Spider-Man’s origin story and his first few battles with the Green Goblin. I will say they at least didn’t take the cheap way out and just include clips from the movie and instead make they made some dated looking CGI to tell the story in between levels.

Bet you didn't know Activision owned a building in NY. Wait...
Bet you didn't know Activision owned a building in NY. Wait...

Because this was still the age of level based brawlers that was the form this game took. Most fights and boss battles either consist of mashing a 3 hit combo up close or using web shot from afar to damage enemies. Battling from afar is key to beating most of the boss battles since it’s almost pointless to attack up close thanks to how much damage they can do. Other than some late game annoying enemies the tools you’ll have will do the job even if it feels a bit basic these days.

Yet how does the web slinging work you may wonder. Well it certainly doesn’t have any tricks to fool players into slinging around town like a real spider. It’s just a basic hold down R2 to cause Spider-Man to swing in one direction. Jumping out of the swing is the only way to turn unless I missed something but it worked enough to keep up with some high flying enemies that must be tracked down before they escape. Lucky almost all the timed missions aren’t hard other than the one that required me to deactivate bombs. So many extra tries were required to finish the level and unlike more modern games if you fail you’ll have to start the entire level over again. That may sound bad but most levels are about 10 minutes at most so it wasn’t a problem. Plus on the one timed mission I mentioned it pretty much required me to beat it in 2 minutes.

Most puzzles consist of turning something off to progress.
Most puzzles consist of turning something off to progress.

One of the first levels has a stealth mission but I was relieved to find out that breaking stealth wasn’t a failure state and I was still able to battle my way through the level. For awhile I thought maybe Treyarch knew stealthing around is just not that fun in this type of game. Yet near the end it has two different stealth levels that were painful to play through. At least it was possible to hide after getting caught or I might just quit at that point.I can see why devs put stealth levels in to mix up gameplay moments but they usually just come off tacked on since it isn’t really the game they made.

As a whole this game does a pretty solid job of making a okay video game. Especially since they were on a time table for a movie they created a solid base that they could build onto for the sequel. Sure it does has some annoying points like the few timed missions but the entire game does go at a solid clip. It even has some replay value since it is possible to replay the game as Green Goblin. Looking at this game these days it is certainly dated and I’m not sure its worth going back to check out. Unless you have a bit of nostalgia or are maybe just curious about past Spider-Man games.

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