tiistai 11. kesäkuuta 2013

REVIEW - Spider-Man 2 | GB | 1992

GENRE(S): Action / Adventure
RELEASED: Aug 1992

Spider-Man still hadn't made his home debut under the Nintendo brand when LJN were already squeezing out a sequel to Game Boy's The Amazing Spider-Man. This game was called Spider-Man 2 in the U.S., but I guess us Europeans had to have the connection to the previous game spelled out for us, as the game was renamed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 upon its European launch. The game's original title makes it the first of three games released on the three most essential Game Boy models through time, named Spider-Man 2. Pretty neat, huh? ...Now for the more important question: did anyone care? No, not even me - I'm desperately trying to come up with something to start with, here. The game certainly doesn't offer up much to go on, despite a nice gameplay concept.

Cranial carnage

Peter Parker wakes up with the worst hangover ever - or so it seems, at least - and upon reading the morning Bugle, discovers that Spider-Man's been framed for a bank robbery. He takes on a band of villains led by Mysterio, believing them responsible for the robbery and his condition.

Mine too.
I've said it before, and though it's kinda hard to believe sometimes, I'm always willing to give the benefit of a doubt to a licensed game - always, especially when they deal with a favourite comic book character of mine, or a few of them. This one has appealing box art on its side - last game had Venom for a final boss, this one's got... well, Mysterio. Carnage, the second-to-last boss is depicted on the front cover - and making him second-to-last doesn't really tingle my senses in any good way. It was a letdown, having the first boss from the last game as the head honcho and probably Spider-Man's most deadliest enemy as a mere right hand man, but I guess my point - it's there, somewhere - is that you can certainly play the game long enough to see this awkward equation transpire. Which isn't long at all, since the game is damn short. The controls are  devastatingly bad, the game doesn't look or sound that awesome - the cutscenes are particularly poor - but the game has somewhat of a neat idea, as it's more of an adventure game than of the standard action-platformer fare.

Spider-Man 2 is like a very early and compact draft of Batman: Arkham Asylum, with downtown New York serving as Arkham Island. Don't get your slightest hopes up about the game's quality by the notion that I just made, as it was merely the first game to come to my mind when describing the concept on a theoretical level. The game doesn't have clear cuts between levels, and not every level ends in a boss fight. For example, the Hobgoblin's up there from the beginning, hovering on top of Peter's house and dropping bombs on the street. You're supposed to figure out how to get to him and what makes him tick; if I'm not totally mistaken, it's possible to clash with him right when you see him, not recommended though. In some cases, you can get to boss rooms beforehand, but won't be able to meet the boss face to face before finding and registering a clue to the boss' whereabouts from somewhere else. Ironic. And kinda frustrating.

Key items are the most important part of making progress. In the first level, you need a crowbar to bust through a boarded up door - yep, even Spider-Man needs tools sometimes - a key card for another door, and finally, some oil to make Hob's busted hovercraft work after the boss fight and fly you over an electric fence at the end of the street. To have any chance against the Lizard, you need to have a vial of antidote equipped as you fight him, an antidote which is hidden away in his lab, obscured by a puzzle - a real puzzle! Neat. Everything thus far sounds kinda neat, now doesn't it?

It's the heebee-jeebie again.
Well, feel free to cling on to everything that I just said in an effort to be intrigued, 'cause here goes: the game's controls are FUBAR. Seriously. It sounds just as annoying as you'd expect any other Game Boy title of the sort to sound, and due to the tricks to hide the game's ultimate linearity, it can be quite damn cryptic at its worst. When it comes to these particular types of cryptic passages, I'd compare Spider-Man 2 to a much more recent multi-platform title for the current console generation, which I'm actually playing at the moment, but I won't since I haven't reviewed that game just yet. Probably very soon, though. I'll also probably return to this game then. Only verbally, though - I'm not too intrigued in taking this for another spin.

As ironic as it might sound, I'm quite stoked - relatively speaking - about taking on the third game in this series. Nothing about Spider-Man 2 is top-notch, not even relatively, but for once, LJN invested in an interesting game instead of another simple platformer, one that Marvel fans might want to check out for its kinda unique idea alone.

+ Neat, original concept

- Crappy presentation in comparison to the previous game
- Controls; the web in particular is still a bitch to work with, and still a bitch to replenish if you run out
- Cryptic passages; despite being able to move freely across "levels", you need to find every single clue and location indicator in the game to actually make progress

< 5.8 >

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti