Ultimate Spider-Man

Review

posted 10/27/2005 by Shawn Kendrick
other articles by Shawn Kendrick
One Page Platforms: PS2

All right guys and girls it’s time to fess up. At one point in time during your childhood you wanted to be a super hero. That’s perfectly normal for a child; it’s no big deal at the time, kids are supposed to idolize people with fantastic powers. For us adults, well, we still want to be a superhero and we don’t have to ask our parents for money. Thus the reasoning for yet another installment of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. This game fills a large demographic, ranging from actual teenagers all the way up to us overgrown, overworked teenagers commonly known as adults.

This latest chance to become our favorite web slinger is in the form of Activision’s Ultimate Spider-Man, for the PS2. This time around Activision bases the story line of the game on the comic book. Previously, the Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 versions were based on the recent motion pictures. As you would expect, from a comic book and/or movie based game, this is obviously an action adventure game. Likewise, it is chalk full of the standard fare of crashes, bangs, and booms like most games of this genre. All the fighting along the way ultimately leads to a showdown with the baddest of the bad guys. In this case his name is Venom.

As usual Peter Parker is acquainted with the person who eventually becomes the bad guy. Peter’s dad and Eddie’s dad were developing a suit.  It seems that the suit is part of a development gone awry. Naturally the Venom suit falls into the hands of the misguided young Eddie Jr. Of course the result is havoc being wreaked upon New York City.

Where this game differs is in the path that the player must take to the finale. Like the Spider-Man 2 version, this game takes on a very GTA-esque feel in regards to the ability to explore the city. This free form style is always welcome and I believe was pretty much expected in this version. The kicker to this installment is the fact that you have the opportunity play both major roles of the story line.

When playing the part of Spider-Man you have to complete various city goals in order to advance the story. After you complete the city goals you can then go to the next story mission. In addition to this, there are city events that take place. City events can include mundane tasks like saving a dangling person from a building or foiling a mugging.  There are also many extras, such as completing races and finding items such as tokens, landmarks, and comic book covers. These extras unlock secret content.

While meandering through the adventure, I found that the frequency of city events wasn’t enough to keep the pace of the game going. It seemed that these events were relatively fun and sometimes challenging. However, there simply weren’t enough of them to occupy our time between the long periods of roaming around the city looking for stuff.

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