Spider-Man: Battle for New York

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a game by Activision
Genre: Action
Platform: GBA
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.4/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Comics Games, Spider-Man Games
Spider-Man: Battle for New York
Spider-Man: Battle for New York
Spider-Man: Battle for New York
Spider-Man: Battle for New York

The history of Spider-Man games on video game consoles has been iffy at best over the years, prior to Insomniac’s Spider-Man (2018) of course. There were hits such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006) and disappointing duds such as the Amazing Spider-man 2 (2014). Where you’ll find Torus Games‘ Spider-Man: Battle for New York (2006) for the DS and 2DS is right in the middle.

The Classic Rivalry Renewed

In Spider-Man: Battle for New York, Norman Osborn has finally discovered Spider-Man’s true identity. Obsessed with duplicating the method in which Peter Parker gained his super-powers, he attempts a dangerous experiment. From that experiment, the Green Goblin is born. He doesn’t stop there and goes on to create a Goblin army. There’s only one superhero that can save New York and we all know who that is – your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This plotline follows the Ultimate universe’s take on these adversaries, with a fresh take on how they were introduced to one another.

What makes the re-imagining of this classic story fun to follow is the excellent cutscenes – drawn by the famed American comic book artist Ron Lim. These cutscenes are impressive and help tell the story in comic-book fashion. You’ll find yourself playing through the stages if only just to get the chance to experience more of the cutscenes. On the DS or 2DS, you won’t find more well-made cutscenes.

Goblin, Smash!

You’ll start the game as the Green Goblin, which is an interesting choice in narrative since the game is named after Spider-Man. My first reaction to this rendition of the Green Goblin is that he’s a smaller, less powerful Hulk with the ability to throw fire and perform special attacks. You won’t be flying around on his goblin glider or throwing pumpkin bombs in this game. Instead, your goal as the Goblin is to smash everything in sight. This means any sort of law enforcement or SHIELD agents that get in your way. The Green Goblin can jump quite high, but you’ll find yourself missing that glider just like I did.

At your disposal are you a few attacks. You can simply punch your enemies with a few combos, or you can use your power bar to throw a fireball from a distance. On the 2DS version, there are special attacks that can be activated using the touch screen. This add a bit more variety to the Goblin’s attacks, which is very helpful considering how poor the game’s hit detection is.

While it’s great to play as a villain, this was already done in Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance the year prior. In that game, player could play as Venom, who was much more fun to play as than the Green Goblin. If you could at least fly on the glider as Goblin, this would have added a fun element to the game.

Spider-Man, You’re Grounded!

I think I can speak for most fans of Spider-Man when I say that his most intriguing ability is his ability to swing anywhere he’d like while shootings webs out his hands as both a tool and weapon. Unfortunately, you won’t be doing that too often in Battle for New York. While you can swing and shoot webs, it’s tied to a power bar. If you miss your target, oh well! You’ll have to search for more enemies to defeat since they may drop a power-up that allows you to use your web-abilities again. This means you’ll be grounded for much of the game.

Since you won’t be zipping through the air as often, the game tried to introduce the Threat Assessment Meter (TAM) during Spidey stages. This meter is used to help guide you through the stages where there are puzzle elements. Such stages including trying to find a lever or switch to open a door or finding citizens of New York in distress to save. All of this is tied to the TAM, so if that runs out, you’ll have to do the stage all over again.

Fighting as your neighborhood Spider-Man is similar to the Goblin, albeit slightly different. You can use your limited web abilities to trap enemies or cause environmental hazards such as fire or electricity in times of need. You’ll still be mashing that punch button with the occasional special attack (on the 2DS).


Overall, fans of Marvel’s Spider-Man might want to pick this up as it does a solid job at telling a fresh take on the Spider-Man vs Green Goblin story. However, the poor hitboxes during combat and lack of web-slinging bring this game down a few notches. If you’re not that big of a Spider-Man fan and just want some fun action, you might be better off just picking up Ultimate Alliance if you haven’t already.


  • Fresh take on Spider-Man vs Green Goblin
  • Told through comic book pages with great art
  • Able to play as both the protagonist and antagonist


  • Very poor hit detection during combat
  • Limited use of Spider-Man’s abilities
  • The Green Goblin is stripped of his usual gear
  • No special abilities on the DS version

Download Spider-Man: Battle for New York


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

GBA Screenshots