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“Well, I know one thing for sure: New York City is only big enough for one Spider-Man. And that’s me.”
Peter Parker

“New York flickers to life as another night of crime stands ready to grip the city. But, emerging from the shadows is a figure destined to fight evil. He shimmies up the side of a building, shoots a web, swings across the night sky, and lands with a perfect backward somersault onto the Daily Bugle building. Who is this masked hero? It’s you! Now you are Spider-Man, going wherever you want in your free-roaming, 3D environment. Fight, jump, crawl, and web-sling as you take on a legion of sinister villains. The city is depending on your every move.”

After a piece of Dr. Octavius’ new technology is stolen at the Science Expo by a look-a-like Spider-Man, it’s your job to track down the stolen technology and clear your name. Along the way you’ll get helpful hints from your pal Shadow Cat and with three difficulty levels to choose from you have the opportunity challenge yourself or just plain have fun. And although I prefer to watch these games being played rather than tackle the game myself, it really can be just as entertaining either way.

For starters I’d be sure you’re relatively familiar with your characters corresponding controls and moves. After all, you don’t want any surprises or confusion when you’re battling the bad guys. But if you wish to “fine-tune” your Spidey skills you can always take a few to run through a few Training exercises. The Time Attack is instant action combat for either 60 or 120 seconds where you hone your fighting skills and defeat as many bad guys as possible before your time runs out. Survival Mode is very similar to those seen in Arcade one-on-one fighting games where you have no time limit and an unlimited number of foes to battle until your health bar runs out. Speed Training allows you to practice your web-swinging through different parts of the city which is a rather important lesson since this is what Spider-Man will use more than any other skill. Target Practice helps you to learn how to determine friend from foe while sharpening your reflexes using your Spidey web-attacks. And though all the areas of Training are effective, you should at least try the Speed Training and Target Practice if you don’t want to run through every single training session.

Also, I would suggest that you acquaint yourself with the In-Game Display. The Heads-Up Display (HUD) is pretty basic: your health, and that of your allies and enemies, is represented by the horizontal bar at the top of the screen. The vertical bar shows how much webbing fluid is left in the web cartridges that you’re currently using and the number just to the right of this bar tells you the number of cartridges you’re carrying. In the lower right hand corner is your Spidey-Compass, which occasionally appears to show you the direction you “should” be heading.

The game offers numerous Power-Ups and Icons to help you on your mission. Each has a different function: Web-Cartridges (Blue) are essential to pick up since you’ll need these to refill your webbing. Health (Red and White) icons are basically self explanatory, but if you must know they restore a portion of your health. The Armor (Gold) power-up, although rare, will change your costume properties for a brief period of time and it has a “health bar” so it will take damage and leave Spidey unharmed (just remember that it’s health meter does run out the more it is abused). Helper Icons will appear as an aid for less experienced players and usually just inform you how to use your webbing or solve some of the game’s puzzles.

The game has a few added benefits for big time Spider-Man fans. Check out the Gallery section of your menu where you can become more acquainted with the people in Spider-Man’s world, each with a short biography and narrative as well as when he/she/it first appeared in comic books. Some of course need to be unlocked throughout the game; the farther you progress into the game the more characters will become available for viewing. Some other fun features are the Comic Collection, Game Covers and Storyboards, where you can look through detailed historic events in Spider-History, check out various comic book covers, and view the original design art that served as the backbone for all of the movies in the game (these unlock once the game is complete). I admit, nothing too breathtaking for some, but for those of you who aren’t quite satisfied with playing the game, there’s a little something extra just for you.

Although I don’t usually like story games that play out as you play on, I did find this to be fun, exciting and an effective way to pass a few hours. I did find that rather than play the game myself it’s far more entertaining to watch another play it instead, especially if they are exceptionally better at it that you are. And, even if the dialogue in the movie sequences are a little on the cheesy side at times, I found it in my heart to overlook it. After all, why cheapen the experience with complaints of minor issues when there is a plethora of fun to be had by all?

I rate Spider-Man a 9.5/10.
“You don’t just play it…you live it.”

Review ID Number: 491
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Review Date: 2002-02-05
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
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