'Spider-Man' (Game Boy Advance Review)
Nintendo Games Based on Movies
Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of this game is not for the faint of heart. If somebody told you it was a good game, if somebody said I was your average gamer, not a care in the world… Somebody lied. But let me assure you, this, like any other game worth reviewing, is all about a movie. Spider-Man. The movie I loved since before I even liked movies. I’d like to tell you this game was good, heck I’d settle for decent. Too bad this game is the epitome of bad.
Spider-Man for the Game Boy Advance has nothing to do with the movie it's based on. It has some similarities regarding the characters that appear in the game, but that's really it. I mean why adapt the plot from a good movie into the game right?
The game isn’t unplayable, but it’s very straining to play. Now the versions for Xbox, Playstation 2, and GameCube are debatably classics. So what happened to the Gameboy Advance version?
For starters, the levels are way too tedious. Most of the levels require you to locate a certain number of items, mostly bombs, gas tanks, or hostages, over and over again. It starts off small, but towards the end of the game they make you find an abundance of these items. For example, one level makes you find 17 bombs.
Why not 20 bombs? That's a nice even number. Why does the number have to be weird like 17? You would think anything past 10 would be enough bombs! I mean who has the time to be leaving bombs everywhere?
In the game's defense, there are one or two unique levels, such as the Shocker section of the game where you have to escape a collapsing subway tunnel. Yet, it’s ruined by the games awful controls.
The web slinging is way too unresponsive. In order to web zip, you have to press both L and A, which isn’t the problem. Whenever you want to web zip diagonally, you have to incorporate the D-pad. Yet, web zipping diagonally barely works when you try to do it. Spider-Man always just web zips up like an asshole.
Then whenever you swing to a platform, sometimes the game freaks out and Spider-Man jumps somewhere else. Many times that jump sends you to your death. It’s like Spider-Man knows how shitty the game is and commits suicide because of it.
The weirdest part of the game is the swinging mini game. It comes out of nowhere between some levels and I never seem to complete any of them. All you have to do is constantly press A and move in the direction the arrow tells you to. You can press the A button all you want, but sooner or later Spider-Man will randomly just fall to his death.
The enemies are the worst. You have thugs, armed thugs, thugs juggling chainsaws on unicycles, and robot spiders. No matter what, you’ll always take damage from the enemies. There’s armies of them throughout the levels and they respawn over time. Most of the time I found myself swinging past all of them just to keep my health up.
The bosses aren’t anything too special. You fight Vulture, Shocker, Kraven the Hunter (twice), Scorpion, the Green Goblin, and a giant spider. Once you figure out the pattern, all you have to do is constantly repeat your attacks. For example, you have to constantly jump kick Kraven.
The bosses are really hard considering there’s no health power-ups during them. The bosses sometimes require you to beat them a certain amount of times before you actually defeat them. Their health regenerates, but you’re shit out of luck. I will admit the bosses are the best part of the game.
The ending of this game is a complete diversion from the movie and I have to address it. Spoilers if you haven't seen Spider-Man, but let's be honest, you're reading this review, which means at some level you're a nerd like me. Thus, you definitely have seen the first Spider-Man movie because you're a nerd. It's simple mathematics.
In the movie, Norman Osborn dies and Peter rejects Mary Jane Watson. The game ends with Norman Osborn being arrested and Spider-Man makes out with Mary Jane Watson. Did the game developers even see the movie? How did they fuck that up?!? They did the exact opposite.
I will give this game credit where it's due though. The graphics are great for a Game Boy game. There's three dimensional elements in the game and it's really impressive. Plus, the 2-D graphics aren't bad either.
Lastly, I want to mention the secrets you collect throughout the game. They’re just pixelated screenshots from the movie. I would rather just watch the movie! At least that way I’ll be entertained rather than subjecting myself to playing a tedious, difficult, and mediocre Spider-Man game.