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Score: 96%
ESRB: Everyone (Violence)
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:
Spidey's here. In living color. If you're a 'true believer' who's waited for a decent looking Spider-Man game since the dawn of video games, it has arrived. Spider-Man, the game, is 'Official Movie Merchandise'. That means that you get the new costumes from the movie, some really cool sketches and storyboards, and the likenesses of the actors from the movie. What that doesn't mean is that you're doomed to re-enact every scene you saw in the movie exactly as it appeared in the movie to proceed. It also doesn't mean you're limited to what happened in the movie. Spidey fans will be happy to hear that other favorite supervillians are up to their old tricks and you'll have to web-sling your way across the city skyline fighting such familiar baddies as the Shocker, the Vulture, the Scorpion, Kraven, and, of course, the Green Goblin. The characters and the environments are nicely detailed and the voice-acting's not half bad.

Spider-Man presents a nice opportunity for gamers to web-sling and web-zip their way around in the shoes, um, footies(?) of their favorite Marvel hero, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The only bothersome aspect to web slinging your way around the city is the 'artificially imposed' limits - when you try climbing down a building further than you're allowed or try web swinging outside of the area you're allowed to move around in you'll see what I mean. Spider-Man The Game does a good job of presenting the Spidey we know and love and allowing gamers to really play around with a large arsenal of Spidey's moves, from web swinging to webbing opponents, to 'impact webbing', web gloves - even 'web-zipping', a really quick way to get from one place to another. The missions have a lot of tear-em-up action, but do have some puzzle aspects to them. For that matter, you can develop your own strategy for your battles and use your abilities and the angles and locations of walls and structures in your environments to your advantage. In some cases, finding the best ways of attacking/advancing can prove to be a puzzle in itself. If you're a Spidey fan, you can basically stop reading this and go out and get it. You won't be disappointed.

What? Still reading? Hmm, then either you aren't that big of a Spider-Man fan after all - or you're just worried about the difficulty level. Well, if you're worried about the game not being challenging, you can forget about that one right now. There are four difficulty levels to choose from: Easy, Normal, Hero and SuperHero, and Normal's got some challenge to it. Afraid it might be too difficult? Easy's not bad at all, and there's also some training levels that will help you get the 'hang' of things. Playing around with the controls until you get used to them can make web-slinging a much more rewarding experience. And of course, practice makes perfect, right?

If you do get stuck, the Brady Games Official Strategy Guide offers lots of helpful hints to help you along, as well as maps and other helpful tidbits. (Even if you do well and simply can't find all of the little 'extras', the Brady Games Strategy Guide comes in handy.) It also has a good bit of bio information on the characters and some cool 'making of' sketches and artwork, so it's definitely worth checking out for all you Spidey fans.

Game Mechanics:
Ah, the part where I get to be picky. There's not too much to complain about here. The directional control is a bit weird in some cases; the camera angle will change, but you'll continue moving the direction you originally were moving before the camera changed - until you stop or change directions... then movement is determined in relation to your new camera angle. This takes a bit of getting used to. It's never 'great', but with some practice, it can be worked around. The only other problem I have with Spider-Man, is that when you swing from building to building, your weblines go up into the heavens, with no obvious anchor points. In the movie, web swinging was illustrated very well, showing how it would be necessary to web a new anchor about half way through each swing to keep from slamming into a building. I can only assume that in the game Spidey makes use of the many helicopters that fly around the city as anchor points. Ah, strengthen your suspension of disbelief and just enjoy the web-slinging adventures ahead of you. Spider-Man is definitely a keeper.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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