The Amazing Spider-Man 2
With the new Spidey film out now in theatres, I decided to go back and check out the other The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
I’m talking about the original Game Boy game released by everyone’s favourite retro gaming company LJN, of course.
You might remember that, a while back, I touched upon this game’s predecessor, simply titled The Amazing Spider-Man, calling it “playable enough” and “pretty straight-forward.” That’s two glowing reviews, right there.
But, seeing as the cinematic sequel is arguably superior (if sillier) than the original, can this 8-bit video game sequel outshine its first attempt?
To be honest, neither game is all that wonderful but the ever-so-slightly confusingly random decisions you have to make in this second game along with its rather goofy plot help make it a tad more challenging and not always in a good way.
Wait a minute.
Confusingly random? Rather goofy plot?
Maybe the game and the new movie have more in common than just the title!
The game starts with Spidey waking up with a hangover.
Only to realise that several villains have joined forces to frame him for some robbery.
Personally I’d be out looking for this guy first:
But that’s just me.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is that Spider-Man isn’t so much swinging around the city from building to building with sharp “thwips” of web as he is just kinda wandering around on foot.
One improvement on the first game is that, this time around, Spidey isn’t 8 feet tall but it would have been nice to initially see the hero not spending so much time on ground level seemingly taking a stroll as an off-shot Hobgoblin shoots fiery pumpkins at him.
Thankfully the fight with said Hobgoblin is pretty epic.
Not only do you hang onto his glider and force him to crash…
But you fist-fight him on land…
AND you steal his glider before riding it to the end of the level!
Quite possibly the biggest insult you could ever throw a Goblin’s way, green or otherwise.
To be fair, you do eventually get to do more Spidey-like things in the game like climbing over walls and crawling down narrow passageways.
The game never gets so ambitious as to actually make Spider-Man fly through the city the way he does in most subsequent efforts but it at least attempts to throw in some spider-esque movements here and there.
The plot continues to throw goofiness your way, as if it’s constantly checking up on you, making sure you haven’t fallen asleep.
Not content with being labelled as “amazing,” Spidey complains he’s not so special even though I would argue that if someone goes through the trouble of making a bunch of killer robots in your image then there must be something unique about you but that’s besides the point.
The plan then becomes to give The Lizard an antidote in order to get some information out of him.
This leads Spidey to the sewers, of course, where he finds the Lizard in question. He races him down various pathways and battles him, eventually curing him (I’m guessing temporarily) of his scaly curse.
Somehow this guy looks weirder when he’s human.
Maybe another antidote is in order?
You have a chat with The Human Torch, who cameos in this game, and soon get in a fight with Graviton before taking on Carnage in an amusement park.
It’s actually pretty adorable: they get some hotdogs (only 75c) together…
Spidey tests out the roller-coaster…
You don’t even really fight Carnage in the end!
Why ruin a perfectly nice day out with an old pal, after all?
They were this close to sharing a candy apple, that’s how nice and wholesome this day/date was.
Finally, a bunch of cameoing heroes you can’t quite make out because LJN probably couldn’t get the rights to them decide to let Spider-Man deal with Mysterio on his own.
Mysterio who has taken over a blimp because that’s subtle.
And you finally paradoxically face-off with the faceless villain.
Like with most bad guys in this game, he’s not too hard to beat, he just takes persistence.
The ending is about as underwhelming as you would expect, sadly.
And you’re left wondering if Carnage is still loose in the city and if The Lizard is back to being a lizard.
Much like the movie of the same name, this Amazing Spider-Man 2 has its share of flaws, plot-holes and cartoonish moments but it’s entertaining and it does some things right at least. It’s by no means a masterpiece but it gets the job done.
Of course, far superior Spider-Man games would follow and, in comparison, neither this one or its predecessor are too memorable or at all essential but, for LJN Spidey games on the Game Boy, they’re rather decent.
It could have been a whole lot worse, frankly.
I’ll get you next time, Spider-Man!