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 PLATFORM: XBOX
THE ARACHNID X-FACTOR

ctivision has had its hand in Spider-Man’s webbing for several years now and has proven time and time again that it knows how to create a stellar game that is faithful to this license. Of course, the Spider-Man motion picture is an entirely different beast than the lighthearted comic adventures. Certainly, Activision could have forged a game that follows the film’s story verbatim. I highly doubt, however, that gamers would’ve enjoyed having an emotional heart to heart with Aunt May, or having to attend school every day. Rather than experimenting with a newfangled formula, Activision and developer Treyarch stuck with their guns and developed a game that complements its existing stable of Spider-Man games.

For those of you familiar with these titles, you’ll feel right at home. In my opinion, the only striking difference between this game and the previous endeavors is the artistic direction – it’s much darker, keeping with the cinematography of the film. Of course, the wall crawling experience is heightened through a handful of new gameplay elements. In addition to the plethora of combat and webbing maneuvers, players can now compete in intense aerial battles that display insanely detailed cityscapes and come equipped with slick lock-on controls. As the game unfolds, you’ll also have the ability to unlock new combo sequences. To say the very least, the controls are bursting at the seams with options and strategies. Once again, however, the camera system is your greatest foe. The action is blistering, yet the camera moves like a slug and requires constant maintenance from the player.

Don’t let this discourage you, though.  Assuming the identity of the most agile character in comics proves to be thoroughly amusing yet again. Out of all three versions (Xbox, PS2, GC), Spider-Man shines brightest on Microsoft’s console. The graphics are sharper and as an added bonus, this is the only version that offers exclusive material: two extra levels featuring Kraven the Hunter.   



JUSTIN LEEPER   8.25
The camera is about as useful as a squished bug. We’re all griping about it, but that only shows how inexcusable a bad camera is now – especially for a series in its third incarnation. What’s even worse is how your controls get screwed up when you try to correct its position. Most aspects of Spider-Man are super, though. Spidey’s vast arsenal of moves gives you many options for every situation. I personally like zipping. The only time the web-head doesn’t shine is when Tobey Maguire labors through a voice line. Ouch! On the other hand, Bruce Campbell proves again that he’s the man as your narrator (sorry, Stan Lee). It’s a good-sized quest, backed by replay-inducing points which unlock cool bonuses like the four-player Pinhead Bowling (I got a 233 my second game). In the arachnid wars, I’ll choose a scorpion every time; but in the movie and game domain, it’s spiders all the way.
8.25
CONCEPT:
Based on the motion picture, yet modeled exactly like the Activision’s existing Spider-Man games
GRAPHICS:
The reflections on the buildings are brilliantly conceived. The texturing on Spidey couldn’t be much sharper or defined, either
SOUND:
The orchestrated movie score with new voiceovers by Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, and Bruce Campbell
PLAYABILITY:
Tons of moves...frustrating camera system
ENTERTAINMENT:
The varying level goals generate an engrossing play experience
REPLAY:
Moderate
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