More Fun Than a Barrel of Spiders

Let's be honest—we've all wanted to be Spider-Man at some point or the other. Who wouldn't want to be able to swing around New York and beat up thugs? Well, now you can. "Spider-Man 2" allows you to traverse the whole of Manhattan, as well as Roosevelt, Ellis and Liberty Islands. The buildings are all detailed to the bone, and there are NO loading times for simply exploring the map. The combat system allows several enemies to be fought at the same time, and features a wide variety of attacks and skills to be used. As an added bonus, Bruce Campbell, star of "The Evil Dead," plays the narrator.

Despite the fact that the story is quite short—I beat it in two days—the extras are exhaustive. There are hundreds of tokens scattered across the city, on skyscrapers and buoys, under tunnels and hidden in decrepit gang hideouts. Your objective? Collect 'em all. Considering Spidey's many means of transport, this is a lot more fun than it sounds. Also, there is a random crime system. As expected, New York is filled with crime. You're Spider-Man. Put 1 and 2 together. The crimes range in intensity from a child losing his balloon to an armored car being robbed. You are granted rewards depending on which crimes you choose to handle. The game employs "Hero Points" as both points and currency. You can use these points to buy more skills.

I liked the music, but there were no special tracks that stood out. However, all lines are spoken. This definitely adds points. The game does great in the graphics section. While from afar the buildings look jaggy and unrendered, when you get up close they become quite detailed. Spider-Man himself is very well done, but some of the other characters could use a little more detail. Otherwise, I found no problems.

The plot obviously follows the movie, but considering a two-hour movie doesn't have enough for a full-blown game, extra villains are added, such as Shocker and Mysterio. Black Cat, the popular eye-candy from the comics, has also made her return. Coupled with the random crimes and exploration tokens, the game is pretty expansive.

"Spider-Man 2" is a great game for hardcore and casual gamers alike. The spoilers are light, so if you play the game before you watch the movie, you aren't missing much. I suggest renting the game, and if you really like it, buy it. Oh, and definitely see the movie.


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