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Spider-Man: Battle for New York

Score: 60%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Torus Games
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Spider-Man: Battle for New York's graphics are about what you would expect from a GBA side-scrolling title. The sprite-based animation and character design for Spidey, Goblin and the various bosses are fairly well done, but a majority of the enemies you will face are very generic and become really dull looking really quickly.

The game's audible aspects don't really enter into the overall feel of the game. Though the sound effects were only slightly repetitive and the background music was okay, I never really got the feeling that either of them enhanced the gaming experience.


Gameplay:

Spider-Man: Battle for New York is the second Spidey game to come out recently that not only lets you control one of the web-slinger's enemies, but also takes place in the Ultimate Universe. The previous game was Ultimate Spider-Man for the PS2, and actually did a fairly good job of portraying that alternate timeline's feel and style. Battle for New York, on the other hand, just feels really cheap from beginning to end.

Throughout the game, your control switches between the Spider-Man and the Green Goblin as you try to get the two together in one of their various fights. Along the way, Spidey will be taking out random thugs and the Goblin will be plowing through anything he can.

Between missions, you are awarded points and can apply them to upgrades against your characters. After a while, I did this out of pure habit though because I rarely noticed any difference in the strength or feel of the upgraded abilities and was just going through the motions.


Difficulty:

Spider-Man: Battle for New York's difficulty is a little skewed. Where most games ramp up the toughness with bosses, I found them to be the easier parts of the game. Bosses were typically easy to find a strategy that worked and while this is typical of a lot of games, these strategies were more like exploiting bad A.I. then planned holes or patterns in the enemy defenses.

Meanwhile, generic grunts seemed to be able to land hits more frequently and typically caused me more of a headache than their less-frequent counterparts.


Game Mechanics:

Spider-Man: Battle for New York's controls schemes are very simple. Both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin punch and interact with objects by using the B button and they jump with the A. Their other major attacks (kicking for Spidey, throwing a fireball for Goblin) are activated with the R button. The rest of the controls, all two of them, are different. If you press R while controlling Spider-Man, he will shoot webbing, while doing the same thing as the Goblin lets him cycle between different fireball types. Spidey can also web-sling if you hit A while he is in the air (essentially double jumping). There are a couple of other techniques you can learn how to use in the game, but I rarely found myself using them since the standard melee attacks and the occasional fireball or web shot will get you through anything Battle for New York will throw at you.

Battle for New York just isn't all its cracked up to be. Everything from the game's general feel to it's unbalanced enemy difficulty just hurts this title. I would find it hard to recommend this game to even the most die-hard Spider-Man fans.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated