Spiderman: The Video Game

-(1992) Sega

 

Summary

Can this really be the Spiderman video game? Read on, true believers!.

My Thoughts

You better like Hellfire guards and Vok! because you'll be seeing a hell of a lot of both.

Growing up in Northeastern Wisconsin didnít allow me access to a wide variety of arcade games. Most machines I would run across consisted of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Asteroids. Thatís why when I found Spiderman: The Arcade Game a few years back in the lobby of a discount warehouse store I was ecstatic. After all, I was already a big nut for the X-Men: Arcade Game and the awesome Captain America and the Avengers that were both great beat-um-ups for their time. I found myself sadly disappointed however, because not only did the game not meet my expectations, but the machine I played it on actually had a left hand set up on every single player positionÖ meaning all the buttons were to the left of the joysticks. Iíd like to think that particular machine is sitting on the island of misfit toys right now.

Also Spiderman: The Video Game seems like a rather pretentious title to me. I mean, there were at least four or five Spiderman themed games before the advent of this particular one. I think that this game must really feel pretty full of itself. Regardless, this MAME ROM is a little harder to track down than one would think and I believe that this is due to the copyright being actively enforced. That, or Spiderman himself is embarrassed by his appearance in it. The ROM also has some notable problems with the sound and video, but maybe that will be cleared up in a future update to MAME.

Spiderman: The Video Game supports up to four players with Spiderman battling side by side with Black Cat, the Sub-Mariner, and Hawkeye. The inclusion of Black Cat is a no brainer for a Spiderman game, but the other two appearances seem a little out of place. Still, itís a fun treat being able to play a couple of characters that Iíd never thought Iíd see in a videogame before, especially Hawkeye who has his second appearance after Captain America and the Avengers. Thatís got to be a record for third stringer Marvel stars. The enemies consist of a great cast of classic Spiderman villains including King Pin, Hobgoblin, and my favorite Spidy enemy Venom. Dr. Octopus and Electro both make appearances that seem to last less than 30 seconds a piece because they are defeated so easily. Suckers! Dr. Doom, one of my favorite Marvel villains of all time, plays a crucial part in the game as well.

I wonder why Spock is wearing green underwear?

Gameplay is standard brawler for most of the action. Walk from left to right hitting an attack button. In fact, this is my girlfriendís favorite type of gameplay because it doesnít take a whole lot of skill to constantly hit an attack button and occasionally hit the jump button. The move set for each character is extremely limited with the are standard punch and jump buttons. Use both of them in conjunction for a power move like Spidermanís webbing, Black Catís dominatrix whip, and the non-existent in the comics hydro-electric shock of the Sub-Mariner. Thereís also a jump and swing kind of an attack that lets you get across the screen quicker that I found to be both difficult to perform and essential because the characters move so agonizingly slow across the screen.

The main problem with Spiderman is the previously mentioned speed at which the characters move across the screen. Its sluggish compared to other, better side scrolling brawlers of the same mold. I felt like I was playing Spiderman: The Old Man Videogame. While the character design is dead on for the crew with the notable exception of the freakishly long legs of the Sub-Mariner, it never feels like youíre really fighting with Spiderman. I canít imagine Spiderman mostly walking upright beating the hell out of people. It just doesnít fit. Another problem with the game is the repetition of enemies. A lot of brawlers end up having multiple enemies with only variations of color to add spice, but there are only about four different enemy types throughout the entire game. Sure, thereís a nice selection of bosses, but you end up fighting the same ones multiple upon multiple times. The fourth time I fought the Hobgoblin was definitely more fun than the fifth or sixth time.

These freaky monkey-men will bitch slap you with their horrifyingly long arms. At least they have the decency to wear pants.  

There is a little break from the punch repeat, punch again process when the game camera pulls away and youíre a tiny Spiderman in a sort of half assed platforming adventure throughout the game. The main problem with this is that itís almost impossible to not get killed by a boss several thousand times in these scenes. That and the controls went from bad to worse in these moments. Another annoyance of the game is the life points that decreases over time on its own and lowers whenever you use your super power. Talk about lame. There are also some weird team damage effects that seemed to occur randomly. Whenever you threw a baddie and your superfriend was in the way theyíd take a hit. Other times your heroes can punch each other easily, which led to some great Paul and Shawn brawls in the middle of the game for almost no reason other than we could kick the hell out of each other.

In the end Spiderman: The Video Game canít claim to be ďThe Video GameĒ Spiderman title at all. Still, its fun few minutes if youíre a huge Spiderman freak. If youíre not, then I wouldnít really bother trying to seek this one out.  

Score: 5.5

-Paul


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