Spider-Man (2000 video game)
|Director(s)||Jay Halderman (N64)|
|Producer(s)||Kevin Mulhall & Jason Uyeda|
Drew Fisher (N64)
Gregory John & Jonathan Zamkoff (Dreamcast)
Team Baisoku (GBC)
Srini Aouie Lakshmanan (Dreamcast)
Jason L. Maynard & Michael S. Livesay (PC)
Christian Bušić (Dreamcast)
Russell Truelove (PC)
Jorge Diaz, Jonathan Russell, Rick Grossenbacher (GBC)
|Writer(s)||Jorge Diaz, Jonathan Russell, Karthik Bala (GBC)|
|Release||PlayStation, Game Boy Color|
Spider-Man is a 2000 action-adventure video game based on the Marvel Comics series The Amazing Spider-Man. Although it features the likenesses and same voice actors, it is not based on the animated television shows from the 1990s. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision using the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game engine for the PlayStation; the game was later ported by different developers to various systems including the Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64 that same year, as well as the Dreamcast and Microsoft Windows in 2001.
The game follows Spider-Man as he is framed by a doppelgänger, making him a wanted criminal, and attempts to clear his name, while foiling a symbiote invasion plot orchestrated by Doctor Octopus and Carnage. The game features villains from the comics as bosses, including Scorpion, Rhino, Venom, Mysterio, Carnage and Doctor Octopus, as well as a Carnage symbiote-possessed Doctor Octopus, who was created exclusively for the game. The game was followed by three sequels in 2001: Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, developed exclusively for the Game Boy Color by Torus Games; the Playstation-exclusive Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, and the Game Boy Advance-exclusive Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace, both developed by Vicarious Visions. The game features narration from co-creator Stan Lee, and is the first Spider-Man game published by Activision following their acquisition of the license, which would expire in 2014.
The game has the player controlling Spider-Man as he goes through each level, either trying to reach the exit or complete a certain objective. The player must retry the current level if Spider-Man runs out of health, falls off a building or fails to complete certain objectives such as rescuing a hostage. Spider-Man is able to utilize his spider powers to traverse the environments, being able to crawl on walls and ceilings, swing short distances and instantly zip between certain points. In combat, Spider-Man can utilize a limited supply of web-cartridges to attack his enemies, either webbing them up to stall or defeat them, increasing the strength of his attacks or forming an explosive barrier. Spider-Man can also find comics, which unlock a Spider-Man comic book issue cover in the menu screen, as well as power-ups such as Spider-Armor which temporarily increases his strength and defense, and Fire Webbing which is effective against symbiotes.
A supposedly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius is holding a scientific demonstration at Science Expo 2000, in New York City, but is interrupted when an impostor Spider-Man attacks the crew and steals his equipment. Eddie Brock tries to take pictures for J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle, but the impostor shatters his camera. In rage, the Venom symbiote resurfaces inside Brock, and he swears revenge on both Jameson and Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Peter Parker (the real Spider-Man, who was in attendance) is framed for the incident and the police ensue a manhunt for him. Elsewhere, two unseen figures release a strange fog into the city, which quickly covers the streets.
After meeting with Black Cat and foiling a bank robbery by the Jade Syndicate, Spider-Man is forced to save Jameson from Scorpion. He defeats Scorpion, only for an ungrateful Jameson to call the police on him. While trying to escape, Spider-Man encounters Daredevil, who promises to spread the word about Spider-Man's innocence. After evading a police chopper, Spider-Man reunites with Black Cat, who informs him of two new problems: Rhino is attacking a power plant owned by Omni-Tech, and Venom has kidnapped his wife Mary Jane Parker to lure out Spider-Man. Choosing to aid Black Cat in fighting Rhino first, Spider-Man defeats him and leaves him for the police, but Black Cat, who was severely injured by Rhino, is kidnapped by unknown assailants posing as paramedics.
After encouragement from the Human Torch, Spider-Man sets out to find Venom, only for him to appear behind him and lead Spider-Man on a chase through the city and then the sewers, during which Spider-Man has to fight numerous lizard-men. Eventually, he comes across an imprisoned Lizard, who reveals that the lizard-men are his experiments that were stolen by Venom, and points Spider-Man to the location of Venom's lair. There, Spider-Man saves Mary Jane and defeats Venom, to whom he then explains that someone has framed him and, thus, they have deliberately been turned against each other. To make amends, Venom decides to aid Spider-Man in finding the identity of the impostor, and the two arrive at the Daily Bugle to search through Jameson's files for the information.
During the search, Venom senses the presence of Carnage nearby and leaves to find him. Now on his own, Spider-Man discovers an infestation of symbiotes in the entire building and clears them out, before coming across the impostor: Mysterio. After defeating him, Spider-Man learns about his boss' plan to infest New York with symbiotes, and that the fog over the city acts as a beacon for the symbiotes, which will prepare the citizens for symbiosis. Mysterio then points Spider-Man to his boss' hideout at Warehouse 65 and, on the way there, Spider-Man encounters the Punisher, who helps him locate and infiltrate the warehouse.
Spider-Man discovers a massive undersea base and infiltrates it, where he comes across a symbiote manufacturing operation, as well as an imprisoned Black Cat. After stopping the fog and rescuing Black Cat, Spider-Man finally confronts her kidnappers and the masterminds behind the symbiote invasion: Octavius and Carnage. Taking up his Doctor Octopus persona once again, Octavius explains that he faked his reform and that, with the help of Carnage's symbiote - which all symbiotes are cloned from - plans to create a new world dominated by symbiotes, under his rule. Just then, Venom shows up and fights Carnage, while Spider-Man defeats Doctor Octopus, but Carnage beats Venom, forcing Spider-Man to fight Carnage himself. Spider-Man defeats Carnage by tossing him in a sonic bubble. Later, the symbiote leaves Carnage and fuses with Doc Ock, creating an enormous, out-of-control monster called "Monster Ock". As the base begins to self-destruct, Spider-Man escapes from Monster Ock, who gets caught in an explosion, removing the symbiote. He and the unconscious Doctor Octopus are then saved by Captain America, who was called by Black Cat and Venom.
In the epilogue, at the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Spider-Man is shown playing cards with Captain America, Daredevil, and the Punisher, while Black Cat and the Human Torch are dancing. In prison, Mysterio, Rhino, Scorpion, and a Jade Syndicate thug are also playing cards, while Doctor Octopus is banging his head against the cell bars, lamenting over his plan's failure.
Spider-Man uses the same game engine as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Spider-Man was a hidden character in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and a reference is made to this during gameplay. The PlayStation, Dreamcast, and Windows versions have pre-rendered cutscenes, whereas the Nintendo 64 version shows captioned freeze-frames done in the style of a comic book and with fewer voice clips, due to that console's technical limitations for cutscenes. The Lizard was meant to appear in the final cutscene but was not included in the final version of the game's cutscene. The earliest footage of the game was found in a German demo disc entitled PlayDemo Vol. 17, and featured some drastic changes from the final product. These include a different opening sequence, different (most likely placeholder) voices, different music, and an entirely different model for Scorpion and an entirely different Rhino boss stage, as well as a sewer level not found in the final game.
Some of the voice actors from both the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoons reprise their respective roles. For instance, Rino Romano reprises his role as Spider-Man/Peter Parker from Spider-Man Unlimited, Jennifer Hale reprises her roles as both Black Cat from the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon and Mary Jane Watson from Spider-Man Unlimited. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. reprises his role as Doctor Octopus from the 1994 Spider-Man TV series. The main song is a remix of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon theme by the UK electronic music group Apollo 440. Stan Lee narrates key parts of the story. Daran Norris voices Venom/Eddie Brock, Mysterio, Scorpion, Punisher, Human Torch and Captain America, while Dee Bradley Baker voices Carnage, J. Jonah Jameson, the Lizard, Daredevil and Rhino.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Tommy Tallarico. It features a variation of musical loops mostly influenced by popular genres of the time, such as industrial rock and nu metal. The Nintendo 64 version includes a sound test where individual samples of tracks can be listened to.
|PC Gamer (US)||N/A||N/A||N/A||78%||N/A|
While reviews varied from system to system, Spider-Man received critical acclaim. GameRankings shows aggregate scores of 86.53% for the PlayStation version, 66.91% for the Game Boy Color version, 82.52% for the Nintendo 64 version, 80.23% for the Dreamcast version, and 67.96% for the PC version. Metacritic shows scores of 87 out of 100 for the PlayStation version, 72 out of 100 for the Nintendo 64 version, 80 out of 100 for the Dreamcast version, and 68 out of 100 for the PC version.
IGN gave the PlayStation version a 9 out of 10, calling it "arguably, the best Spider-Man game", giving a 8.4 for the Dreamcast version calling it "good fun for anyone with a Dreamcast that hasn't played the PlayStation version", while expecting more from a powerful system like the Dreamcast. The PC version, however, got a scathing review for essentially being a port of the Dreamcast with no major changes. GameSpot gave the PlayStation version a 7.7, calling it "excellent framework on which to base future Spider-Man games – and an exceptional game to boot".
Scott Steinberg reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "A fun but slightly flawed superhero action adventure that'll have you bouncing off the walls. Literally".
Spider-Man's PlayStation version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
The game has spawned three sequels in 2001: Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six served as an alternative continuation that followed the events of the Game Boy Color version instead. The game eventually got a true sequel titled Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro released exclusively for the PlayStation, and a standalone sequel Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace (also serving as a spin-off game to Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six) for the Game Boy Advance.
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