I have had the opportunity to play Spiderman games on three different systems over the years, and I must say by and large, that of all the Superhero games made, Spidey seems to get the best ones.
Since its launch, DS owners have looked forward with anticipation how developers are going to use its unique touch pad technology. And even I had given some thought as to what surprises Activision had in store for me when I received this title. I mean after all, it's Spider-man, the most user friendly comic book character in videogames.
Spider-man is a fairly linear title, unlike the console Spider-man games, there is no exploration factor since the game is more firmly planted in a 2-D world, rather then 3-D. Not that the game, which is viewed like a side scroller primarily, is completely free of 3-D elements. Rather as Spidey jumps, swings and crawls, the backgrounds stretch into the horizon, giving the player a feeling of visual depth. It's quite clever and works well with the game's overall dynamic. Spidey himself also looks pretty good for a blue and red cluster of pixels. He moves with a deliberate grace that at first surprised me, that and the ease in which he is controlled.
And speaking of controls, the title really doesn't rely heavily on the touch pad, more D-pad controls then anything. Sure there are a couple of scenarios that require you to whip out the stylus and begin slashing at the screen with wild abandon, but not enough for me personally. Other then that, there is a surprising amount of moves that Spider-man can do in this title.
Now the game is loosely based on the actual Spider-man 2 movie, only expanding on several of the (non)existent scenes. Each of the game's 16 levels involves completing specific requirements in order to complete the level. One level may have you defeating a certain amount of bad guys, where another has you rescuing people from a burning building. Not an entirely original idea, but the game is a bit above being just average.
At the end of the day Spider-man 2 is a decent game, better then the PSP version only because it does try to expand the gameplay by utilizing the DS's touch pad. I would say fans of ol' Spidey will want this one, as will gamers who really like action titles. Otherwise, the game could be rented and beaten in a weekend.
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Spider-Man's doing whatever a spider can to empty out wallets the world over, and if you're a gamer, you aren't excluded from this fact. With Spidey licensed titles across all major platforms, it shouldn't be a surprise that Spider-Man joined in on the PSP launch, swinging his way into your PSP not only as a UMD movie, but also as an exclusive action adventure title starring the infamous web-slinger himself.
Spider-man 2 on the PSP isn't a straight up port of its big brother counterparts on the consoles; rather, it takes some of the worst elements from both titles and mashes them both into one mess.
The results, as you'd expect, aren't all that spectacular.
The one thing that made the console version of Spider-Man 2 noteworthy was the open-ended experience. It borrowed a lot from the Grand Theft Auto 3 series since Spider-Man could swing around the city at will, and a lot of fun was derived from just zipping around the city as fast as a spider can. Problem is that in Spider-Man 2 PSP, that entire free-roaming element is taken out. Instead, there really is no open city environment, and when you are swinging around out and about, it's done in a much more mundane fashion, with an invisible roof above your head like in the first Spider-Man. It's a shame, because the simple joy of Spider-Man's spectacular abilities feel completely dumbed down in Spider-Man 2 PSP; there's no joy in swinging in the open environments and no fun reaped from crawling around in the enclosed spaces.
Combat, likewise, feels like it was taken straight right out of Spider-Man 2, which isn't inherently bad in itself; it's just that the awkward and unresponsive control ruins the flow of it all. The worst offender is the often-sluggish analog nub; it just doesn't work too well with the fast-paced action of the game. The rest of Spider-Man 2 on the PSP, unfortunately, won't do much to sweep you off your feet since the level design, by and large, is mediocre and often aggravating.
Spider-Man 2's strong point is that it looks and sounds nice. It holds a lot of similarities between its big brother console versions, though it doesn't manage to uproot the throne from them. The animation looks smooth and the environments are solid, but there's a bit of ghosting when there's a lot of movement on screen, but that's more likely an inherent flaw of the PSP.
Even so, there are a lot of fantastic PSP launch titles, but Spider-Man 2 isn't one of them. If you absolutely need some Spider-Man action on your PSP, stick with the Spider-Man 2 UMD movie that came with your PSP. Otherwise, ignore, abhor, and direct all your scorn towards Spider-Man 2 if you can.