Hands-onSpider-Man: The Movie GameCube

We check out a near-final build of Activision's game based on the upcoming movie.

We recently had a chance to take the GameCube version of Spider-Man: The Movie on a test run, and we're pleased to report it stands up quite nicely when compared with the PS2 and Xbox versions. Like the other two versions, the GameCube game mirrors the plot of the movie up to a point and then takes a bit of dramatic license by tossing in a few more classic villains to keep things interesting. In addition to the Green Goblin, you will square off against such notable baddies as the Shocker, the Vulture, and the Scorpion.

The control scheme translates fairly well to the GameCube controller, although the button layout may take some getting used to. You'll jump with the A button, punch with the B button, and kick with the X button. The Y button is used for shooting your webbing. When used in conjunction with a direction on the D pad or analog stick, it can also be used to trigger the web gloves, web yank, impact webbing, and web dome abilities seen in the Spider-Man games on the PlayStation. The right trigger will be used for web swinging--a single press will start you swinging from a web line, while holding it down results in an impressive, although hard to control, burst of speed. The left trigger fires off a zip line that will quickly draw you to its target. When used in conjunction with a direction on the D pad or analog stick, the zip line is a useful way to zip across rooms or catch surfaces in midair while swinging on webs. The Z button calls up a targeting reticle for careful aiming. Finally, the C stick allows you to rotate the camera and lock on to a target during combat. The setup works fairly well, although the spacing between the punch and kick buttons will definitely take a bit of getting used to for some players. Fortunately, performing all of Spidey's web tricks in the advanced and classic modes is a breeze.

Graphically, the game falls squarely in between the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions. Featuring clean graphics and a high frame rate, the game looks quite good, although some of its textures would take better advantage of the GameCube hardware if they were in a higher resolution. In spite of that, the city still looks breathtaking, especially at night, and it offers an excellent sense of scale. Little details such as traffic seen down on the street are nice touches that add to the game's sense of motion. The animation runs the gamut from the slightly stiff NPCs to Spidey's fluid motion as he climbs walls and swings from web lines.

In terms of gameplay, the GameCube game matches the PlayStation 2 version in terms of content. You'll find the same game and training options as well. In addition, you'll find the same cheats that can be unlocked in the secret store when you earn the appropriate number of points in the game.

So far, the game is coming along fine, and it should be a title GameCube owners will want to keep their eyes on. Spider-Man: The Movie is set to ship next week for the GameCube.

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