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Published by: Activision
Developed by: Treyarch
ESRB Rating: T for
Learning Curve: 15 minutes
For: Gamecube, GBA, Xbox, PS2
Version Reviewed: Gamecube

Reviewed By: Drew Regensburger Spider-Man: The Movie game for the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox was a fun experience, the first in a wave of movie-based titles that weren\'t mediocre, or horrible, to play. It had great graphics, smooth animation, and had the voices and likenesses of Tobey MaGuire and Willem Dafoe as the characters they portrayed in the film, along with tons of new dialogue, recorded specially for the game. It was unique because it represented unparalleled collaboration between Hollywood and the gaming industry; something now surpassed by the Wachowski brothers with Enter the Matrix. The game did, however, feature incredibly short game time, albeit with tons of replay value, including back story movies, different costumes for Spidey, and a secret multiplayer mode. The point is, the game wasn\'t a hastily put together brawler, with only the slightest backbone of a story, an incredibly hard difficulty, and ugly graphics. Spider-Man is one of the premier movie-to-game franchises. If you are afraid of fantastically loose limbs, generic groans, grunts, and screams, and a horrible physics engine, quit reading now, and go play Spider-Man. Seriously. No, really, I mean it. Go play Spider-Man.

Story

2054-You are Precrime officer John Anderton, head of an elite police division that can predict and apprehend ers before their crime can be committed. Anderton thought the system was perfect-until it came after him. Now you\'re on the run, fighting for your life through more than 40 action-packed levels. Take on human and robotic enemies with hand-to-hand combat moves and an e arsenal of weapons as you attempt to clear your name and stop an insidious conspiracy before it\'s too late.* Well, that\'s the story of the movie. The game, however, takes a few liberties. John Anderton, portrayed by Tom Cruise in the film, is not anyone in the game. Really. He is a generic, white haired action star, thrust into a world so violent and full of enemies that even Mortal Kombat fans might be shocked. Not that there\'s any in the game. There isn\'t. But with the physics engine, you get enemies strewn everywhere, flopping like rag dolls. There are several characters that look as close as they can to the actual actors, without violating likeness rights, and some characters weren\'t even mentioned in the movie. For a fan of the movie, such as me, the dark, dystopian reality of the future isn\'t even mentioned, nor represented, and the grayish gloss that came with the movie is not even shown, and that is a major disappointment. I looked forward to the game when I heard about it, and, frankly, it was a major disappointment that it turned out like this.

Graphics

There are jaggies everywhere. This means that there are antialiasing problems galore, which is a problem that plagues the PS2, but it\'s supposedly not a problem that the Gamecube or Xbox has. True, there are some instances where this is the case, but, generally speaking, the Gamecube and Xbox do not have games with this problem. The animation in this game is generally shoddy. Whenever you press the X button to change between offensive and defensive stances, it looks like a stop-motion animation game. Although the fights look, and feel, like they came straight out of a Jackie Chan movie, many of the moves feel like they were put in there just because Spider-Man is a combo-focused game. Just as the combos seem as unnecessary afterthoughts, so does the monetary system. Unlike in Spider-Man, where you searched high-and-low for combos, Minority Report makes you find money, and then purchase weapons, combos, and upgrades through the Black Market. Most of the stuff you can buy is so expensive, the Black Market requires you to know where every piece of money is hidden in a level, thus enabling you to buy the uber-expensive items, most of which, excluding combos and health upgrades, are gone after a heavy duty fight. The enemies that are typical to fight against look like something straight out of Attack of the Clones, or possibly The Sixth Day. In any large fight, and even small battles, there are bound to be exact duplicates of enemies. There is no variance in attacks, and not even the generic groans and grunts are particularly unique. In spite of all this, Minority Report is able to maintain a consistent and unique graphical style that certainly is different from any other action game of its type.

Game Play

Despite the dystopian futuristic story from Philip K. Dick, and the excellent movie that is truly one of Steven Spielberg\'s greatest films, Minority Report is a movie-based game with, surprisingly, no good story at all. If you manage to get past the intense difficulty level (even at Easy!), then there is a plot, but the levels have almost no basis in the movie or the game. They feel as if they were strewn together from bits and pieces that the designers liked in Spider-Man, or any other game. Although the designers had much to work with, even without Tom Cruise or Colin Farrel\'s likenesses, the Spielberg game design house was involved(Dreamworks, who helped make the Medal of Honor games), and they could have used actual sets and clips from the movie, or expanded the budget to include Tom Cruise\'s likeness. Basically, the gameplay consists of \'beat up these Precrime officers to unlock the door, and advance to the next area, in which we repeat the process\'. So, you do this, and soon realize that all the guards are fond of blocking, making your punch/kick/combo fest fun, and, joy!, you only get two hits in before you get killed. Treyarch (the designer) could have at least made beating people up fun, like in Enter the Matrix, but in Minority Report it soon becomes tedium. You don\'t have airborne acrobatics, like in Spider-Man, or even special moves, such as in many other fighting games. It might have spruced this game up more, but it feels like Spider-man on a harder difficulty with less movie-based elements. Granted, some of the fighting is fun. I prefer the more elegant Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to this mish-mash button-mashing jamboree. When you perform a combo in LotR, you know it\'s a combo (Treyarch, take note) because they tell you the name of the combo. Wow. Innovative. And, please tell me, why did they have to show the sick sticks? For the uninitiated, sick sticks are used to hit opponents and cause gratuitous vomiting. That\'s just . And there are puke s. Same idea. You chuck the puke s at someone, and then they vomit green airbrushed looking stuff. It\'s . Very . Admist the vomiting, fighting, and almost no story, the designers decide to stick a mall level in there. And, whaddaya know? Mall cops. More generic enemies, except these have fat ones with the same faces, and skinny ones, with, you guessed it, the same faces. (As you can tell, I look at the faces of my enemies in games.) There are new attacks in the mix, like fat men using their fat to attack, but I found this incredibly rude. With a large percentage of Americans are overweight, why would the designers make fat men enemies? For that matter, why do you and beat up these enemies when you are supposed to be disproving the system that said you would someone?

Sound

As I have stated before, the characters emit generic grunts, groans, and screams when you fight them. And then there are the cut-scenes. While obviously not the best that Treyarch could do, as shown with Spider-Man and Tony Hawk\'s Pro Skater 2x on the Xbox, the cut-scenes are okay, and try to tell the story with a horribly written script, that, not surprisingly, has almost no lines from the film. Anderton (your character) must have horrible hearing problems, because when you throw people off buildings and walkways (yes, you can do that), of which there are plenty of, then their screams stop before they hit the ground. What\'s up with that? Some games, like Star Wars: Bounty Hunter have screams last for way too long. Even games that are now primitive to today\'s standards, such as Shadows of the Empire, had screams last for a long time. I know it sounds stupid to gripe about something like this, but if the designers really wanted this to look like less of a rush job, then they would have included simple sounds that sounded much better. The voice acting is less than superb as well. John Anderton sounds like a manly-man, while most of the cast sound like little boys-or at least men less manly than Anderton himself. Funny thing: when Anderton\'s mouth moves, only the center of his lips move. Hmm.

Control

Simple and intuitive. If you\'ve ever played Spider-Man, then this game will feel right at home. Although the controls aren\'t quite the same, they still have the same style and general feel of the webman\'s game. Quite good controls, actually.

Appropriateness

Okay, look at the game this way. You fight millions and millions of armed cops. Sure, there\'s the occasional criminal or two, but the game mostly consists of defeating Precrime. The occasional mall cop or thug spices the action up, but this is the game. There is graphic vomiting, , and fat people stereotyped. And let\'s not forget the bad language. There are curse words in the cut-scenes, meant as one liners, but not enough, and certainly not bad enough for they\'re to be a content descriptor for it. Let\'s get one thing straight, though. I despise fighting games. They are horrible, and not fun at all, and the excessive makes me not want to play them. If you like any type of fighting/action game, this might be the right one for you. But for people who enjoy story-driven games, or people who are fans of the movie, stay away from this game. The plot barely follows that of the film, while the action is intense and hardly explained. In this game, you are not supposed to infer that Precrime is after John Anderton because he is supposed to commit a soon. You are supposed to know it because you\'ve seen the movie. I don\'t know about you, but vomit in a game is not fun. It\'s not funny. It\'s disgusting. Stay away from this game if you like well-made games.

Final Ratings

Appropriateness F Game play D Graphics D+ Sound C- Control B

Overall 28%

*taken from Minority Report: Everybody Runs box.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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