Spider-Man: The Movie
Recently we seem to have been well blessed with titles that provide subtitles or at the very least titles that don't need to depend on them. However like all good things this good run had to come to an end; and with Spider-Man The Movie this good run comes to a disastrous halt. Like the previous Spider-Man game on the PSone Spider-Man TM is practically useless for deaf gamers. In fact it has even taken a step backwards as in the previous game the tutorials had some text but with this game even that isn't there.
Spider-Man TM, believe it or not, is only loosely based upon the movie. It starts out in a similar fashion with Peter Parker's Uncle Ben being killed by a criminal that Spider-Man let escape but after the part where he tracks down his Uncle's murderer, the game begins to head off on a different track. The story however is something you won't be informed of because the FMV simply has no subtitles so it will be a complete waste for a deaf gamer.
In terms of gameplay this PS2 version of Spider-Man has improved somewhat from the two versions that graced the PSone. Webswinging has been considerably enhanced and is now far easier. The range of combat moves has dramatically increased and by picking up the spider icons that are scattered throughout the levels you can add additional combos to Spider-Man's repertoire. To aid Spider-Man in locating objectives there are now width and height metres which show if you are below or above or left or right of your target. These metres are a good idea and locating targets is far easier than in previous games.
As this is the first PS2 Spider-Man title you would expect the visuals to represent a huge leap forward and in fairness they do not disappoint. The graphics aren't the greatest that has ever been seen on the PS2 but they are good and the frame rate remains pleasingly smooth. Some of the effects that are in the game are really pleasing. Spider-Man's Spidey-sense has been wonderfully implemented and shows you of the danger that is alerting Spider-Man.
It can't be emphasised enough how difficult this game is for a deaf gamer. The tutorials, if subtitled, would have been great for showing you how to learn the controls. They aren't subtitled though and therefore are a complete waste of time. The vague mission objectives that you are given are usually no more than a few words such as 'Go to the warehouse.' of course this is fine for the hearing gamer who has heard the build up to the level but for a deaf gamer it gives no idea of the game's story. To add insult to injury you can't even recall these objectives.
Spider-Man TM represents a complete disregard for the deaf gamer and I for one, I hope that this disregard is never seen again in a game, especially one of this magnitude. The horrible reality though is that had it been fully subtitled and full provision been made for deaf gamers then it would have been a very enjoyable title.
Overall Game Rating: 3.2/10 Spider-Man: The Movie is definitely one to be avoided if you like to be informed of the games story and what is actually going on.
Deaf Gamers comment: The game is totally unsuitable. Make sure you rent it before you purchase.