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Spider-Man 2, the sequel to Spider-Man: The Movie, is a movie game. Although the game is short, most likely (as in most movie games) because it needed to be put in stores around the same time the film release, Spider-Man 2 can still be held above other licensed games.
Because the game is extremely multiplatform, this article concerns mostly the main console versions of the game. Other versions of the game, such as the PSP or Nintendo DS version, are not ports, but separate games, developed at different times. These versions and more are vaguely addressed later on.
One of the most surprising aspects of the game, is the open ended sandbox atmosphere. You control Spider-Man, here is your city. Go nuts and stop criminals. This approach to the game was popular enough that The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction took it when it was later released. It's like Grand Theft Auto 3 without hurting innocent people or car jackings.
While that may not initially sound appealing, the game has many fun features. The act of Web-slinging, where Spider-Man uses a line of web to swing from building to building, actually attaches to buildings for the first time. In previous titles, the web would just mysteriously attach to nothing in the sky, making travel easy. With the refined web-slinging mechanic, players could pull off impressive stunt moves, as they swing around buildings, onto lamp posts and run along buildings. Many people consider the web-slinging to be one of the games best aspects.
Combat features many unique moves. As you stop crimes, you get points, which are spent in shops scattered throughout the city where you'll buy more moves & upgrades. Spider-Man can utilize his webbing to tie someone up, trip them, fling them into the air, swing them in a circle for as long as the player can hold them, piledrive them from 20 stories in the air, hang their bodies from the closest lamp post, and more. Enemies are initially open to most web attacks, but as you progress, they'll dodge almost all simple web lines, forcing you to stop them with Impact web first. Enemies also are armed with bats and guns as the game gets harder. Besides your over the top moves, Spider-Man 2 can use option lock-on targeting (Which is rarely useful) and can use his Spider-Sense for limited slow motion "Bullet Time" mode, which enables him to dodge easily, perform different moves, and just generally put the hurt on easier.
The story attempts to follow the story of the movie, with extra adventures & minor villains thrown in for a more well rounded experience. The main villain, Doctor Octopus, causes havoc throughout the entire game. In between the run-ins with Doc Ock, Spider-Man will have to deal with minor villains: Rhino, Shocker and Mysterio. Black Cat also plays a prominent role as an ally of Spider-Man.
There was some controversy during the initial release of the game about the PC version. The 3 console versions and the PC version were the first to be released to the public. All had identical boxes, except the PC version was a completely different, simpler, game aimed at young children. Many gamers bought this version unknowingly, expecting the fun open-ended game their console gaming friends owned. As a result of the backlash, Activision renamed the PC version to Spider-Man 2 Activity Center.
The Nintendo DS version of the game came well after the movie and tried to incorporate unique uses of the touch screen. It was a 2D Platformer with 3D Graphics, like Viewtiful Joe. Attacks were shown on the bottom screen and could be touched to activate them. There were also occasional minigames thrown in where you used the stylus to swat away things Doctor Octopus threw at you.
The PSP game also came well after the release of the movie. It did not feature any open ended sandbox city. It was a normal 3rd person action game, probably close to the first Spider-Man movie tie-in, Spider-Man: The Movie. The game took Spider-Man to new places not seen in any other versions, such as some kind of Egyptian crypt.
The GBA version was a 2D Platformer but not exactly like the N-Gage one. It allowed Spider-Man to take up different missions in New York in whatever order the player chose. The story is told through 3D artwork and movie stills.