Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review #406: Spider-man(PS1)

 Here comes the Spider-man!
 As I've said in my first impressions entry, I'm pretty sure that this was the first game to be both a great game and a game that made the most out of the Spider-man license. This is a stage-based linear action game that puts you in the boots of Spider-man, web-slinging in-and-out of trouble, fighting popular villains and doing everything a spider can.

 The game offers a healthy selection of baddies: Doc Ock, Rhino, Mysterio and even Venom, alongside cameos of super heroes like Black Cat, Captain America, Punisher and Daredevil. Just don't think too hard about how they behave in the game, as there's a few out-of-character moments, particularly Venom who's been dumbed down, literally. The story is pretty focus on the symbiotes, but it does a good job of shoe-horning in every baddie for you to fight them, which in a licensed game and of its era, it's pretty neat. Regardless, you won't be playing this game for its story, that's for sure, but rather for the fanservice.
 And the fanservice isn't just cosmetics, Spider-man can stick to almost every surface and crawl around, he can web-sling through the air, web his enemies, create a dome of web, add webbing to his fists in order to increase damage as well as lift some objects and throw them around, in case you don't want to just grab your enemies and throw'em or punch'em. There's a very wide slew of actions that Spider-man can perform, which is nothing short of fantastic, and the game does a fantastic job of making you feel like the wall-crawler. There's this section in the beginning in which you must infiltrate a building and save the hostages, and it felt so good to crawl through the roof, webbing enemies from above before they knew what struck them!

 While it works fine for the most part, there were a few chinks in the design. Sometimes when zipping straight to a roof can invert your controls, which isn't too much of an issue 'till you find yourself in timed stages, like stalking Venom or the end-game's chase sequence. It can really throw you off and force you to restart the entire stage. The camera is a bit lackluster as well, while you can tap L1 to shift it behind you, it doesn't do a good job of following behind Spider-man by itself. The controls also show a few problems when trying to get specific type of web attacks to come out or to aim, like the Mysterio fight which had me throwing Impact webbing at thin air. Luckily, none of these issue ruin the game.
 The game offers a hearty challenge on its default difficulty, you will probably have to retry a few stages until you figure out how to deal with obstacles or enemies. There're aren't many puzzles, besides figuring out how to defeat a few bosses, but what few puzzles there were were pretty neat. Fulfilling certain conditions, or using cheats, lets you unlock costumes, of which there're plenty and they are pretty cool, I just wish they didn't come with secondary bonuses(Or handicaps!) since I really wanted to use the Spider-man 2099 costume but I didn't want extra strength!

 Spider-man on the PS1 is pretty darn great, while it's no longer 'the best super-hero game' out there, it's still got it. This game is easy to recommend even if you don't like Spider-man. And if you do like it, don't expect too much out of its story besides excuses to have you fight all the various villains. I mean, J. J. Jameson calls Peter and tells him to call 911, like, what the hell??
 7.5 out of 10

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