Mixed or average reviews - based on 46 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 46
  2. Negative: 9 out of 46
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  1. Using a masterful combination of web shoot and D-pad combinations you can swing, or zip line vertically or horizontally across rooms. Everything feels so natural, just like a full-size console. Some of this can be attributed to the DS design but there is no denying that the design team put a lot of effort into the gameplay mechanics.
  2. The game is great, but I must warn you. It is extremely hard in the later levels. And it might not be for everybody.
  3. Its nice to see a launch title take advantage of all the bells and whistles of a new platform so well. Spider-Man 2 has really set itself apart from the long list of planned DS launch titles. I give it the thumbs up.
  4. It offers enough action for fans of brawlers to sink their thumbs and teeth into, and its controls are simple and intuitive enough for a novice to pick up and enjoy. Spider-Man 2 is one of the most enjoyable DS launch titles, and even outside of that thinking it is a tremendous effort and a fabulous game.
  5. This is a gaming thoroughbred that will demand you feed it over the holiday season. If your first priority this week is the DS, make your second one a copy of Spider-Man 2. It’s the game that will show your friends what the hardware truly can do.
  6. Easily the most entertaining handheld game featuring web-head. Activision has certainly done well in giving Vicarious Visions their licenses once again, as they've created a fun game that not only uses the DS's features to its advantage, but is also a great launch title.
  7. Easily the most impressive feature of the graphics is the level of detail with the fluid motion with all the characters in the game. It's almost a combination of 2D characters running around in a 3D world, but there's no denying that the graphics are amongst the best on hand-held devices at this time.
  8. 77
    I just found the frustration level of this game just slightly more than I’m willing to put up with.
  9. Looks incredible and controls fairly well. However poor level design, limited tasks and a sometimes frustrating difficulty level manage to hamper to overall feel.
  10. 75
    Where the developers impress on the visual side of things, the gameplay isn't quite as tight. As awesome as the levels look on the Nintendo DS screen, they're way too spaced out and require an enormous amount of exploration to find every item that's required in the level.
  11. It’s one of the hardest 2D platformers this side of "Viewtiful Joe" and while the game seems slightly short, it takes quite a while to play through it successfully.
  12. Play Magazine
    This is one very long, very impressive game. [Jan 2005, p.84]
  13. 72
    After the initial wow factor has worn off, however, you’ll find an average game underneath the best-animated graphics you’ve ever seen on a handheld.
  14. It's hampered by some level design issues, but that shouldn't stop you from picking the game up. Gorgeous and fun to play, your spidey senses will definitely be tingling.
  15. 70
    Unfortunately, Spider-Man might be able to temporarily slow down time, but there's nothing he can do about the irritating clock countdown in most levels. The age-old developer's trick of imposing an artificial deadline to extend longevity lives on in this game, and it's just as frustrating as ever.
  16. Nintendo Power
    Most missions have you searching high and low for scattered enemies or citizens in need, which can get unreasonably tricky in time-limited situations. [Feb 2005, p.114]
  17. 70
    The action is solid—we actually enjoyed the old-school game play—but the sprawling level design cramped our fun. If you miss one of the hostages (and you will), plan on spending about 10 minutes backtracking. Ah, good times.
  18. It’s mostly 2D, it makes minimal use of the DS’s unique features and there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before.
  19. A decent game, better then the PSP version only because it does try to expand the gameplay by utilizing the DS’s touch pad.
  20. AceGamez
    A decent enough game in its own right; inarguably flawed but offering up a decent enough challenge and more wisecracking, wall-crawling, web-slinging, redhead-snogging action than you can shake a genetically altered spider's web at... in other words, it's worth checking out.
  21. Much like its console counterpart, gameplay will get repetitive. Unforgivable enemy fights cause an excessive amount of cheap deaths, and the crushing difficulty does all but help the situation.
  22. Defeat twenty muggers and save twenty innocents and make it to the end of the level in four minutes? Tossing down a controller is one thing, flinging a brand new piece of hardware a the nearest hard surface just isn’t possible.
  23. 65
    So if you don't mind a little bit of slow-paced memorization, there's a solid game here that will provide a lot of fun. It's just a shame that some of the levels don't leave more wiggle room to accomplish objectives in even slightly different ways.
  24. 60
    A reasonably solid action game with some extremely annoying but often fun elements. There's no doubt that with some ingenious multiplayer modes and some creative thought behind a better set of touch-screen features that Spider-Man 2 would have faired much better overall as an entertaining piece of software on the Nintendo DS.
  25. The game never develops into a solid experience, thanks to a host of design flaws that clash directly with the impressive technology.
  26. Yet while Spider-Man 2 sure looks great, it suffers from extremely frustrating level design (and it doesn't really take advantage of the dual-screen layout of Nintendo's new portable, either). Some of these levels can be so annoyingly difficult that they'll make you want to wreck your brand-new Nintendo DS.
  27. Cheat Code Central
    While it's not short on game, it does come up short on gameplay, and that's the important thing. It's fun to swing around the pseudo 3D cities, but the level of difficulty unhinges things later on.
  28. Game Informer
    The level designs are simply atrocious and have no flow to them whatsoever. [Jan 2005, p.145]
  29. The story is kind of an afterthought, and distracts from the gameplay more than it adds to it.
  30. The game just doesn't come through like it had the potential to do. Spider-Man 2 just didn't take advantage of the new hardware and left us with a very average side scrolling action game.
  31. 60
    Obviously a game that was rushed out of development way too early.
  32. In the grand scheme of things it's pretty forgettable stuff and will be forgotten once the better, DS-focused, games start rolling out. [NGC Pocket]
  33. It has the ingredients of a good platform game: good graphics and controls, but unfortunately, poor level execution and weak audio take away from the game.
  34. 55
    The words: unfinished, short, below par, and disappointing come to mind after spending a few hours playing around with Spider-Man 2 DS.
  35. Fighting is rather dull and uninspired. It's often difficult to time your attacks as Spider-Man is unresponsive and doesn't always do what you want him to.
  36. But the frustration that the average player will feel with the level design, and the lack of a map to help him navigate those levels, is going to truly test his ability to resist the temptation to throw his shiny new toy.
  37. Spider-Man's been done much better - even on the lesser GBA hardware - than in this obviously rushed and not terribly inspired game.
  38. Combat is sloppy, with poor hit detection and enemies that score cheap shots; all of the fun special moves have to be unlocked, which requires meeting unreasonably difficult time and health goals; and most of the levels devolve into tiresome thug/robot hunts.
  39. netjak
    Surprisingly solid in every technical aspect, which makes it all the more shame that it's falls so short in all the enjoyability aspects.
  40. 40
    The most prominent problem Spider-Man 2 suffers from is its convoluted indoor levels. Oftentimes, you need to search areas for a set number of criminals to bop or hostages to free. But without a map to consult, too much time is spent frustratingly backtracking and combing through every nook and cranny you've already visited.
  41. games(TM)
    Full credit to Vicarious Visions for creating a whole new game instead of porting the GameBoy Advance version to the DS but, unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what it achieved by doing so. [Jan 2005, p.121]
  42. 40
    The problem is that the level design is so unforgiving and linear that most players won’t bother to see all the graphic panache the game offers.
  43. The game’s combat system needs an overhaul, the levels lack inspiration, and the presentation will make your eyes water. When compared with its contemporaries, this game lacks the shine and polish that gamers are expecting when they try out their DS for the first time. This is shameful way to start the new batch of DS games.
  44. A frustrating platformer with broken combat, repetitive missions and a totally misused second screen.
  45. There's no entertainment in combing through a burning building for five victims or hunting down the twenty-three convicts that just escaped from a bus, especially after you've spent five minutes trying to find that last victim. More infuriating is when you finally find that last victim or bad guy, only to die and have to repeat the whole process.
  46. GMR Magazine
    Actually manages to make use of the touch screen in an interesting, though not vital, manner. It's too bad that the rest of the game is awful. [Feb 2005, p.111]

Awards & Rankings

#11 Most Discussed DS Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. RyanJ.
    Feb 28, 2006
    It's pretty good on graphics,but does not do well on game play. You need more to do like run around New York or something like that.
  2. BoH.
    Jun 13, 2005
    This is one of the most irritating games I've ever played. The level designs are terrible. Endlessly running back and forth through a This is one of the most irritating games I've ever played. The level designs are terrible. Endlessly running back and forth through a level trying to find a bad guy tucked away in some corner is an absolutely poor excuse for extending gameplay. The only reason I gave this a 1 is because Spider-Man is cool and he moves around the environment just like you would expect Spider-Man to do. Other than that, there's no reason to waste your time or money with this title. Full Review »
  3. StevenJ.
    Jan 30, 2005
    Great launch title. Beautiful graphics. Lots of fun to play. This game is hard, but at least it's challenging.