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Video Game / Spider-Man 2

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If you're looking for the PlayStation 5 game, go to Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

Coinciding with the release of the 2004 movie, the video game adaptation of Spider-Man 2 was developed by Treyarch Studios and published by Activision. Generally speaking, the game is a Wide-Open Sandbox and its storyline basically follows the movie's plot, but has several notable diversions along the way, even featuring an entirely original subplot where Spidey butts heads with the illusion-based supervillain Mysterio. Also features Bruce Campbell reprising his role as the Lemony Narrator from the first game.

The console version is considered one of the best superhero games of all time, being featured in the 2010 book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, and a huge improvement over the So Okay, It's Average first game.

The PC and PlayStation Portable versions were Reformulated Games, featuring different gameplay and much different stories than their console counterparts, with the PSP version basically being a port of the first movie game, down to even featuring some of the same bosses. They're not as fondly remembered as them either.

If you're looking for the similarly named sequel to Neversoft's Spider-Man (2000), see Spider-Man 2 – Enter: Electro. See also the sequel to Spider-Man (PS4), Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

Tropes seen in Spider-Man 2 include:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Whilst Spider-Man 2 adapted the iconic "Spider-Man No More" story from the comics, Treyarch instead went in the opposite direction and had Spider-Man consider abandoning his civilian identity, allowing the game to hit the same themes of Peter struggling to find balance between his two lives whilst avoiding a prolonged gameplay segment where the player was locked out of playing as Spider-Man in a Spider-Man game.
  • Adaptation Expansion: While the game loosely follows the story of the movie, Spider-Man also encounters the Rhino, Mysterio, Shocker, and Black Cat.
    • The PSP port, essentially being an enhanced version of the first movie game, takes it further, with several bosses from that game reappearing.
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: A minor one covered by Rule of Fun. In this game, Peter makes his pizza deliveries while still in costume as Spider-Man, which is sure to blow his secret identity (if word goes around that Spider-Man has been making deliveries for that pizzeria, Mr. Aziz will quickly catch on).
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Doc Ock is much more serious and dour than his Faux Affably Evil movie counterpart. He also blames Spider-Man for Rosie's death, something he never did in the film.
  • Adaptational Badass: Unlike his console counterpart, Mysterio can actually put up a good fight in the PC and PSP versions.
  • Adaptational Nationality: From Mr. Aziz's accent in the movie he's probably Indian, or perhaps Pakistani. In the game he sounds more Middle Eastern.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the movie, Mr. Aziz fires Peter after he fails to make a delivery on time. In the game, he berates you if you fail pizza delivery missions, but he will never actually fire you.
  • Adapted Out: The GBA and N-Gage versions are the only versions of the game that don't even attempt to adapt the climactic train sequence from the movie.
  • Alien Invasion: Mysterio's grand illusion. It also helps to justify the goldfish bowl.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Usually averted. Most of New York's citizens are pretty okay with Spidey, and some are even supportive of him. But one part of the storyline has a woman calling for help, only to run away when Spidey responds.
  • Anti-Climax: The last encounter with Mysterio. He makes some boasts, a health bar appears next to him, fills up three times... and you take him out with the first hit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: During the web-slinging segment where you have to use Mysterio's floating rod devices to get to Liberty Island, if you fall in the water while midway to Liberty Island, the game will spawn you on the island, saving you the hassle to web-sling from the beginning.
  • Arc Villain: Mysterio has his own string of side-missions, which culminates in a rather anti-climactic Curb-Stomp Battle in a convenience store.
  • The Artifact: The lizardmen in the arena mode are likely a remnant of the time Lizard was planned to appear in the game. They also reuse the voice clips of default thugs from the previous game, suggesting they were just thrown together from existing assets to act as an arena-exclusive enemy type.
    • Calypso's presence as a combat arena boss also came about from the scrapped Lizard subplot, which was also set to feature Kraven, in a follow-up to his storyline in the Xbox version of the first game. This was scrapped, and later used in the sequel's Lizard missions, but Calypso was kept in for the battle arena due to Mysterio being a total chump in the game.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mr. Aziz is this simply by virtue of the fact that he will keep you employed no matter how much you screw up.
  • Berserk Button: Quentin Beck really hates being mocked.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Upon completing the game, you can unlock a movie viewer that can let you watch FMVs at a specific location in New York. Said FMVs are just the company logos and the ending credits.
  • Boss Rush: Upon beating the game, you can get this as an upgrade at the Spidey Store. Go back to the warehouse where you first fought Shocker, and you get to play rounds against bosses and their mooks. Mysterio is not included and instead replaced by Calypso, though bowlhead's mooks remain. Each round escalates the opponents, including four bosses at once.
  • Bowdlerize: Road rage dialogue in the game is vastly G-rated compared to real life.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: You'll probably come to see the kids that lose their balloons as this. Or at the very least, whiny.
  • Buffy Speak: Spider-Man refers to Mysterio's robots as "those flying things".
  • But Thou Must!: Spider-Man has the run of New York City (mostly), he can go anywhere on the island, climb any building... but he can only be a good guy.
  • Call-Back: One of the hint markers has Bruce Campbell eating a sandwich, much like he did in the first game's tutorial section.
  • Completion Mockery: The narrator says that, after you read all the helper tokens, they will say something different, and says you should try to find them all. This is literal. They all say "Something different.", verbatim.
  • Continuity Nod: You can find The Vulture's feathers in the area where you fought him in the previous game.
    • Shocker had it out for Spider-Man after he foiled his robbery two years ago, and immediately started planning his revenge as soon as he escaped from prison. Similarly, the Vulture claims that Spidey got lucky in their first fight in the PSP port.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Spider-Man's last encounter with Mysterio involves him taking him out in one punch. Justified, because he's just a regular human.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Quentin Beck is apparently capable of building robotics, jetpacks and holographic technology far beyond anything available in the modern day. He just uses it for stroking his own ego.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The dramatic scene from the movie where Spider-Man just barely stops a train before it crashes is casually solved by shooting two webs at it from behind and instantly stopping it. Something you can't actually do in gameplay. This is averted in the PSP port, where the cutscene plays out closer to the movie scene it depicts.
  • Dating Catwoman: Averted. Spidey and Black Cat hang out several times, but they never actually date.
  • Dead-End Room: At one point in the story, you need to head to a "Change" icon on the rooftop of a bank. The mission is about Peter visiting said bank with his aunt as Octavius robs it. However, if you go inside the bank during this chapter before activating the mission, some versions of the game will lock the entrance, trapping you inside.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • One of the first missions involves Peter being late for Dr. Connors' class, but it isn't timed like the later ones. If you simply jump from building to building without web swinging, the narrator calls you out on it, persisting if you ignore him.
    • It is possible to die in the tutorial levels (for example, jumping high enough that you slam into the ground), something Bruce Campbell comments on.
      Bruce Campbell: Well, I'm not sure how you managed to die, I mean, seriously, unless you're a professional game tester, there's no reason for you to be dying yet. ...oh, and if you are a professional game tester... good job, keep up the good work, of course...
    • Rhino has dialog if you choose to continue beating him after he's already been webbed up.
    • During the final Mysterio mission, if the player continues towards the location where the diplomat is supposed to arrive, their helicopter will be there, but Spidey will mention that he just missed him.
    • To successfully complete a pizza mission, you must deliver all pizzas on time in good condition and return to the pizzeria within the time limit. Because all these conditions must be met, there are actually many, many unique ways of failing a mission (for example, deliver the first pizza on time in good condition, the second on time but ruined, the third ruined and late, and the fourth one not at all). Mr. Aziz's dialogue on your return is usually very specific to the situation.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: This is the most complex Spidey's web swinging has ever been, with multiple layers of it outside the fact that it latches onto buildings. That said, it's the most rewarding, and fun, it's ever been, and is a major reason why there's No Problem with Licensed Games concerning this one.
  • Dramatic Unmask: In the final fight, Peter's mask gets knocked off by... one of Doc Ock's tentacles hitting him. Somehow.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Look closely during the opening cutscene in a new game, and you can spot Black Cat standing on top of the Chrysler building long before you actually meet her.
    • Pay attention to that prisoner who makes a run for it during the post-fight chaos in the very first Quentin Beck/Mysterio mission. It's actually Herman Schultz, aka the Shocker, and you end up fighting him not long after that that mission.
  • Exact Words: Find a certain hint marker in the city and Bruce Campbell promises that by finding them all, the voice over you get for finding one will say something different. Indeed, finding them all will change every hint marker to now prompt Bruce to say "something different" if you touch them.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Black Cat can't die, so if she joins you in a fight, you can hang back and let her win it for you.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The start of the Prison Riot stage in the GBA version has a very obvious graffiti on the wall that reads "Welcome to Hell." That version of the game is rated E, so how that went past the ESRB's censors is anyone's guess.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: You can find skyscraper tokens, hideout tokens, "secret" tokens, challenge tokens, buoy tokens, and 216 "helper" tokens.
  • Hall of Mirrors: Part of Mysterio's base. Wobbly "clones" of Spidey will emerge from the mirrors and attack.
  • Harmless Villain: Mysterio, when you happen to run into him while he's robbing someone. The cutscene before fighting him portrays him as incredibly powerful, showing a life bar that fills up three times. He goes down in one hit.
  • Helicopter Blender: Careful around those helicopters. Their rotors can send you flying and even kill you if you get too close.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Black Cat's outfit is apparently leather. Peter notices.
    Peter: So, skin-tight leather. Doesn't that kinda chafe?
    Black Cat: You'll never find out. That's for sure.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The surest and most efficient way to defeat the Mini-Mecha suits is to get them to line up one after the other, run away, and dodge while they bring each other down in their zeal. They. Will. Never. Learn.
  • If I Can Only Move: Spoofed in one of the exchanges that can happen during an armored car robbery:
    Cop: If I could just... reach... my utility belt!
    Robber: Quiet, you!
  • In the Back: Aside from baiting them into taking each other down, the best way of getting rid of the Mini-Mecha suits is to strike them from behind. Frontal attacks are very difficult thanks to their cannons blowing you away, and they have a very slow turn rate. Combined with their backs being defenseless the only thing to worry about with this method is another mech suit.
  • Jerkass: Ah, J. Jonah Jameson. You'll always find a way to claim Spidey and Mysterio are in cahoots after Peter stops Beck robbing a convenience store.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: One of the hint markers: "J. Jonah Jameson may seem like a greedy, self-centered jerk, but deep down, he's really a greedy, self-centered, self-righteous jerk".
  • Look Ma, No Plane!: In one section, you end up chasing a helicopter. The best way is to attach a webline to it and just hold on. But if you go too close to the rotors, exactly what you'd expect happens.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When Quentin Beck's little stunt event goes wrong, Shocker can be seen making a break for it behind the reporters.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Downplayed. Around 99% of the game's human enemies are male, but the enemy pool for low-level street criminals has two punkish-looking women that pop up fairly regularly. They don't receive any special treatment from the game or Spidey('s fists).
  • Mini-Mecha: Some villains will attack in prototype Powered Armor towards the end of the game.
  • Monster Clown: Mr. Hop-N-Hack, Mysterio's robotic, bouncing, wind-up punching bag clown armed with an ax.
  • Monumental Battle: Spider-Man at one point has to destroy a UFO above the Statue of Liberty altering its appearance to that of Mysterio's.
  • Monumental Damage: Mysterio's ersatz alien invasion features his equally-false defacement of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Mooks: Doc Ock and Mysterio have their own special mooks. The Doc's come with grenade launchers that can send Spidey flying, and are tougher than the regular goons.
  • Most Common Super Power: Black Cat is as busty as she's ever been, and more than capable of holding her own in a fight.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Black Cat. One of the help tokens even provides her measurements.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Sometimes when you get the drop on some thugs, you may hear one of them shout, "Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!"
    • Peter's Uncle Ben was killed by a carjacker, something he still feels guilty over. When pursuing a carjacker, Spidey may state "I hate carjackers."
    • When Quentin Beck challenges Spider-Man, he wears an outfit similar to the original Mysterio costume from the comics, sans cape and fishbowl helmet.
    • Mysterio's alien fakeout. The second Amazing issue featured a back-up story where Spidey fought the Tinkerer and Little Green Men. Years later, Roger Stern wrote a retcon revealing these "aliens" as men in disguise committing crimes for the Tinkerer and one of them was Quentin Beck.
    • Mysterio's funhouse creating distorted mirror duplicates of Spider-Man that attack him, which is something he also did in another video game, Sega's Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin. In fact, Spider Man Vs The Kingpin was an explicit inspiration for Mysterio's levels.
    • Before Peter faces Mysterio for the second time, he's assigned by Jameson to take pictures of an incoming Latverian diplomat.
    • In the PSP version, 3 out of the 5 bosses were part of the original Sinister Six. Kraven appeared as an Xbox-exclusive boss in the prior game, and later appeared in 3 alongside Sandman, leaving Electro as the only member not to appear in this continuity until the GBA version of the third game.
  • Narcissist: Mysterio reshapes the Statue of liberty in his image.
  • No Fourth Wall: The help tokens. The narrator even cheerfully admits that he's paid by the line.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite his Small Name, Big Ego, and "fight" in the main/console versions - Mysterio is still the one behind those huge Death Courses (the last even bordering on Eldritch Location), and did besiege all of New York City (fake-alien or not, those machines posed very-real threats). This is even more apparent in the PC and PSP versions, where Mysterio's skills are on par with his comic book counterpart.
  • Optional Boss: Calypso is only accessible via a post-game Boss Rush, where she replaces Mysterio on account of both him being a Zero-Effort Boss, and Calypso being a holdover from an aborted Lizard subplot (see The Artifact).
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: While fighting Rhino, Spidey says "Is that a horn on your head or are you just glad to see me?".
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Rather than adapt the film's "Spider-Man No More" storyline, it instead went in the opposite direction by having Black Cat trying to convince Spider-Man to quit being a civilian instead.
  • Prank Call: A couple of classic prank call lines are alluded to in the "ambush" missions. One of the citizens says, "Is your refrigerator running? 'Cause I sure am!" Unimpressed, Spidey replies, "No, but I have Prince Albert in a can..."note 
  • Precision F-Strike: The GBA version of all things gets this from the prison level! The "Welcome to Prison" was defaced with "HELL". How this got past censorship, the world may never know...
  • Reformulated Game: While the console ports are more or less identical, the PC, PSP, DS, and GBA ports were changed up entirely in both gameplay and story:
    • The PC port, developed by Fizz Factor, has almost nothing in common with the film's story outside of Doc Ock's turn to villainy, and has a simplified gameplay system for combat and web swinging.
    • The PSP port, developed by Vicarious Visions, is more or less a port of the prior game, and thus a spiritual continuation of Treyarch's first two Spidey games for the PS1, and has similar gameplay mechanics. As a result, two bosses from that game (Vulture & Shocker) return, and their battles play out exactly like they did in the first game. The story was also tweaked to remove Black Cat, removed Spidey's identity crisis, made Mysterio a more competent opponent, and removed Bruce Campbell as the narrator.
    • The DS and GBA ports, made by Vicarious Visions and Digital Eclipse, respectively, are 2D brawlers mixed with platforming,though the DS port also has a fair share of 3D levels as well. The engine for the DS port would later be used in the Ultimate Spider-Man DS game.
  • Restoration of Sanity: Octavius returns to himself after suffering a powerful electric shock.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Quentin Beck, a talented special effects guy, decides to call Spider-Man a fraud and challenges him to a "showdown". He spends pretty much all of it bragging about himself and how smart he is (a poster in the arena even advertises his memoirs, titled, "The Amazing Me"). Funnily enough, Spider-Man will note the supposed audience isn't even real. And then he humiliates Beck anyhow. This trope is further elaborated upon during a news conference hosted by Beck, who advertises his impressive profession on a billboard, but when the camera cuts to the actual stage, hardly anyone's present.
  • Spiritual Successor: Like the first game, the PSP version of 2 is a descendant of Treyarch's 2001 Spider-Man games, using the same engine and web swinging system, but benefiting from extra polish, an improved combat system, and better controls.
  • Super Drowning Skills:
    • Boat sinking rescue missions. Even if the boat had no life preservers or anything, it's never more than a few meters from dry land, yet all the passengers are apparently doomed without your help. Maybe it was a learn-to-swim cruise?
    • Throwing thugs in water instantly defeats them.
    • Downplayed with Spidey, who can swim but says it "definitely doesn't suit [him]": falling in water just sends him back close to where he jumped in, unlike previous Spider-Man games. It's played straighter in the final mission, where hitting water at any point means instant death.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In an inversion of the film's plot, Peter decides to give up his civilian life and be Spider-Man 24/7 only to immediately change his mind.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Spidey's reaction to sinking ship missions. His feelings probably match those of the player.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Nothing says it more than pile driving some poor bastard off the Empire State Building.
  • Timed Mission: Almost every mission involves some sort of time limit, though sometimes it's simply getting to a certain place. In many cases the music, as well as the constantly descending number onscreen (which actually indicates your distance from your destination) still create a sense of urgency even when there's no actual time limit.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Unlike in the movie, here, you can screw up pizza deliveries as many times as you want and Mr. Aziz won't fire you.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Sure, you can beat up thugs, but you can also throw them against a wall, into water or off a building. After you have beaten them and gotten the points, you can continue to beat on them just for the fun of it. This can also be done to Rhino and Mysterio, the former of which will beg you to stop.
    • You can also have Spidey himself climb to the top of the tallest skyscraper and throw himself off until he smacks against the pavement since dying means very little.
      • Combining the previous two bullet points, you can grab a mook, haul him to the top of a skyscraper, and piledrive him all the way down to the street.
    • Most satisfying is probably to taunt those kids who've lost their balloons by dancing round them holding the balloon before swinging off around Manhattan.
    • Your webbing can accidentally pop the balloon if not used carefully. Plenty of players shoot them down on purpose.
  • Villain Decay: Mysterio goes from attacking a journalist's convention as a distraction, to taking over the Statue of Liberty, to... getting his ass kicked in a cheap convenience store he was robbing.
  • Well, This Is Not That Trope: One of Spidey's wisecracks when he uncovers a criminal gang using a nightclub as their hideout: "There are clubs in New York where the beautiful people hang out. This clearly is not one of them".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: One of the early missions involves recovering a briefcase from a group of thugs. When Spider-Man returns it to its owner he asks her what the thugs wanted it for, and the woman responds that she doesn't want to talk about it. This implies the briefcase's contents will be relevant later, but it's never mentioned again.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: One of the most awesome examples, and part of what makes this game so great. New York City is your playground.
  • Willfully Weak: While fighting thugs Spidey often says "lucky for you I pull my punches". One of the hint markers further explains that this is why Spidey (who is strong enough to bench press 10 tons) doesn't shatter someone's skull when he punches them.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Spidey ups his game here, breaking out power bombs, pile drivers, drop kicks, and suplexes.
  • You All Look Familiar: Besides named characters, the whole of Manhattan only seems to have six civilian archetypes (three for each sex).
  • You Fight Like a Cow: It is good to hear Tobey Maguire fully embody Spidey's wiseacre side. He dishes out quips mid-battle like there's no tomorrow.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Mysterio is this, despite what the cutscene prior would have you believe. His one "attack" is to stand in place and shout ineffectual threats at Spidey. And one punch, or even web shot, knocks him on his ass and defeats him.


Video Example(s):


Spider-Man 2 Mysterio Boss

The last encounter with Mysterio. He makes some boasts, a health bar appears next to him, fills up three times... and you take him out with the first hit.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiClimax

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