The Spiderman 2 game has graced almost every major platform available, and why not? It’s well designed, looks good, and most importantly, it’s great fun. On some of the other handheld platforms, Spidey has had to tone down his style due to lack of hardware capability, being relegated to the side-scrolling genre. Not so with the PSP - he appears on our small screen in full three-dimensional glory - his razor wit sharpened to a fine point, his web cartridges filled to capacity, primed and ready for action. The game loosely follows the plot of the movie, but original comic-book villains abound. There’s Mysterio, Shocker, Vulture and Rhino to contend with, all while Doc Ock tears the city apart. Poor Spidey’s got his work cut out for him.
Vicarious Visions have opted for a more linear approach to this release than its console cousins have had, and in that respect, it feels a lot like the original Spiderman 1 for the Playstation (but looks better of course). The training mode where you learn to control our hero is very similar, the dry-witted instructor (voiced by Bruce Campbell again) teaching you all the tricks of the trade as you work your way through the simple tasks he sets. Slinging 101 so to speak. The game itself consists of 19 stages, each requiring you to complete certain tasks before continuing on to the next. Rescuing hostages from Mysterio’s booby-trapped mansion, swinging after Vulture as he flies over the city, or in a scene very reminiscent of the movie - chasing Doc Ock along the roof of a speeding train. There were a few letdowns in this release though. For a superhero with the reactions of a scaled up spider, control with the analogue nub makes him seem more like Snailman, and sometimes he almost turns like a car rather than a person. There’s also a little less control while you’re swinging on your web, which will now stick to anything, including mid-air. The exclusive PSP cut-scenes are fantastic though - very highly polished, and the voice acting is completely original, featuring Alfred Molina, Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and even the videogame voiceover man, James Arnold Taylor. Overall, it’s an entertaining game to show off your PSP with and looks so good you’ll have people drooling over your shoulders.