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Developer:
Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Platform: XBox, Gamecube, PS2
Release Date: September 22, 2005

by Jason Ferguson




Over the years there have been a lot of Spiderman games, and they seem to keep getting better and better. Fortunately, Ultimate Spiderman continues the trend, and leaves Spiderman fans an enjoyable game that does a great job of capturing the essence of Spiderman.


The Venom suit was designed by Doctors Richard Parker and Edward Brock in an attempt to find a cure for cancer. Their children, Peter and Eddie, begin to dig up the past in order to find out more about their fathers and in the process accidentally unleash Venom! Peter Parker moves on with his life, going to school, working at the Daily Bugle, and fighting evil as Spiderman. Little does he know that Venom is out terrorizing the city!


As you progress through the game, youíll learn more about Edward Brock, Richard Parker, and the creation of the Venom suit. At specific points in the game youíll switch back and forth between Spiderman and Venom and be able to explore the city from their perspectives, and learn even more about the story.


Spiderman and Venom play very differently. Not only are their moves and abilities fairly distinct, but they control quite a bit differently too. This becomes a bit troublesome from time to time, as you're constantly having to adapt to new controls every time you switch back and forth between the two, but it adds a lot of variety to the gameplay.


The city is huge and features a fair amount of detail. You can spend a lot of time out exploring, web-swinging through the city, and checking out various landmarks. I found the exploration to be my favorite part of the game. Climbing up large skyscrapers and viewing the tiny city below was a lot of fun, as was swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper far above the city. Unfortunately, the game isnít very long at all, but thereís plenty of exploring to do and hidden items to collect.


You have a variety of mission goals that you must complete in order to progress the story. As Spiderman youíll complete races (such as racing Human Torch), rescue injured citizens, stop bank robberies, and fight foes such as Rhino and Green Goblin. My biggest complaint with the game is that it all seems like a bunch of pointless races between bits of storyline and boss fights. You complete a race, then fight a boss. Complete another race, then fight another boss. Heck, you even have to chase after most of the bosses forever before youíre able to fight them. The racing and chases are frustrating and are too many in number.


As Venom, you pretty much kill and destroy everything. You do a lot of fighting, from Silver Sable to Electro. Youíll also fight all sorts of goons, who youíll easily be able to dispose of. Venom can feed on his victims, replenishing his life. Heís also super strong, so he can pick enemies and even cars up and throw them across the screen!


The gameís voice acting is very good, and each voice seems to do a good job of matching the character. There is a good deal of voice acting, so having voice acting of this quality is nice. You may get tired of listening to Peter Parker whine ALL the time, but if youíre a Spiderman fan, youíre already used to it! The sound effects seem to be right out of the Spiderman cartoons and really heighten the experience. They bring the city to life, and help to pull you into the game! The visuals of the game are also great. The art style further increases the gameís comic-like feel, environments are expansive, and everything features a great level of detail. The game even features comic book-like frames as cutscenes. Playing Ultimate Spiderman feels very much like reading a comic book, so if youíre a Spiderman fan youíll probably be pleased.


If youíve enjoyed some of the other recent Spiderman games, such as Spiderman 2, then I definitely suggest you give Ultimate Spiderman a shot. Itís not perfect, but playing as Venom is a great change, and exploring the city is a lot of fun.


Final Grade: 78%




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