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The first memory that pops into my mind whenever I think of Spiderman 2000 is the helicopter chase level where I need to navigate my way up a building while parts of it blow up and tear down. So before I am able to write anything, let’s get that one out of the way.

First of all, which police department has choppers with missiles and guns fitted on to it. And secondly, why the hell were they using it in the middle of Manhattan! VIDEO GAMES RIGHT!

But video game logic aside, IGN considers Spiderman 2000 the best Spiderman game ever made, and I agree. Till date Spiderman has made an appearance on 15 different platforms, mobile included and has appeared in a whopping 52 games. Then what sets apart Spiderman 2000 from all the others? Well if you ask me, it’s…

The Buildings

The first thing that gets me is how well Neversoft understood the essence of Spiderman. He is a web slinging superhero who can crawl up on walls, and has crazy acrobatic skills. Spiderman doesn’t need streets, Spiderman doesn’t need roadblocks. As Spiderman you don’t want to punch bad guys endlessly. You want to jump up, use your web slingers and feel cool. That’s exactly what the entire game is about.

This wasn’t your usual punch em up. It was just one big 3D platformer, with Spidey slinging from one building to another, jumping and vaulting over bad guys, getting a punch and some witty one-liners in from time to time. Guess the plan to just build buildings with no base and fog worked out in the end.

Of course, one does wonder where Spiderman’s web slings are sticking to if he is already on top of buildings. But VIDEO GAMES!

Though, movies and video games are not just about the protagonist, its also about…

The Source Material

Spiderman 2000 for the majority is based on Spiderman the animated series that was hugely popular in the US. And was incidentally running on Star Plus in India, when I played the game. Even the voice actors from the 1990s Spider-Man and Spider-Man Unlimited cartoons reprise their respective roles. For instance, Rino Romano reprises his role as Spider-Man and Peter Parker from Spider-Man Unlimited.

Even the main theme song is a rock and roll remix of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon. And critical portions of the game are narrated by Stan Lee himself.

Then there were the special appearances. Not only did the game feature some of Spiderman’s biggest nemesis like Rhyno, Scorpion, Venom, Carnage, Mysterio, and of course Doc Ock. The game also had cameos from characters like Daredevil, Punisher, Black Cat, The Human Torch, Ghost Rider, and Captain America. Spiderman 2000 did cross-overs before it was cool. But wait cross-overs were always cool.

This also incidentally coincided with the birth of Gotham Comics in India, which brought Marvel and DC comics to the country under their own imprint. For a nerd mind like mine, it was just the perfect storm. It just flooded my neural systems with pop culture references and information and I was hooked. Exploring every nook and cranny for another comic book, discovering another hidden reference, and unlocking the next costume. Speaking of costumes, we need to talk about…

The Cheats

Anyone who has played Spiderman 2000, know of its cheats. On how when you enter a curse word in the cheat menu, Spidey comes in and changes it something nice. On how the What if? mode can be activated, where you can play the entire campaign but will encounter major differences from the original campaign.

But most importantly on how the cheats could be used to unlock various costumes in Spiderman 2000. Mostly the costumes were just skins, but some brought along perks of their own. Classic Spiderman, Spiderman 2022, Venom, and my personal favourite, the amazing Bag man, all featured in the game. All of this added another layer of fanboyism to it all, and unlike today, I didn’t have to go to Gamestop to get the one I want.

Spiderman 2000 in 2018

With Insomniac Spiderman ready to hit the PS4 this year, it might not be a bad idea to try out Spiderman 2000 today. The visuals hold up mostly (especially if you are a fan of the Spiderman 90s cartoon) and it is a good marker on what to expect from a good Spiderman video game.

The game in its current form is not available on Steam or GoG (or at least I couldn’t find it). However, just typing ‘Play Spiderman 2000’ in Google offers a bouquet of options from playing the entire game in a browser or downloading the ROM of your choice and then playing it on one of the simulators available to you. You can still buy a copy over ebay or something but getting it to run will be a chore I suppose.

Did you ever play Spiderman 2000. Any memories you are willing to share. What do you think of the upcoming Spiderman game by Insomniac? Let us know all that in the comments and look out for our next Retro entry next Saturday.

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