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Spider-Man 2

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

It seems that Spider-Man is popping up all over the place. After two incredible movies and two fun console games based on the movies, the world has once again caught "Spidey Fever." Spider-Man has popped up on the PS2, Xbox, GameCube, mobile phones, the Game Boy Advance, and even the N-Gage. Being a huge fan of Spider-Man, that is not a bad thing. However, after a sub par outing as a Nintendo DS launch title, I was a bit worried when I heard that Activision was delivering an original Spider-Man 2 title for the PSP.

Instead of porting over the fun PS2 Spider-Man 2 title, Developer Vicarious Visions has created a twenty level game that feels and plays more like the original Spider-Man movie game. These levels are all connected to each other and take the story elements from the movie. But like the first Spider-Man movie game, you will have to battle villains not found in the movie. Also, to help the experience seem more authentic, players will hear the voices of Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Alfred Molina reprising their roles from the movie.

Utilizing the power of the PSP, this version of Spider-Man 2 outshines any of the visuals that the Nintendo DS version had. While the quality of the visuals is not quite on the same level as the ones from the home consoles, they do come close. The characters are all highly detailed and they move very realistically. As a bonus, after reaching certain points in the game, players will find pre-rendered cinematic sequences that look beautiful on the PSP screen.

Before getting into the gameplay, I must mention the long load times between levels. While I understand the UMD is a new format and the PSP is a brand new console, the lengthy load times is something that developers must find a way to stop. Spider-Man 2 is a victim of this travesty. Happily, this is not a deal breaker: just an extreme annoyance.

Once the level does finally load up, you will move Spider-Man around with the Analog Nub. I found that the analog stick works just fine for the game but you do not have the option to use the D-Pad. Instead, the D-Pad is used to move the camera around your character. This is not the best solution, however, because the only way to move the D-Pad is to take your thumb off the Analog Nub. Unless the developers intended players to use some sort of 쓰idey Power, do not understand why they designed the controls this way. But the title does try to keep the camera centered on where you need it. Players will find that the other controls work well in combat. You will be able to stick to walls, use your webbing against foes, punch, kick, and perform other moves like found on the PS2 version of Spider-Man 2.

There are several levels of difficulty and you can find a few unlockable extras in the game. Each level is short and is really designed with a handheld console in mind. Besides the weak pull of a good challenge, there arent a lot of other reasons to continue to play once you have made it through the game. You will have fun with the game while it lasts and it is one of the best pure action games I have played on a handheld to date. If you can look past the lack of a replay value, check this one out.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/23/05
ESRB Details: Violence
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Screenshots for Spider-Man 2

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