We're posting this letter at the request of one of our listeners, 11 year old Thomas, who wanted to put it up on Digg and Reddit, but didn't have a web page.

11 and Disillusioned
By Thomas Bryant

I'm an 11 year old geekling. I listen to podcasts and I can't stop playing video games. I'm looking for advice from people older than I am, because when I first saw the Spiderman3 game trailer, I was really excited. I especially liked the idea of being in the subways and sewers anytime you liked, even if you were outside of story mode. Since I have a PS2, I was glad it was going to be available on that platform.

I rented the PS2 version of the game and had the biggest video game disappointment of my life. The game was completely different from the one I'd seen in the trailers. Instead of impressive graphics, everyone looks like they were made in two hours. I can understand this... a little. They're on different systems. But what really made me feel like I was being cheated was that the game felt so cheaply put together. Like they rushed, or something.

The graphics in this game are so bad they look like they are PS1 graphics. There’s no real texture on the characters, so they look like they’re wearing paper masks. The free-roaming is fun, but where the heck are Times Square and the Chrysler Building? They are two of the most well- known landmarks in New York City. There are a lot of game glitches in this. Enemies aren’t always fully-colored and they even turn invisible at random times! The citizens seem to have been made very quickly. For example, if you’re in a certain car at a certain time, the car may run through the pedestrian. The pedestrian actually walks as the car goes through him or her.

Every trailer had been promoting the PS3, XBOX360 and Wii versions. There was no warning that the PS2 version would be a completely different game. The trailers showed Scorpion, King Pin, and Rhino in the game. In the PS2, they’re not even referred to. The trailers showed subways and sewers being totally accessible. The only way to get in the subways and sewers in the PS2 version is in story mode.

I wouldn’t mind if the PS2 version was slightly different from it’s next-gen counterparts, such as missing one boss character from the game, but they didn’t just release a very different game, they released one of terrible quality.

I wrote to Activision and I told them what I've told you but they basically blew me off, and said the PS2 couldn't handle it. I wrote to my favorite podcast and asked them what they thought. They suggested I ask you.

What do you think? Am I missing something? Do you think Activision gave me an honest answer? Do you think it's fair that they advertise one game on the PS3, but then release a rushed, unfinished version of the game for the PS2? Anyway, I'm just glad I rented it, and didn't spend months of my allowance to buy it.


Thomas M. Bryant