Friday, December 14

Spider-man (PSP) Review

Available on: PSP
Price: varies second-hand
I played on: PSP
Notes: Do not confuse this with the other versions of this game.

Spider-man 2 for the PSP takes the mission structure and web swinging from the first game. Then it uses the improved controls and combat from the second game. This comes together in this fun if not flawed adventure for Sony's portable console. 

The game plays out in liner missions moving roughly through the events of the Sam Raimi Spider-man 2 which it’s based on. You will, however, be finding yourself going through very similar experiences to the first game as a lot of the levels from there are recycled here.  You once again have to chase a flying villain through the city repairing damaged billboards and water towers in time. Once again you have to save a number of civilians being attacked by goons in Grand Central station. All of this just feels lazy which is a shame as the new levels such as the museum are the best parts of the game while the reused levels all suffer the same issues as they did before.

Of course, taking on the crime of New York means plenty of bad guys will be standing in your way, so combat is important. You have lots of interesting moves and combos to get through all of which feel good to pull off. You can also use your webbing to tie enemies up for a short period of time or use it to pull their guns right out of their hands to make the fights a little more even. The best part of this game is the combat and it’s really a lot of fun seeing as the awful controls from the first game are gone. The movement also feels good with Spidey being able to crawl on walls or web swing with ease although as web swinging is once again automatic it feels more like flying while being unable to stop moving forward. This is not the amazing swinging we get on the console version of this game so if that’s what you’re after then you will have to pick up the PS2, Xbox or Gamecube version of Spider-man 2 instead.

The visuals during gameplay are very similar to the consoles but the PSP screen has them looking much sharper. Although when you get close to peoples faces and textures they do look a little poor but during normal gameplay, things look great. The issues start during the cutscenes as all the characters took a big jump into the uncanny valley with Mary Jane looking the worst due to her hair. I honestly only watched the cutscenes to see how bad each character would look and although Peter Parker looks almost like Tobey Maguire Mary Jane looks nothing like the beautiful Kirsten Dunst.

The plot is garbage to be blunt. Unless you have seen the film this game is based on you will have next to no idea what’s going on as the pacing during cutscenes is all over the place. Events from the film and other versions of the game are reordered and mixed together with certain key plot points left out altogether. This is not one to play for the story.

Spider-man 2 on the PSP is not awful but it’s also not great, honestly, I find it’s just above meh but it really does improve on the horrible first game and I’m glad to have a fun version of that in my collection. I have played far worse Spidey games in my time so if you have a PSP this is worth looking at while you’re away from your consoles.

Recommendation Rating: 6 out of 10.

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