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Spiderman: Enter Electro (PSOne)

On the surface, it looked like I was going to get more of the same, but Spiderman: Enter Electro is a very different game than its predecessor. Sure, it stars Spiderman, and yes, it exudes the same good humor of the first. It also still has the same camera problems and control issues. On the whole, however, Shaba Games has made a lot of changes to Spider-Man's overall feel. Looking back, I actually wish I did get a little more of the same. They say that you shouldn't mess with a good thing; it looks like the folks at Shaba games need to take some advice.

Spiderman: Enter Electro has a lot of differences from the first game. Chief among these differences is that Spiderman can walk through the city streets now instead of being confined to rooftops. That's a good thing. Almost all of the levels in Spiderman One were action oriented; this game's levels are mainly puzzle oriented. That's a bad thing.

Puzzles wouldn't be a problem if not for three factors. First off, the "puzzles" or challenges are too trivial usually involving something as simple as opening a door or turning off a switch. In one level, the player is forced into a puzzle where you have to run, almost in a straight line, to turn off three switches. This puzzle is devoid of any challenge, and does nothing to move the story along or enhance the level. Next, these "puzzles" take away from the action of the levels. In the first game, levels went by fairly quickly. In S: EE a door opening challenge can take 5 minutes to complete only for you to die right after. Finally, I expect a game with Spiderman in it to utilize my brain and brawn at the same time; S: EE is missing that twitch action and split second decision making of the first Spiderman.

Training mode, an option that added hours of replay in the fist game, reappears in Enter Electro as a shadow of its former self. Neversoft's training mini games have been replaced by a blatant tie in to X-Men Mutant Academy 2 putting Spiderman into "danger room simulations." The "danger room" is really just a kind name for a green outlined background that make these levels look a lot like Tron. The dumbed-down graphics, presentation, and replay value make the new training mode roughly as fun as passing a kidney stone.

Not all of the changes Shaba Games made to Spiderman are for the worse. The game is better visually. The character models are more fleshed out with Spiderman himself getting the biggest boost. Environments also look slightly cleaner than the original with some levels giving different camera angles that spice things up a little. The cinematic scenes that move the story along are even better looking than the beauties that graced the first game. Spiderman also now uses his web techniques with more versatility. In the first level, you put out a fire with your webbing. Extremely versatile that stuff is.

A little disconcerting fact about the cinematics is that none of the character's mouths move while they talk. It's hard to take the bad guys seriously in the story when their mouths don't move when they talk. It's even harder to take the bad guys seriously when their boss is Electro. For all of you who aren't familiar with the Marvel universe, Electro is one of Spiderman's most homoerotic arch enemies. He is only surpassed in absurdity by the beetle who makes a cameo in the first game, and that's not saying much considering The Beetle dresses like a purple and green bug.

The Bottom Line: Spider Man: Enter Electro is a fun game, but the first one was better. It's still one of the best titles you'll get for Playstation nowadays.

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