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Spider-Man 2 Review

Developer: Backbone Entertainment Publisher: Activision
Release Date: June 30, 2004 Also On: None

Being that the only television channels that I watch are news, I was lucky enough to dodge the barrage of Spider-Man 2 commercials that likely infixed and absorbed the television screen for the past month. I thought I lucked out, but today, I was surprised with a Nokia package in a Fed-Ex box. Twelve games fell out, and sure enough, the commercial blitz continued.

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We all thought Nokia’s handheld was down and out just weeks after launch, but they threw us a somewhat unexpected curveball with the QD. I doubt that Activision would have signed on for Spider-Man 2 on N-Gage, unless they had a heads-up about the QD a while back. So while you few and far between unsuspecting gamers were buying the original N-Gage at launch, Nokia and its 3rd party supporters already knew that a new system would be on the way.

Unlike its console brethren, the N-Gage Spidey is more back to his 2D side-scrolling roots in this game. The game’s graphics are on par with the GBA, slightly better, and the bright QD screen doesn’t hurt. The rest of the game’s levels consist of 3D web-slinging levels, where you go from skyscraper to skyscraper, trying to get from point A to point B in X amount of seconds. I can’t describe how unnecessary it was for this to be added. It’s as if they simply wanted publicity that the N-Gage version was a 3D rendition of Spider-Man 2, while the GBA was 2D. Of course, this isn’t true, the core of the game, and bulk of it, is 2D action-platforming. Overall though, the 3D gameplay is a gimmick, being that it’s not open-ended by even the most liberal definition of the word.

Spider-Man 2 has a few different gameplay mechanics. First, you can web-sling in the 2D levels, wall-climb, and crawl. You can run back and forth, punch, and jump kick, along with a fatal uppercut.

Aside from the 3D swinging levels and the 2D platforming, Spider-Man 2 also has some boss battles. The bosses included in the game are (and in this order): Mysterio, Lizard, Shocker, Rhino, and Doc Ock. Nothing really special in these levels, just find a weakness and repeat the maneuver.

I guess where the game shines is in the level department. You have five 3D levels, and the rest are all in 2D, including boss battles. The 3D levels don’t vary much, but the 2D levels do. In one level, poisonous gas is spreading throughout a building, and you will have to descend, unless you’d like to fill your lungs with lethal gas. There’s a sewer level where you will destroy barrels of hazardous material. The subway level has you rescue hostages from Shocker and his thugs. There’s just a nice amount of variety, despite the game’s repetitive attack-system.

Between our action comes cut-scenes. No pretty visuals here, just poorly drawn characters, and poorly scripted dialogue. No effort was put into the spelling/grammar department, where I’ve counted at least two errors so far. It’s because of this that I felt this game was nothing more than an afterthought for Activision, and a way to make a quick buck. By no means is this the terrible licensed game that we’ve all come to expect, but it’s not much above average either. I’d advise a cautious purchase, but fans of Spidey should dig it.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6.4
Written by Kyle Review Guide