SONY PSP REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 2

At times in the past I might have been called a Spider-Man fanboy. That's fine. I wear that as a badge of honor because a cooler superhero hasn't walked the fictional earth than Peter Parker's wisecracking alter ego. Aside from the atrocious TV series back in the 70s, most Spider-Man products have been either kitschy cool (the funky 60s cartoons), downright awesome cool (The MTV cartoon series) or wow totally freaking awesome cool (the two blockbuster movies). The games on the otherhand have been hit and miss. And I'm just talking about the games based on Spider-Man 2.

Since last July, there have been no less than 8 different videogame products based on the same Spidey subject matter; namely the big showdown between the 8 limbed sciencefreak, Doctor Ock and the webslinger himself. The latest itsy bitsy spider to crawl up the digital drainpipe is Vicarious Visions take on the webhead.

Using Treyach's original movie game as inspiration and abandoning the sandbox freeroam of the Spider-Man 2 console versions, VV has essentially created a sequel to the first movie game that really stands on its own two feet. Those of you who enjoyed the mechanics of the first movie game (and yes, there are some of you) will be delighted to know that the PSP version continues the tradition, and even brings back high sky duels via a rematch with the Vulture and the good old camera lock system. For the really intuned, VV even brought back the yoyo move which was sorely missed in Treyarch's webswinging demo they called Spider-Man for the consoles.

Since Spider-Man is all about control, you might find the camera most vexxing in certain indoor areas of the game. The camera can be controlled but often times it simply places itself in the worst possible spot. Since I'm used to this annoyance, having logged countless hours playing Spider-Man games over the past few years, it really didn't hinder me all that much. People with a lower threshold of tolerance for this sort of thing might not be so easily cavalier about it. Once you get into the air and use the camera lock system you'll be treated to spectacular action views which really take the level of excitement up a notch, but just to warn you, while the city streets look inviting you can't reach them. Webswinging returns to its roots and you'll be able to hook onto the clouds once again. Jumping remains similar to the second movie game on the consoles which allows a powered jump as long as you get the upgrade during your travels.

In terms of added depth which goes beyond the movie you'll be treated to a sampling of supervillains that have appeared in the last few outings already. Vulture, Rhino and Shocker round out the villains (aside from the main event Doc Ock) and while things are changed up a little bit, you'll be able to defeat them fairly easily.

Tobey Maguire and Alfred Molina actually returned to add more voiceovers to the game that you haven't heard before and I was quite surprised to hear them. As well, you'll love the beautiful cutscenes because they haven't been recycled from previous projects.

Speaking of visuals, Spider-Man 2 on the PSP shines. It is the very first 3D Spider-Man game on a handheld system and it looks amazing. It looks even better on the PSP due to the small screen. Gone if the apelike out of disproportionate Spider-Man from the console game sequel and in it's place is that high gloss crisp well put together model from the original.

There are 19 levels of webswinging, wallcrawling goodness and while some aren't nearly as exciting as others, you'll definitely find yourself coming back to a few of them once you beat the game. So far I haven't successfully located any cool codes but I'm hoping that unlike the previous console versions of the second movie, that VV has added a ton of great extras to make this game even more fun to play again and again. If you're getting a PSP at launch and you are a Spider-Man follower, surely you'll be doing the right thing by taking Peter Parker's first PSP appearance out for a spin.

PReview by Vaughn

You've played the free-roaming console version, the Nokia N-gage game, the GBA title, the watered down PC version, the Activity Center CD-ROM for kids, the Sprint mobile cellphone game and the recently released Nintendo DS version, so what's left? Ah, the all new PSP version!

Contrary to popular belief (also known as internet message board postings) Vicarious Visions' take on Spider-Man 2 isn't a port of the console version released on PS2, GC and Xbox. Although we haven't played it, we'd have to say that it looks very similar to the first movie game developed by Treyarch.

What we can tell you is that this game will go miles beyond any handheld Spidey game to date. It appears to be in complete 3D unlike previous 2D handheld versions and from the screens posted here, it looks as visually sharp as the Xbox version of the Spider-Man the Movie. Now that's a hot looking game! Make sure you hit the screens below to get a really good look at the detail.

Spider-Man will not only battle the nefarious Doc Ock as he did in the movie, but classic villains such as Vulture, Rhino, Shocker and Mysterio are also present and accounted for. Along with his trademark webslinging and wallcrawling, Spidey will also have some new web moves such as the cocoon, web net and heavy web ball at his disposal.

Looks like this one has mounds of potential. We'll keep an eye on it and post any new info as soon as it's available.

Press:

Based on the blockbuster feature film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel, Spider-Man™ 2 leverages the PSP's processing power to deliver the most realistic Spider-Man experience on a handheld platform. As Spider-Man, players must master new combo moves as they protect the city of Manhattan from the nefarious Doc Ock and other classic Marvel villains by swinging, jumping and wall-crawling through 19 new levels that extend beyond the film. Featuring an unprecedented depth of gameplay, players experience original storylines and battle through graphically rich 3D environments.

    Features:

  • Explore the world of Spider-Man like never before - Swing, climb and web-sling through interactive 3D environments while experiencing scenarios, settings and characters based on the hit film and others that are exclusive to the game.
  • More Marvel villains than ever before - In addition to Doc Ock, gamers must battle a plethora of characters in Spider-Man's legendary Rogue's Gallery of villains, such as Mysterio, Rhino, Shocker and Vulture.
  • Amazing graphics and depth of gameplay - Utilizing the graphical power of the PSP, Spider-Man 2 delivers amazing console-like 3D graphics and incredibly immersive gameplay never before seen in a handheld Spider-Man game.
  • Enhanced combo system - Beyond Spider-Man's signature set of moves which include wall crawling, web yanking and capture webbing, Spider-Man 2 PSP brings a host of new moves to the handheld such as the "cocoon," "web net" and "heavy web ball."

 

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System: PSP
Dev: Vicarious Visions
Pub: Activision
Released: Mar 2005
Players: 1
Review by StewXX
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
5.0
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
3.0