Spider-Man can be a very fun experience, and the game really does make you feel more like the hero more than any game that preceded it. If you have a Playstation (or a Nintendo 64 or Sega Dreamcast), this is a game worth trying out, and if you’re a Spidey fan, then you likely won’t be disappointed with a purchase.

When this game was released in 2000, it must have made a lot of web-heads very, very happy. Spider-Man had been a video game veteran, having appeared on home consoles since the day of the Atari 2600, but he had always been confined to side-scrolling, two-dimensional platform hopping. With the transition to 3-D came a greater freedom of movement, and the possibility that developers could finally create an experience that captured what it was to be Spider-Man. With this game, that possibility almost became a reality.

Why “almost” you ask? What it comes down to is the control in this game. While the control isn’t horrible, there are issues that will lead to frustration. Precise movements in this game can be very difficult, primarily due to the touchy camera. It is difficult to rotate slightly to the left or right, which you will often find yourself doing to prepare to swing or to launch a web at an enemy. Whenever you do attempt to rotate, your camera will swing around much more than you want. Also, there is no button to center your camera behind you. While it will automatically do this if you take a step forward, there are times when you just want to quickly recenter it without having to move. You may find yourself annoyed with crawling on walls and ceilings as well, since your controls will not reorient to which direction you are facing until you stop moving. As you progress through the game, though, you will become accustomed to this and may not find it a problem at all after playing the game for a while.

Control issues aside, there is much to like about Spider-Man. Many recognizable faces from the comics can be found here, such as Doctor Octopus, Carnage, Venom, and Rhino. Also, some of your fellow superheroes will show up as well, like Black Cat, the Human Torch, and Captain America. All of the characters are rendered faithfully, and for the most part, the voice acting is good as well. Venom’s voice really seemed appropriate to me, which was a big plus, given that he is a favorite character from the comic book (and I know I am in no way alone in this).

Spider-Man’s abilities in the game also seem fitting. Not surprisingly, he can tangle enemies in webbing and can do his signature web swinging, but he can also create a web shield, can create gloves out of webbing that cause more damage, and can shoot balls of webbing that inflict damage. The developers did a good job of animating Spider-Man as well, which definitely helps the player lose himself in the character—something that was harder to do with the stiffer movements of Spidey’s two-dimensional incarnations.

The game has unlockable content, such as comic book covers, character profiles and—probably the most interesting—new character costumes. While some of the changes these costumes bring are purely cosmetic, some will actually have an impact on the game, such as Spidey’s symbiote costume. Though I found the game maddening at times after missing jump after jump, the prospect of playing through again in the black Spidey suit makes me want to go ahead and fire up the Playstation now for another run-through.

While playing this game, I kept waffling on whether to recommend it or not. Now that I’ve completed it, I believe it worthy of a recommendation, regardless of what reservations I may have had. Spider-Man can be a very fun experience, and the game really does make you feel more like the hero more than any game that preceded it. If you have a Playstation (or a Nintendo 64 or Sega Dreamcast), this is a game worth trying out, and if you’re a Spidey fan, then you likely won’t be disappointed with a purchase.


My Microsoft Xbox Collection

This list last updated June 28, 2010.

Army Men: Sarge’s War
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Dead or Alive Ultimate
Dead or Alive 3
Doom 3 Limited Collector’s Edition
Far Cry Instincts
Fatal Frame
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly Director’s Cut
Half-Life 2
Halo 2 Limited Collector’s Edition
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter
Max Payne
NCAA Football 2005/Top Spin
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Tides of War (Platinum Hits)
Spider-Man 2
Star Wars Battlefront II
True Crime: Streets of LA (Platinum Hits)

Current game count: 25

My Super Nintendo Collection

This list last updated December 12, 2009.

Batman Returns
Battle Clash
Battletoads/Double Dragon
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage
Bulls vs Blazers and the NBA Playoffs
Cool Spot
Final Fight
Goof Troop
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
The Incredible Crash Dummies
Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures
Joe & Mac
Killer Instinct
The Lion King
Mega Man X
Michael Jordan Chaos in the Windy City
Pink Goes to Hollywood
Pit Fighter
Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday
Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle
The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots!
Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally
Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos
Spider-Man and the X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge
Sports Illustrated Championship Football & Baseball
Star Fox
Stunt Race FX
Super Bases Loaded
Super Mario All-Stars/Super Mario World
Super Mario World
Super NES Super Scope 6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters
Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!
Wings 2—Aces High
WWF Super Wrestlemania
X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

Current game count: 46

My Sony Playstation Collection

This list last updated January 1, 2009.

Dead or Alive
Deathtrap Dungeon
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill
Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown
Fear Effect
Final Fantasy VIII
Grand Theft Auto: The Director’s Cut
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Medal of Honor
Nightmare Creatures
Silent Hill (Greatest Hits)
Steel Harbinger
Syphon Filter
Vigilante 8
Wipeout XL

Current game count: 16

My Sega Genesis Collection

This list last updated August 15, 2009.

The Adventures of Mighty Max
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alien Storm
Altered Beast
Bio Hazard Battle
Blades of Vengeance
Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble
Captain America and the Avengers
Castle of Illusion
Fatal Labyrinth
Garfield: Caught in the Act
Golden Axe (Sega Classic)
Golden Axe II
Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude!
The Incredible Hulk
Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football
Jungle Book
Lakers Versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs
Last Battle
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Phantasy Star IV
The Pirates of Dark Water
Ranger X
Ren and Stimpy: Stimpy’s Invention
The Revenge of Shinobi
Risky Woods
Rocket Knight Adventures
Shadow Blasters
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Shining in the Darkness
Shining Force
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic Spinball
Space Harrier II
Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
Splatterhouse 2
Splatterhouse 3
Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
Streets of Rage 2
Sword of Sodan
Sword of Vermillion
Tommy Lasorda Baseball
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Zero Tolerance

Current game count: 56