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Spider-Man 2

Developer: Treyarch | Publisher: Activision
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 06/28/04 | Genre: Action

Spider-Man has been pretty busy lately. After his huge success at the box office for the two big feature Spider-Man films, Spidey has been popping up on just about every single device possible. The first Spider-Man game, based on the movie, was pretty good and the second one, while not perfect, was even better. Our hero has found his way on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and even the N-Gage. However, now the time has come for Spider-Man to spin his web on the Nintendo DS.

Being the only Action title for the DS at launch has a distinct advantage. It also helps that the license is so popular on a system with only a few titles available for it right now. The developer has done a good job of showing off the power of the Nintendo DS in a first generation title. While the game is mostly made up of 2D sequences, players will feel like the game is in full 3D during certain points. Visually, the game is a huge upgrade from the GBA version. Spider-Man moves and looks like Spider-Man. All of the enemies are also beautifully rendered.

Spider-Man 2 takes advantage of the touch screen by having your mission objectives listed out and you can switch your different abilities by touching the screen. While this is interesting, you will probably only stick to a few different moves throughout the game. This has been a complaint on the larger screened console versions of Spider-Man 2. Players just usually don’t have to use a big variety of Spider-Man’s attack modes to be effective. Regarding the touch screen usage in the game, it seems like the developer just threw in the elements to make the game have touch screen features. This title could have been done without the touch screen.

One of the cool things about playing a Spider-Man title is that you can swing on your web from point to point. This element is found in the game and is quite easy to pull off. Since the game can be played by only using a few of your action moves, the combat with enemies just isn’t as satisfying as the web slinging. The most frustrating thing about the gameplay is the level design. Quite a few of the levels require you to take out a certain number of enemies or locate a certain number of items. After this is done, you have to then make your way to the exit. The problem is that the game doesn’t have a map to show you where you have gone before so you can end up running in circles. To make matters even worse, the developers decided to throw in a timer to reach the exit. Failure to make it out before the timer counts down will result in you doing the whole thing all over again. And sometimes it can take well over ten minutes just to find enough enemies to kill to begin your hunt for the exit. While not all levels are this way--a vast majority of them are. I found things to be more frustrating than fun quite a number of times. Could this be a conspiracy by Nintendo and Activision so I will throw my DS down on the ground in frustration, break it, and then buy another one? My Spidey senses tell me it was just poor design on the developers’ part.

The boss battles are the best part of this game. These guys can be tough to beat until you learn their patterns. Making use of the touch screen, the bosses will throw stuff at you and you will have to fend it off on the touch screen. These battles usually don’t last long but are definitely a lot more fun than the “get this and run to the exitâ€? style of gameplay in most of the rest of the game.

With only 15 levels and a relatively short play time for each level, players can quickly make it through the game. However, there are a few bonus objectives and other things that can be unlocked. If you are an action fan and are longing for something fun to play on your new Nintendo DS, this is the best ticket in town.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 10/12/04
ESRB Details: Violence
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Screenshots for Spider-Man 2

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