In the past four years of writing reviews for this website I haven’t really delved into the world of super heroes, we’ve all seen the movies but what about the video games that came after them?, I haven’t really played many super hero games but after Sam Raimi released the first Spider Man film I remember begging my parents to buy me the game that Christmas, I recently repurchased the game for nostalgia but was it as good as I remember?
The first thing that stands out with this game is that it doesn’t have much in common with the movie at all, the first stage of the game actually takes place long after Peter is bitten by the spider as its his mission to track down Uncle Ben’s killer.
The rest of the game has a unique story line, Spider Man ends up taking on all of sorts of super villains including The Shocker, The Vulture, Scorpion and Kraven the Hunter (Kraven is only in the XBOX version of the game), of course the Green Goblin is still the main antagonist in the game but apart from one level every time you fight him its different to the movie, even the final battle doesn’t take place where it does in the film, I personally really like that the game is so unique but some people may be a little put off by its differences.
Spider Man is a general beat em up game and it consists of 24 stages, most of the game is boss fights which are all really fun, some stages require Spider Man to hide in the shadows and sneak about but most of time you will be beating up bad guys and trying to complete a goal to finish the stage, Peter doesn’t just fight with punches and kicks as he can also use different fighting techniques by using his web, there are a lot of moves you can unlock but for me the most useful was shooting my web at enemies while I was swinging through the air, other useful moves include tying up bad guys with your web, pulling enemies towards you by lassoing them with your web and creating an exploding shield around your body, you do have to be careful though as you can run out of web and it can only be topped up if you find a blue spider, you can also top up your health by finding red spiders and you can unlock new fighting moves by finding gold spiders.
The biggest problem I have with this game is that when you are outside you cant land on the street otherwise you will die, its kinda annoying because in the movie Spider Man is able to walk about in the street so why cant he here, it doesn’t make any sense what so ever.
The game controls pretty well when you are stable or fighting, I found the controls to be tight and responsive but when I was swinging I had a lot of trouble trying to make Spider Man go in the direction I wanted him too go, he just kept bumping into the sides of buildings and due to the way the game is designed sometimes he would grab onto a building when I bumped into it, this slowed me down and was a particular pain on levels where I had to chase the villains.
Graphically for a game that came out in 2002 it looks fairly impressive, I was very surprised with how smooth the animation was when I was playing the game, for some reason the cut scenes look quite pixelated which really sucks considering how great the game play looks.
I don’t remember any music in this game at all which isn’t a good sign because that means that it blatantly wasn’t that good and I cant really comment on it because like I said none of it was memorable to me.
Through out the game you will gain points depending on your performance, these points will unlock loads of really cool secrets, the best in my opinion is pin head bowling where you can team up with a friend and can swing into bad guys to get points, other unlockables include secret cut scenes, being able to change Spider Man’s model so you can play as Mary Jane, a Police Officer, Peter Parker etc, you can unlock the ability to play a Green Goblin campaign if you beat the game on the Hero or Super Hero difficulty, this campaign is almost exactly the same as the main game and I recommend skipping it.
Spider Man is a pretty fun licensed game, it’s not perfect by any means but it definitely stands out with its unique story and different game play styles, it’s really cheap to pick up these days and if you ever come across it I recommend picking it up especially if your a Spidey fan.
I hope you enjoyed this review of Spider Man the Video Game 2002
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