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September 7, 2005
Spider-man 2 - Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
1/9/2005ActivisionActivisionVicarious Visions
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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Hang on to that chopper.
There is little doubt about the popularity of Spider-man at the box office, the receipts are proof of that. Activision has also benefited from the movies with several games released to tie-in and their sales have been equally impressive. With the launch of the PSP the company has prepared Spider-man 2 for release on the system. While the game strays from the movie's plot to add new enemies and areas the main plot remains as follows...

Two years have passed since Peter Parker first hit the streets of New York City as the conflicted crime-fighter Spider-Man. Now he finds himself battling his most diabolical villain yet, the mechanized, multi-tentacled Doc Ock. The nefarious Doc Ock was once Dr. Otto Octavius, a brilliant nuclear physicist. But a freak accident transformed him from a timid researcher to a criminally insane megalomaniac who blames Spider-Man for his horrible transformation. Now the scientist Peter once idolized for his remarkable intellect has marked our web-slinger for death.

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Taking on Doc Ock.
So the game is essentially a third person action title. But being Spider-man you have a few neat abilities, climbing up building walls, swinging between them with your web and jumping large gaps are just some. The game takes places through 19 levels and as previously mentioned includes not only moments and characters from the movie but also new areas and enemies including Mysterio, Rhino, Shocker and Vulture. Each of the levels generally has a different task to complete be it take out a series of thugs or save a bunch of people from danger. The controls in the game are pretty good however Spider-man's attacks are generally a series of punches and kicks. As you complete each level you are given the option to upgrade Spider-man's abilities. I actually like the idea of replaying levels in order to increase your stats, but unlike so many games you only get the additional points above what your earned previously.

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Now he wasn't in the movie!
Unfortunately Spider-man 2 has several issues which hold it back from being an essential purchase. Primarily the game is quite short, actually its way too short. We completed the game in about five hours and when you're paying $80 that's not great value. Sure, you may want to replay the game a couple of times to unlock the bonus artwork or movies, but that still doesn't mean it's great value in our book. The other issue we have is the camera which requires a little more manual work then we would have liked, and the PSP's single analogue stick has forced the developers to move camera control to the D-Pad making it impossible to move the character, and camera at the same time.

Graphics in Spider-man 2 are generally very impressive. Spider-man looks splendid with some gorgeous animations and moves as he soars through the air, climbs buildings or attacks enemies. While the enemies aren't quite up to Spider-man's standards they too look pretty good. The game runs at a fairly solid frame rate and while the CG in the cut scenes is a bit on the, well, dodgy side it's still adequate to tell the story.

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Soaring through the skies.
As you would expect this game has extremely solid audio with some superb music taken straight from the movie. The effects are also fairly impressive and the developers have even got the actors to provide the voiceovers in the game.

Ultimately Spiderman-2 ends up being one of the more disappointing launch titles - not due to any technical deficiencies but rather its short length. Younger and inexperienced gamers will probably get more out of it but for hardcore gamers such as myself there simply isn't enough long term appeal.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSSome parts are stunning, others could be better. Poor camera.
SOUNDThe sound in Spider-man 2 is very good. Great music and effects.
GAMEPLAYThis game really is quite a bit of fun from start to end.
VALUEWe finished this game in under 5 hours. Way to short for our liking.
OVERALLIn terms of gameplay, audio and graphics this game rocks. Sadly the extremely short game time really lets it down especially for older gamers. Younger players though will still love this game.

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