If you're into games, and you're into Spider-Man, then you've seen all the hype surrounding this game. As 2000 progressed, the hype increased. The game was previewed in magazines for months, and then the demo level was released and distributed on CDs on the front of most major magazines. The game promised to be something special.
In September 2000, the game was released. And it's awesome. Most gaming magazines gave it a 9 out of 10 - and you won't find me arguing. This was the first console game I payed money for, and I'm not disappointed.
The game was most successful as a surprising revival to the somewhat aging Playstation platform, but it was also released for Nintendo 64, DreamCast, and Home PC.
Game Overview: Described by almost every game critic as the first good super-hero game. In fact, it is. This game was a one of the best that the Playstation ever got, and it shined also in N64 and Dreamcast. It also made the migration to Home PC - which we will review soon.
The game features a lot of guest appearences, and a gallery of first class villains, amongst them are Venom and DareDevil. Cool. It has 32 levels of intense and fun gameplay, with some puzzles, and a lot of bad guys to beat/web to unconsciounsess, including 8 bosses!
The following sections include spoilers. We suggest you skip to the rating at the bottom of the page if you want to avoid finding out a little of what goes on during the game.
Introduction: Spidey is at a science convention, where Doctor Octopus presents his revolutionary machine. Peter's on the audience, and he doesn't trust Octopus that much (logically). Eddie Brock is also in the audience, assigned by JJJ to photograph the event. "Spider-Man" drops in and steals Octopus' device. In the middle of the confusion, Peter and Brock bump into each other. Peter can't dress the uniform because of the crowd. "Spidey" trashes Brock's camera and leaves. Brock can no longer fight Venom, and it takes over him, vowing that he'll kill Spider-Man.
The Bank Heist: Now it's time to hear the voice of the creator... no, not Eternity! Stan Lee!!! Spidey meets the Black Cat on the roofs, and she teaches him how to swing (yeah, right!), and all that stuff that he knows how to do, but we, who hold the gamepad, don't.
After swinging from roof to roof beating lots of thugs, Spidey reaches the bank that's being robbed, and he sees the villains taking down two police choppers. The perpetrators are non-other than the Jade Syndicate! Who??? Doesn't matter. Spidey takes them out and enters the bank through the ventilation shafts. Inside the bank, our hero saves some more hostages and gets rid of a bomb. He webs the villains, and leaves them for the cops.
Sting of the Scorpion: But while calling JJJ to sell him the pics, he finds that the Scorpion is there! He swings for the Bugle at top speed, and manages to reach it just in time. After a great fight, and after throwing almost all of JJJ's furniture against the Scorpion, the villain falls. Spidey webs him, and the police arrives. JJJ puts them against our favourite Wall-Crawler, who flees. DareDevil shows up to know if Spidey is innocent from the heist. Then he leaves. Spidey spends the rest of the issue running from the boys in blue, who shoot at him all over the city. After elluding them, the Black Cat brings him the news: Rhino's on a rampage pulling a heist at Omnitek, and Venom has Mary Jane, and will kill her in 24 hours. Spidey decides he can't leave Black Cat alone to tangle Rhino, and that his responsability lies with the innocent at Omnitek first. They go after Rhino.
Rhino's Rampage: They arrive too late to stop the heist, but Rhino is still there. He takes out Black Cat, and it's up to Spidey to tackle him. Well, let's face it: of all the villains in the game, this is the the funniest fight. First, Rhino is so stupid it almost seems like we are reading a comic; second, Spidey's quips are a laughing riot; and third, did I mention that Rhino is really stupid? I mean, in another game we could complain about our opponent knocking himself out. Here, it just boosts the fun factor. After Rhino is down, Spidey watches as Doc Ock, working with the police, aprehends Rhino. Black Cat is kidnapped in a fake ambulance, and Spidey leaves for Venom.
Enter Venom: Spidey whines to Johnny Storm about not being able to find Venom. Then he swings off, and Venom finds him. Spidey chases him thru the city, and they fight in an abandoned alley. When Spidey gains an advantage, Venom escapes to the sewers. Spidey follows, and finds out that the sewers are infested with lizard-men. After beating lots of them, and finding a trapped Curt Connors, Spidey finds Venom and MJ. A new fight ensues, and this time, Venom is beaten.
Symbiote Invasion: After reminding Venom that he saw him at the exibit (they bumped into each other, remember?), Venom realizes that Parker is innocent. They head for the Bugle to search their database hoping to find more on the misterious fog that invaded the city, and on the high-tech heists. They find the Bugle infested with symbiotes. Venom senses "his other" and vanishes. After beating his way to the Bugle's sub-levels, destroying many symbiote-making machines (What???), Spidey finally faces the impostor: Mysterio. After beating him, he reveals that the plan is to blend all the New Yorkers with symbiotes, and the fog is to prepare them to the symbiose. Huh? And why do they need fog for that? Brock and Casady didn't. And here I was, thinking the fog was there because they couldn't display the city's streets with cars, and people, and live details... Well, at least they fit it into the story.
The Masterminds: No, they're not Norman Osborn and the Jackal, they are... Read on! You don't think I'm going to tell you right now, do you?
Well, Spidey goes to the warehouse Mysterio indicated, and trashes some more symbiotes and symbiote-generators. He eventually frees the captive Black Cat, stops the fog, and faces the first mastermind: Doc Ock. After beating him, Venom collapses through the ceiling. Spidey climbs up and meets the second mastermind: Carnage. Spidey beats him too. The Carnage symbiote flows through the floor, and blends with Doc Ock... Spidey runs as Hell, and manages to exit the compound before it explodes. The story ends with all our villains in prison, and Spidey playing poker with DareDevil, Captain America and Human Torch.
Graphics - 4 Webs: Really cool. This is for the Psx (the only version I own). Add half a web to the DCast version and take half a web from the PC one. In fact, Spidey on PC looks just as good as the one on DCast, it's just that the standarts are higher and the game was launched 5 months later the Dcast one, and one year later than the first one. Spidey looks great on any of them.
Sound - 5 Webs: The voices are great. Spidey Some of Spidey's jokes just look like right out of the mind of Stan Lee. And they probably are. Speaking of Him, He is the story teller. And the main menu features the song from the classic TV animated series from the 60's. Great.
Gameplay - 3.5 Webs: Well, two major weakspots here, and I mean Fire vs. Symbiotes weakspot. First, the game is just too easy. Even in the hardest setting, you'll only have trouble when chasing Venom and in the last level (the Run-Like-Hell one). And even the Venom chase is hard because of the technical problems described below.
Story - 4 Webs: An enjoyable story. If it weren't for the few glitches (Doc Ock and Eddie Brock, convicted murderers, free and well accepted in the society, without paying for their crimes? And Brock can't control Venom? That was in the TV series!!!) it could well feature sometime in the continuity. And that's the best compliment it can get. Specially now that Mackie is away from the Spider-Books. As for the glitches, well, this isn't part of the continuity, and it's way enjoyable, so I say forget them. Besides, they're both on the opening sequence.
Fun Factor - 5 Webs: Sorry? I didn't hear ya. I was too busy playing with Rhino's head and some barrels.
Replay Factor - 5 Webs: Nice. Now if I could just find that last comic. And unlock that last costume. And find out who the hell is the character who's profile I'm missing. And after doing all that, I still come back often to repeat the Scorpion and Rhino boss fights. And there's still the What If mode, filled with Easter Eggs.
Aging Factor - 4 Webs: Well, in a GeForce 4, PS2, GCN and XBox age, it's graphics will certainly be surpassed. But it's way fun to throw JJJ's furniture at Scorpion's head, no matter if the newer games look better.
Tech Troubles - 2 Webs: The biggest problem with this game is the camera angle. The camera movement looks like an 80's b-horror-movie. You face front, camera faces you, you jump front, camera jumps to side, you lose time, Venom gets away. Happens a lot. Well, I got over it, and it seems that everyone else too. It makes the game more challenging.
Great game. You can't go wrong with this one. If you're a Spider-Man fan (which I believe you are, cause otherwise you're in the wrong site), this game is a must. If you're a comic book fan in general, not Spidey specific, you'll still get a kick out of this game. If Spidey means nothing to you, you're definitely in the wrong site, but this is still one of the best games for any console platform it was released. As for the PC, go with the recent Spider-Man: the Movie. Or, if possible, go with both.
If you're curious, the sculpture for the game was apparantly made by the guys at OXMOX.