I've reviewed Spider-Man
for three separate systems. Each time the flaws of the game jumped out at me more and more--the awful camera and the frustrating control scheme being the two main problems. It's a shame, then, that Vicarious Visions didn't manage to fix the two core problems with the game. While Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
is a solid title, and an enjoyable one even for someone who's burnt out on Spidey-stuff, it's still got the same frustrating issues as the original game, and people who couldn't handle the first one because of that should definitely steer clear.
The storyline is strictly comic-book fare. Spider-Man starts tracking some bad guys who are getting away with a briefcase or somesuch, and of course there's a web of intrigue that involves a number of different super-villains and, of course, the head zapper himself--Electro. Like the previous game, Spider-Man 2 is broken up into a series of missions, each one encompassing five to ten minutes of gametime in general. It works out pretty well, since you never have time to get too tired of a specific environment. Each stage also generally has some sort of goal--get from one end to the other, find certain items, or defeat the requisite boss.
To conquer these challenges, you're given control of Spider-Man, with many of his requisite abilites. He can climb walls and ceilings, sling web-stuff to both traverse gaps and to trap enemies, and he even has the lovely glow that is Spider Sense. This is definitely one of the best portrayals of Spider-Man in videogame history; you feel like it's really him, instead of just a generic character in a platformer that they slapped a license on.
Folks who have played the original will note a few new abilites, the most important being the web-yank, which allows you to grab objects or enemies and sling them around. It's used in a number of puzzles (as well as boss fights), and can be quite handy. There are also powerups, which make your webbing even more useful. And, of course, the constant barrage of comic-book references and subtle jibes are still present.
Unfortunately, by the time that you've mastered the controls and fought the camera enough to get a decent handle on it, chances are good that you'll have beaten the game. It's challenging, yes, but it's also short, and while there's a lot of hidden stuff in the game to go back and collect, it's still a bit too brief for its own good.