Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six (GBC)

Spider-Man 2 the Sinister Six Game Boy Color title screen
Well that just looks nasty. It's like they took the title screen from a PlayStation game and tried to shove it into the Game Boy Color. Can't complain about the music though.

In hindsight I probably should have played this for the site nearer to Christmas, when Amazing Spider-Man's 700th and final issue hit shops (and made a lot of people unhappy), but sadly extremely obvious ideas often take a fortnight to work their way into my brain.

Doctor Octopus pixel art face
Doctor Octopus is pissed off. Spider-Man keeps beating him up and throwing him in prison you see, and it's starting to get a bit humiliating now. But this time he's thought up an ingenious scheme to lure the superhero out into a trap. You see, Peter Parker takes all the best Spider-Man photos, so obviously they have to be friends. So if Doc Ock gathers a team to kidnap Parker, then Spider-Man will come to rescue him for sure!

To be honest I think he's overthinking this. Spider-Man comes out to catch them every time they commit a crime, they don't have to do anything special to lure him anywhere.

Peter's Aunt May settles down to another night of silently staring at the fireplace at the Parker residence, unaware that her silence is about to be shattered by the Sinister Six!

Suddenly Sandman and friends burst through the door looking for Peter!

Unfortunately Peter isn't in, and they can't be bothered to wait around for him, so they shove Aunt May into a potato sack instead and run away.

Noooooooooooooooooooo!

Peter finds a message telling him to tell Spider-Man to go to Coney Island Pier. Damn, they really are sure that these two know each other aren't they?

"This may be a trap," thinks Spider-Man, "but I must save Aunt May."

May be a trap, yeah... you can tell he's one of the smartest Marvel superheroes. Well to be fair, for all he knows it could actually be a diversion to keep him busy while they rob a bank or something. Or they could just be fucking with him.

Hey wasn't it night a minute ago?

Daily Bugle Unlock Sewer Grate newspaper game
Must be a slow news day.

Okay first thing, this music is awesome. Second thing, is that thug dressed in a dog costume?

Sorry, but I don't think tricking Spider-Man into thinking you work here is going to work out mate. For one thing, everyone in these games is always out to kill him, so you're getting a punch even if you're not in Doc Ock's gang.

The gameplay is very similar to the first Spider-Man game on the GBC, though a bit faster perhaps. He doesn't skid around anymore, there's less delay on his jumps and he can even turn in the air now. Plus there's no birds around to knock me out of the air.

Aha, this must be one of those switches used to open that famous sewer grate. Bit of a weird place to put it though, halfway up a rollercoaster by the looks of it.

Spider-Man kick kapow
Enemies take more hits to kill this time around, but they're slower to attack so I have a chance to get them first. I can swing around on webs forever, but I've only got a limited amount of web fluid to tie enemies up with. Fortunately I've only got a limited amount of enemies, as they don't respawn.

Oh shit, my clown sense is tingling!

Actually it's my 'point towards the next objective' sense, which is incredibly useful and I wish I had it around in the last game. With this I have a fighting chance to not end up hopelessly lost this time.

Whoa, did Spidey just SHLAP that clown's head off?

Here's another question: how did Doc Ock manage find and hire an army of henchmen willing to dress up as clowns and fist fight a guy strong enough to stop a speeding train? Seems like a lot of effort and planning for a guy who couldn't even be bothered to check if Peter Parker was home before knocking his door down.

Awesome I've finally gotten the sewer grate open!

Wait... shit, that means I've got to go down there doesn't it? Ew.

This is what you get for making me crawl through a bloody sewer. Look you can actually see the sewage pouring out of pipes in the background, this place is gross.


A FEW SECONDS LATER.


Wait, you mean that I only went down into the sewers to get to another part of the fairground? Uh, I'm Spider-Man, I don't need to find the secret passage to get under a fence.


BUT THEN.


Oh crap, it's an end of level one boss battle. I should have known this trap would be an ambush!

Mysterio likes to fire these energy blasts across the ground, which are easy to dodge but don't give me much room to run up and hit him afterwards. He disappears before I get a chance. I can try latching onto the ceiling, but then he switches to firing energy balls up at me, which are harder to dodge, and don't give me any time to hit him either.

I don't really get how I can hit him without taking damage here.

I'm really bad at boss battles.

Fortunately the game was gracious enough to restart me right at the beginning of the boss battle, so I didn't have to pointlessly repeat all the stuff I'd already done. No return trip to the sewers for me.


EVENTUALLY.


I did actually figure out the trick in the end. I jumped onto the wall and waited until the second before he fired off an energy ball. Then I dropped to the floor, ran up, and hit him as the energy ball flew over my head. I think it took around six punches to finish him off in the end, and now I'm free to carry on towards the pier.

Unlock pier gate newpaper
More hard hitting journalism from the Daily Bugle. They don't call it 'Heh York's Pihest Daily Hehspaper' for nothing.

Plus the password's very much appreciated.

Always nice to be able to punch someone without even bothering to climb down from the wall.

This level's turning out to be more of the same, though I had to go get a key instead of flipping sewer grate switches.


LATER.


Another boss battle, against Sandman this time. Damn if I fight one of the Sinister Six at the end of each level, this is going to be a pretty short game.

My tactic this time has been to try to tie him up with webs, punch him, then get the fuck out of the way before he breaks frees. It was working out a lot better for me when I still had web fluid left.


SOON.


Damn, I'm actually kind of surprised I won that fight. But I think I'll quit now while I'm ahead, before the next guy inevitably smashes me into spectacular Spider-paste and ruins my good mood.


I'd be tempted to give the game a gold star just because of its pause music, but it does have a few other things going for it. The game is incredibly similar to Spider-Man 1 in gameplay, but all the little tweaks and improvements made it a lot more bearable for me. The combat is definitely less of a pain, and more satisfying as the enemies stay down, and there was never any doubt to where I should be going next. It's definitely the superior Spider-Man.

So yeah, I can see myself voluntarily playing this some more, so SM2:TSS (GBC) gets a shiny gold star (for not being crap).


Comments are always welcome, especially if they're halfway relevant to anything I just wrote. Feel free to share your opinions!

2 comments:

  1. "Heh York's Pihest Daily Hehspaper", that cracked me up!

    As far as Spider-man games go, the only one I've spent any significant amount time playing is Spider-Man VS the Kingpin on the Master System. It's somewhat more complex than the average beat 'em up, as you have to earn money to buy stuff to make your web, and have a choice to waste time resting or to carry on without regaining life. You earn money by taking pictures of enemies, which makes sense.

    SHLAP!

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  2. No surprise that the music is one of the highlights in both Spider-Man games for GBC-- it's by Amiga demoscener Manfred "Pink" Linzner.

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