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Summary"Spins A Web Any Size, Catches Thieves Just Like Flies..."
The GoodSpider-man, as one of the most popular superheroes ever conceived has therefore had many videogames based on his exploits. Many were quick to call this incarnation of Spidey games the best. Yet MOST Spider-man games are pretty good. (I wonder how many people that claim that this “best” Spidey game, have actually played the other ones.-MM-) That includes Sega’s Spider-man arcade game, as well as their Spider-man vs. The Kingpin. So in this review I will not examine: is this the BEST Spidey game? It will be more on what makes it good/better/worse, than previous titles.
“Welcome, true believers.”-Common Spidey intro, Stan Lee-
In Spider-man, the infamous web head has been framed by a Spidey imposter! After he makes off with the newly re-formed Doctor Otto Octavias.(AKA Doctor Octopus.-MM-) Now the cops are out to capture Spidey. Meanwhile the city has been blanketed by a strange green fog. As Spider-man you must clear your name, while facing some of the web slingers greatest foes. And of course save New York City…again. This game is loaded with various levels all with different objectives. Some will involve fighting a super-villain, stopping a bank heist, or even crawling through dank sewers. One might think that a character like Spider-man that can do so many things would make for a game with confusing controls, and awkward mechanics. But like many of the web-heads other video game adventures, the controls are simple and easy to master. And also do a stellar job at emulating Spidey’s powers.
Fists Of Fury
For instance, “X” punches, while “B” kicks. Hitting these buttons repeatedly form combos. You can even mix punch/kick combos. “Y” is used to activate webbing. You can shoot web to tie up foes. Create web spikes, that increase Spider-man’s attack power. And my favorite grab a foe with your web line and then pull them back and into a wall.
As one would expect from a Spider-man game, you can also web swing. The 3D Spidey games do a better job overall of emulating Spider-man’s swinging. But like it’s 2D predecessors the basics are the same. That is to say that web swinging is easy to do. Something that some may take for granted, unless they have played games with bad superhero controls.(I.e. In Batman: Dark Tomorrow, using Batman’s grapple was an exercise in futility.-MM-)
You can also Zip line. A web technique that allows you to quickly web sling to another building, or up to the ceiling. This at the time was new to Spidey games, and is a most excellent feature.
Secret Agent Man
Spider-man also packs in tons of secrets. There are comic books to collect. Which are ingeniously hidden through out the game. Alternate costumes to unlock, when certain requirements are met. You can view character models in the 3D character viewer. The Playstation version had a unlockable mode called, “What If”. (“What If” comics featured alternate realities of the Marvel Universe. Such as, “What If, Spider-man killed the Lizard?”-MM-) And like the comic series of the same name, it was an alternate version of the game. It was nearly impossible to unlock. New to the Dreamcast version, some of the “What If” elements are already in the story mode.(Look for a cameo by Ghost Rider, among others.-MM-)
Graphically the DC version is superior in every way to that of the PSX, and N64.(You can actually see the web lines on Spidey’s suit!-MM-) Anyone that claims otherwise must be blind. Edges are clean, and lines run straight. Objects look more clear, and the view distance is greatly increased. Granted this game does not look as good as the Xbox Spider-man movie game. But it IS the best looking version of this particular Spidey game.
Sound wise the Dreamcast version excels as well. It is no secret that the Dreamcast had a much better sound card than that of the PSX and N64. The music sounds better, as do the voices and the sound effects. The voice overs themselves are a mixed bag. The voices of Black Cat, and Doc Ock are from the 90’s Spidey cartoon. And sound great in the roles still. It is a different Spider-man, and while not as good as the voice actor from the T.V. show the new Spidey does a good job. However many voices are poor. The thugs in particular. But some more major characters have poor voices as well. Such as Carnage.
The BadEvil Incarnations
Now that I have expressed the good, how about I go into the negative. As this game is not perfect. Firstly some levels are feel like filler. As if the design team needed to make the game longer than it was, and therefore added things that seem unnecessary. Yet that is not the worst of it some levels are just plain crap. The save system is flawed at best. You can only save your progress after the certain levels. Not after every level as in better designed games. So you often end up playing parts over, or having to play longer than you wanted to. This may not bother everyone as much as it bothers me. But then again being mainly a PC gamer, I am used to save systems that allow you to save when ever you want.
There are also some weak plot points. I would spoil them if I gave them away. Allow me to just say this: Spider-man/Peter Parker is supposed to be a genius. Yet he does not see some things in the game clearly, which makes it look like he is in fact an idiot.
Why is the voice quality so mixed? You have some great voice overs, and then you have some terrible ones. Where is the consistency?