keskiviikko 10. heinäkuuta 2013

REVIEW - Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six | GBC | 2001

GENRE(S): Action / Platform
RELEASED: May 15, 2001
DEVELOPER(S): Torus Games
PUBLISHER(S): Activision

The turn of the millennia was a very confusing time to be following the development of the Spider-Man video game franchise. The first Spider-Man movie by Sam Raimi had been announced, and Activision was almost automatically given the green light to order a licensed game based on the movie. Now I'm not sure, but that might've had a very confusing - and damaging - effect on how the new series that started with the critically acclaimed 2000 video game Spider-Man would continue. That game eventually got a sequel entitled Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro; unlike its praised predecessor, this game was exclusive to the PlayStation, and got a crushing response. Critics pretty unanimously blamed the poor quality of this anticipated sequel on the developers' rush and shifted focus. The Game Boy Color game got a sequel of its own, based on the very same band of rogues as Spider-Man's only appearance on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the day, with the basic rules of gameplay very loosely based on the second Spider-Man game on the original Game Boy. There's nothing new, then, but we can always hope for a better outcome.

The second return of the sinister d... still too predictable.

Oh look, it's Mr. Fishbowl.
Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, Scorpion, Kraven the Hunter and Doctor Octopus have reformed the Sinister Six. They attempt to kidnap Peter Parker to get closer to "his friend" Spider-Man, but being unable to find him, they kidnap Aunt May instead. Peter returns home to find a note left behind by Sandman and Scorpion, and immediately launches after the Six to kick some ass, Spidey style.

Just as I wrote earlier, I've heard fairly good things about this game, how it's a relatively better sequel to Game Boy Color's Spider-Man than Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was to the multi-platform big boy. Since it's a Game Boy Color game - once again I find myself asking why, since Game Boy Advance was just about to come out in the U.S. and Europe - I couldn't afford to ask much from it, and I didn't. Just tighter controls and some semblance of variety, for several core elements of the game. I heard it's a bit like Spider-Man 2 on the original Game Boy - if they could pull off a good game on the side of a good idea, why not? Then I reflected on the subtitle: The Sinister Six. The previous performance by this particular band of rogues was not a very good one. I carried on with mixed emotions...

Why do bad guys always
hang around at the docks?
The truth is Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six is almost everything I hoped for. Nothing more, nothing less. It's got good graphics, good music, good controls, a good plot if that matters, and yeah, although it's still a very straightforward and repetitive game, there is some semblance of variety. Calling it an apple from the same tree as Spider-Man 2 on the original Game Boy is exaggeration; while that game had a very strong adventure game feel to it, the only adventuring here happens after some switches scattered all across long-ass levels. There are no real key items or anything of the sort. Beat the "adventure" part to beat stage 1, go to the end of the level to beat stage 2, face off with one of the Sinister Six, proceed to the next level. This is how it goes, there's nothing really fancy to it.

The controls are much better than in the previous Game Boy Color game - the layout of the controls is pretty much the same - and that raises the game far above its predecessor. It's still very, very dull, but worth checking out if you are one of those people who simply can't get enough of Spider-Man.

+ Good graphics, and exceptionally good music
+ Good controls, none of that lack of traction very present in the first game

- Still run-of-the-mill
- Still too many lengthy, boring levels to waddle through

< 7.0 >

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