Game Review By Liam O Brien

While we all wait for the second part of the continuing adventures of Peter Parker to hit dvd, it? a fine time to grab a copy of Spider-Man II on Playstation 2, X-Box or Game Cube. Following on from a successful first outing in 2002 on the major consoles, the follow up improves in almost every way on the original. The graphics, game play and combat systems have all seen a major overhaul, making this a title well worth buying.

What You Need To Knowz/b>

Surprisingly, you play Spider-Man, protector of New York city. Following on from his battles with the Green Goblin two years prior to the game and the film, Spidey? life has become even more confused. Love of his life Mary Jane Watson is off romancing astronaut John Jameson, best friend (of the wall crawlers alter ego Peter Parker) Harry Osborn wants you dead for the apparent murder of his father (who was the Green Goblin) and a major crime wave is hitting the city. Get to work web head?


What? apparent with Spider-Man II within seconds of beginning your game is that this is a major improvement on the original. The big change this time is that Spider-Man actually swings over the streets of New York, rather than swinging around on roofs up in the clouds as in part one. You can swing your way from one end of Manhattan Island to the other- diving from the top of the Empire State or pulling off nifty aerobatics for the sheer hell of it. That? one of the many joys of the game- being outside, pelting round skyscrapers exactly as you see at the movies. The developers obviously understand being outside up high is far more fun than being boxed inside foiling bank raids. Luckily, much of the game takes place outside, with you swinging about stopping petty crimes such as armed robbery and car jacking or swinging the sick and the injured to hospital, saving little kiddies balloons from floating away or saving New Yorkers from falling from the top of buildings. The game offers total freedom- you can go anywhere on the map. The web swinging is a simple system, but takes time to totally perfect, once you do, the sky is literally the limit. Other niggles have been ironed out from part one- you now have to have something for your webline to stick to- no more invisible barriers to hold you aloft. Another great thing is when you have just kicked off playing, you can find yourself outside Oscorp or the Daily Bugle from the movie, or outside the Chrysler Building or even on Ellis Island. The combat system is greatly improved, making Spider-Man II, while not quite a pick up and play title, a game that makes you look like you know what your doing fast.


Not the greatest visuals to grace any of the main consoles, but they do succeed in nailing both the look of the comic book and the film by ensuring that Peter Parker looks like Tobey Maguire, that MJ looks like Kirsten Dunst, while keeping a distinct comic book flavour with some of the locations and other characters like Black Cat, Shocker, Mysterio and other who don? turn up in the film. The engine used on the game works well- there are few glitches in the main game area (New York) with everything and everywhere looking suitably like its real life counter part, despite the fact Sarah Jessica Parker and friends are nowhere to be found. Some of the interiors designed for the game don? look too great, and Spider-Man II will not age well graphics wise. However, some snazzy cut scenes and general ?eel?ensure any rough patches are smoothed over.


Strains of heroic music appear when your not going on crusades, choosing to swing through the streets of the Big Apple instead. When you can be bothered to fight crime, the score shifts into something appropriately close to Danny Elfman? score for the film (I did miss the Spider-Man theme though). The other SFX such as the sound of the webbing and traffic and other sounds is mixed well. The main characters are either voiced by the actors that play them (Maguire, Dunst and Alfred Molina as Doc Ock) or sound like they do in the movie. Overall, it? a nice link to the film, with the game Spider-Man more akin to the comic books wisecracking super hero.

Value For Money

Having been making great progress for about a week now and only being a quarter of the way through Spider-Man II is a game with a life span. With something in the region of 32 levels, it will take some time to finish off, whilst having a gentle difficulty curve- it doesn? suddenly get impossible (well, not yet, and im on level 11). I picked up my copy for ?9.97 at Asda, with Amazon offering the game for 29.99 (bearing in mind if you want it send first class you?l be paying p&p on top of the cost). Spider-Man II is good value for money, it? a long game and a good one.


Spider-Man II is a fun, exciting game that perfectly allows you to recreate moments from the film, whilst mixing in the option to follow a storyline. The pace of the game is up to you- I have taken thing leisurely, but a player can choose to cut to the chase and follow through to the next super villain showdown. A fun, addictive game that improves on the original in every way- highly recommended.

8 OUT OF 10.

Liam O?rien 2004.

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