While 2005 saw the GBA wells drying up, in 2006 they were nearly empty. It was in that year the handheld really hit its stride with the release of the DS Lite redesign and amazing titles like New Super Mario Bros. and Elite Beat Agents among many more. Following in the trend of Ultimate Spider-Man, Activision released two separate versions of Spider-Man: Battle for New York on the DS as well as the GBA but unlike Ultimate Spider-Man which had the far superior version on the DS, Battle for New York on the GBA is slightly better than the game on the DS, but is still a terribly mediocre side-scrolling action game.
A lot of what I said in my review of Spider-Man: Battle for New York on the DS can be said about the GBA game of the same name just replacing the comparison to Ultimate Spider-Man on the GBA. Battle for New York has the same plot as the DS game, just with no voice over like the GBA version of Ultimate Spider-Man and this feels like little more than an add-on to Ultimate Spider-Man on the GBA and less of a standalone game, again just like the DS game. The Spider-Man stages are fairly middle of the road and uninteresting having you do little more than fight the same few bad guys over and over while exploring some uninteresting environments like run down warehouses and labs. Where this game gets the leg up is that it lacks the tacked on mini-games that plagued the DS game so you don’t have to worry about frustrating connect-the-dot sections.
Green Goblin makes an appearance as a playable character here just as he did in the DS game, and I actually enjoyed using him much more here than in the DS game. He has all the same abilities complete with a draining ammunition bar but if you keep using the lowest fireball attack, which is completely suitable for the entire game, your meter never goes down that much and you rarely have to rely on your physical attacks. Similar to how Venom’s stages were much easier than Spider-Man’s in Ultimate Spider-Man, so to are Green Goblin’s in this game as you can attack enemies from a distance with little to no consequence.
Spider-Man: Battle for New York on the Game Boy Advance may have been able to be rolled in with my review of the DS game as there’s not much more to be said of it than it’s a quick follow-up to Ultimate Spider-Man that lacks any type of heart or real redeemable qualities. Given the choice between this game and the DS game I would give this SKU the leg up as it didn’t have the collision detection issues found in the DS game, the pointless touch-screen mini-games and Green Goblin is much more fun to play as. With that all being said, Battle for New York like Ultimate Spider-Man on the same system is an average side-scrolling that does little for the license or the character of Spider-Man.