Spider-Man 2: The Hero Returns
There's no big Spider-Man movie this summer, but that doesn't stop you from having some web-slinging fun!
Batman may be tearing up theaters but Spider-Man is still a very hot commodity, especially in the videogame industry. Sony Pictures knows this, which is why it's decided to release a game based on the popular series of films. Spider-Man 2: The Hero Returns is currently available for numerous types of hand sets, and if you love the character or you're just searching for a good beat-em-up, your journey ends with this game.
The Hero Returns is a 2D side scrolling fighter where you, as Spider-Man, must stop Doc Ock from rebuilding a failed experiment that I'm assuming is the one that went all crazy in the blockbuster sequel. Actually, in order to achieve his goal the good doctor needs some sort of element from Spider-Man, and because our hero isn't going to willingly hand it over Ock captures Mary Jane in order to lure his nemesis into the open. Spidey dashes to the rescue, though reaching the enemy won't be easy. The game is crawling with all sorts of low life thugs who are just asking for beating, and you'll need to go through them in order to save not only Mary Jane, but also the world.
I've played Spider-Man for the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo DS, so The Hero Returns feels very familiar. It's by no means as sophisticated, but I was surprised at the large amount of stuff I can do. Not only can Spider-Man vanquish his foes with punches, but he can also land on their heads, encase them within webs, swing about the city, climb up walls, and hang upside down, and all of this can be accomplished using a single button!
Similar in theory (sort of) to the PC blockbuster hit Half-Life, Spider-Man 2 doesn't contain any levels per se. Rather, the entire world is open to you from the beginning, so once you reach the end of this one gigantic level you'll battle the final boss. Technically you can beat the game in about an hour, but it's not going to be a cake walk. The difficulty ramps up as you progress, so while the bad guys will be fairly stupid early on, after reaching a certain point they'll instantly become more aggressive, an impressive feature that'll no doubt extend the game's longevity.
The game's combat is impressive and so too are its visuals. Up close it's very pixilated (though you shouldn't jam your phone into your face to begin with), but from a good distance away you'll be able to see how much detail its developers have managed to cram into the phone. They definitely nailed Spider-Man's web-slinging animation, and the level's city-themed locales feature tons of objects you can hang from or climb up.
Cell phone games are all about convenience and replay-ability, and it appears that Sony's done a nice job instilling Spider-Man 2 with both of these very important qualities. It may not be the type of game you'll want to beat multiple times, but it's definitely worth a few plays. Besides, there is a huge shortage of fighters for the platform, and this is a solid effort that's definitely worth checking out. Available now and for multiple carriers, Spider-Man 2: The Hero Returns is a solid purchase.