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Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro (PSOne)
Spider Man is back for more in this PSOne sequel, clinging to walls and defending for the betterment of mankind.
By - Andrew S. Bub

"With great power comes great responsibility," celebrated comics creator Stan Lee once said, and when Activision, released their Spider Man video game release a few years ago, they exercised that responsibility to the fullest. Looking back it's amazing that nobody tried the 3D perspective and innovative control Spider Man offered before then. Now, with the inevitable (but decidedly late) sequel, the whole thing feels kind of two-dimensional and tired. What was once fresh and addictively sticky is now a mixed sort of ragged dusty cobwebs.

Old Star Fish Head

As you can imagine, the villain of this piece is "old star-fish head," also known as Electro. An army of anonymous thugs and previous Spider-Man baddies like the Sandman and the Shocker, and even the Edward G. Robinson inspired metal-head plated mob boss called Hammerhead, stand between Spidey and Electro, who is trying to tap some power source to make himself immortal, or something. As before, the super villain battles are mainly just gussied up puzzles -- you have to use your webbing to drag crates atop the head of the Shocker, for example. Once you figure out how to do it, it's just a matter of repeating it and not dying. But for a comic book fan it's undeniably cool to see these guys 3D rendered.

Spider-Man does have a few new tricks, er… webs, up his sleeves. He can still make web gloves for extra hitting power, make a web-shield, and shoot a web-missile. Now he can also grab and pull objects with his webbing, including enemies, which is great fun. He has access to limited amounts of freeze or electrified webbing, and can find all kinds of health and other power-ups hidden on the various levels. Taking a page from Batman, Spidey has a suit of Spider-Armor and even a suit that handily absorbs electricity. Naturally he is still super strong, super agile, can wall crawl and has his spider sense to warn him of danger. The game still translates these abilities faithfully and well.

But again, the game depends a little too much on narrow-minded puzzles. Each level (especially those with time limits or the open-air web swinging city levels) has pretty much one path, and the gameplay devolves to failing until you find that path and can continue onward. The super-villain encounters are the same, and it's a pity, given the array of moves; you can't slug it out better using your own creativity in the game.

More Ditko than Romita Jr.

The graphics are the same as last time with no real obvious changes. Fans who upgraded to the Dreamcast or more recent PC versions of the original game will find a return to the PlayStation a muddy and unsatisfying journey. The audio is jazzy and energetic, keeping the action light and slightly silly. It's a pity the game uses the same problematic camera system as before because improvements to this most basic part of the game would have improved it immeasurably.

Next: Camera work...

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