Take the role of Parker as he adapts to his new powers and becomes Spider-Man. But beware - the city's villains won't be pleased to see a new hero on the scene.
He does whatever a spider can - and he does it the best on the Xbox. Spider-man is here, and the Xbox version once again reigns supreme, with better graphics, fuller sound, and tighter controls than the rest. If you have an Xbox, this is the game to beat for playability and entertainment, but like any good game, it's over way too soon.
The Xbox has a reputation to uphold - whenever a game is ported to all three systems, it has to look the best on the X-Box. To date, this has held true for almost any port, and it certainly holds true for Spider-man - it simply looks the best on the Xbox. From the start you can tell you're in for an enriching visual experience - the colors look sharper and more contrasted than the Game Cube version, and clearer and more defined than the PS2 version. The landscapes, from the warehouse to the city itself, burn themselves on to your eyes with their detail and expertly rendered look. You'll remember them long after you turn the TV off. You'll also see a lot of recognizable and fluid movement, especially if you're a fan of Tony Hawk - Neversoft made sure to include some of the THPS engine when designing Spidey - you can tell when he bounces off a building in mid-flight. Isn't that a varial kickflip he's performing?
The sound is pure Spidey, which means the best lines are reserved for the webbed wonder. He throws out caustic one-liners and genuinely funny witticisms like a spider spews a web - some are on-target, some get corny after a while, and some are groaners. But none of them reach the repetitive level that the thugs in the game throw out. With so much attention paid to Spidey, you'd think some of that would rub off on the remainder of the cast, but sadly it isn't so. You have to suffer through endless repeats of "Guess the circus is in town". All the other ambient effects, like the metal whizzing of flying enemies, or the Green Goblin's insane laughter are clear enough to get your attention, but the Spidey theme is used sparingly.
A Calculated Swinger
The controls make a swift entry on to the scene, and stick around to help out with all the butt-kicking action. Spidey has a large arsenal of combos available to him this time around, but most are just two or three button taps. When Spidey does execute a combo, he scores serious damage on enmies, so using the combos is wise. The only real control flaws are the constant targeting needed for flying enemies, which can be really annoying, and taxes your thumbs excessively. Besides that, you can swing, spin, shoot webs, and attack with movie-magic accuracy.
Spider-man is this summer's big hit, and the same could be said for the video game - but this is definitely the king of the three versions. Sweet graphics, including lots of stylish detail in the backgrounds and the movements of characters, solid sound that will make you laugh, and a control set that anyone can attach themselves to makes this game not only the best version, but a really good game for the X-Box as well. Take a cue from Spidey and Activision programmers - it shouldn't get more complicated than this.