Exclusive: Spider-Man: Battle for New York Q&A

On November 21, Activision will release the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance title Spider-Man: Battle for New York. The game allows players to take on the role of their favorite Marvel superhero, Spider-Man, and one of his famed nemeses, Green Goblin, in an original storyline which builds upon their legendary comic book rivalry.

Superhero Hype! caught up with Lead Designer Vaughan Marshall, from Torus Games, to talk about the anticipated game:

Superhero Hype!: What can you tell us about the storyline in “Spider-Man: Battle for New York”?

Vaughan Marshall: The “Spider-Man: Battle for New York” storyline is loosely based within the “Ultimate Spider-Man” universe. As fans would undoubtedly know, the story follows both Spider-Man and Goblin. Linked by the technology that created them, the paths of these fundamentally opposed, but similar characters inevitably crossed in classic comic book style.

As well as exploring the obvious conflict between these two characters, we also wanted to focus on the personal stories of both Norman Osborn and Peter Parker.

Peter Parker is coming to terms with his new powers and the role he must inevitably play as a defender of justice within New York City. And whilst Norman Osborn relishes the powers of his alter-ego, he is slowly losing the battle to maintain a grip on his sanity.

SHH!: You will be able to play as Spider-Man and his famed nemesis Green Goblin, how will the gameplay differ depending on which character you’re playing?

Marshall: “Spider-Man: Battle for New York” is about Goblin as much as it is about Spider-Man. The story follows both characters and players will get to experience what it is like to be both characters.

As you would expect, Spider-Man is able to crawl on any surface and swing through the air on his web-line. He is also a supreme athlete armed with rapid attacks, gravity-defying moves and superhuman agility. However, being one of the good guys means that Spider-Man must always be ready to save citizens in trouble!

Playing Spider-Man is fun, but some might argue that it is more fun to play the bad guy! As Goblin, the player will use brute strength, classic wrestling moves and fire attacks to defeat the hordes of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents hot on his trail. If Spider-Man is a martial artist, then Goblin is the mighty wrestler…armed with a flame thrower!

SHH!: It seems you’re using Green Goblin from the “Ultimate Spider-Man” series, tell us why the choice to go with him instead of the older hover-craft riding version?

Marshall: There were several reasons why we chose the “Ultimate” version of Goblin, but the biggest deciding factor is because the story is loosely based on the “Ultimate Spider-Man” story so it was natural to use that particular version of Goblin.

SHH!: We know Spider-Man and Green Goblin are in the game, can you tell us if any other Marvel heroes or villains make an appearance?

Marshall: Kingpin is one of the principal villains in “Spider-Man: Battle for New York” and both Spider-Man and Goblin must deal with him in one way or another. And where would Kingpin be without a right-hand man…or woman. In this case it is Silver Sable doing his dirty work.

Additionally, we had great fun introducing new characters to the story and to the long list of enemies desperate to defeat of Spider-Man. These characters have not been revealed yet but I can say that they are dedicated to the destruction of our web-slinging hero and will be tough opponents to beat.

SHH!: How are you using the dual screen set up on the DS to impact gameplay?

Marshall: All of the core game-play takes place on the top screen. The lower touch screen is used to view and manage Special Moves specific to the character currently being used. The player taps the desired move displayed on the touch screen to instantly assign it to the X Button. This means that the player doesn’t have to pause the game or memorize multiple button combinations to use or select moves. And the player can switch Special Moves at any point during gameplay.

Additionally, all mini-games take place on the touch screen and are linked directly to gameplay on the top screen. This means that however well you perform on the touch screen will affect your character’s situation, in real time, on the top screen.

Finally, the dual screen proved to be a fantastic presentation format for our animated comic book cut scenes. Effective use of the two screens allowed us to simulate the 2-page comic book layout.

SHH!: Since the game is called “Battle for New York,” what areas of the city will players see?

Marshall: In designing and building levels in “Spider-Man: Battle for New York,” we tried to create epic backdrops to heighten the sense of drama and reinforce the sensation of traversing a large city like New York.

Players who manage to complete the game will have visited areas within Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. In the early levels, players can expect to visit Peter Parker’s school in Queens, Chinatown and the streets of Manhattan. Players who persevere further, will be rewarded by near the New York City docks and the exterior of a mighty S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier.

SHH!: Will players be able to upgrade their powers throughout the game? Please include examples.

Marshall: In “Spider-Man: Battle for New York,” players will have the opportunity to upgrade both Spider-Man and Goblin’s arsenal of super moves. As the game progresses, Upgrade Points will be unlocked. Players can spend these on upgrading 1 of 4 attributes for each character.

For example, when playing as Spider-Man, players may find that they rely heavily upon webbing foes before entering the fray. These players will have the opportunity to upgrade the number of web-shots at enemies or the duration of a web-hold.

SHH!: What types of mini-games are included and how do they take advantage of the dual screen?

Marshall: There are three mini-games the player will experience when playing as Spider-Man. All mini games use the touch screen and are linked directly to gameplay on the top screen. This means that however well you perform on the bottom screen will affect your character’s situation, in real time, on the top screen.

The Stroke Game is used when Spider-Man is performing a rescue operation. The player must stroke the touch screen in the direction that Spider-Man is pushing, pulling or lifting.

The Arm/Disarm game is used when Spider-Man is hacking into computers or security consoles. This is a timing game based on half and full beat time measurements. Music was the inspiration for this game.

The Web Draw game is available whenever Spider-Man is in a battle room. Hordes of goons enter the room through specially-marked doors. Spider-Man must seal each door using his webbing. The player must draw a pre-set pattern on the touch screen to web-seal the door before the next goon arrives. “Spider-Man: Battle for New York” can be quite challenging!

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Source: Superhero Hype!