Spider-Man: The Video Game is a 2d Beat ‘em up / brawler arcade game based on the Marvel Comic Books for 1-4 players simultaneously, developed by Sega

It was released on the Sega-System 32 Arcade Hardware in 1991, and never ported to a home console yet.

The main antagonist of Spider-Man: The Video Game is Doctor Doom, other popular Marvel/ Spider-Man characters like Venom, Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Lizard, Scorpion, Sandman, Green Goblin, and the Hobgoblin make appeareances as bosses

 

 

The Title Screen

CopyrightSense tingling!

Spider-Man: The Video Game and my experiences with it…

Back in the day when Spider-Man still had a wife, Venom was not being played by a  70` Show actor and the broadway laughed at the idea of even considering making a musical about Spidey, there was an arcade game that made the little me web my pants in excitement every time i hit the arcades.

 

Created by Sega in 1991, the game incorporated very stylized graphics to achieve a comic book art style

Everything looked suave, except for the hunched walk animation of our hero, he looks more like  a spider drunk. He should have listened to Aunt May:

-Posture Peter, posture!-

Even some dialogue balloons appear from time to time to accompany the recorded voices, specially when you are getting hurt, i thank the all powerful Jack Kirby in the sky for the lack of profanity, which on a second thought would have been hilarious.

 

Chapter I – The Mystic Power Stone!

 

You can go from an one player adventure up to a four player co-op which Could be a double edged weapon on a game where you can hurt your pals by throwing an enemy at them..

I personally miss that experience  of playing with three other people on the arcade, they didn’t even had to be my buddies, it was totally different from playing on line and even playing at home with some friends on a console.

 

Stage 1, GO!

While you were there you had no pause buttons, no bathroom breaks and only a few quarters, there is a sense of special camaraderie when you are in that type of situation…that is you don´t have a ultimate jackass right beside you that gets the one life item when he has only been but scratched and you are dying after an intense beating, and while there is a very limited amount of healing help through the game, i can only say hate is too small of a word next to the feeling my soul oozed for the rest of the game when that happened. 

 

Black Cat

Hawkeye

Sub-Mariner

 

The cast of selectable characters was… peculiar. Accompanying Peter Parker was the Black Cat; Marvel´s answer to Batman´s Catwoman who was an usual ally and lover of Parker on the comic books, Avenger´s Hawkeye, man of action and archer extraordinaire who i guess collaborated a couple times with Spider-man since the Secret Wars.

Last but not least was Namor the Submariner who….uhm, yeah, the king of the ocean and speedos is cool and all except for the fact that he has absolutely nothing to do with the webhead!

 

Eddie…put some clothes on man

 

Well, it could be worse, at least he is not a raccoon shooting rockets is he?. Now THAT would be completely random..not that there is a Marvel character actually like that..

Each one of the heroes has a special move which depletes your life represented by a numeric score on the bottom of the screen instead of a life bar. Why on hell shooting a web line would kill Spider-man is beyond me, unless of course you go with the Tobey McGuire version of the story and he is shooting some fluid from who knows what gland of his body which he forces so much that his heart stops. Each time i think of a bad guy getting covered on that thing i get more and more convinced that Tobey´s version is indeed a pervert.

 

But i digress, the classic cast of archenemies appears in the game as well, everyone is here: The Scorpion, Electro, The Lizard and even Venom which for nineties was a complete YOWZA. on the other hand came the common soldiers, a bunch of guys who i can only describe as grown up versions of Super Mario 2 Shy Guys.

Yeah i know. Cool right?… and some had Jedi sabers to boot!, Also note worthy was the fact that their scream of HYUMMMM or HIIIIIIIIII, never, ever stopped!.  

The gameplay consists on a classic side scrolling beat´em up except for a few times when the camera zooms out and turns it into a platform adventure when you have to climb up buildings or pursue a baddie which helped to bring a sense of scale into the mixture, during this portions of the game however, i noticed a little bit of lag.

 

 

The story is quite basic. Doctor Doom has grasped the Sorcerer´s Stone, a powerful artifact that can boost his powers, giving him the means to finally reach his dream of world domination. I find it however  a bit disappointing to see a villain outside of Spider-Man inner circle get the main role on a Spider-man game but hey that just me.  

The lack of variety on the moves of the characters prove to be the only drawback i can think of but  is in fact a big one, casual players could get pretty tired of it rather quickly unless they are big fan of the characters themselves.  I know most of the games at the time holded the same issue, even some present titles share this drawback, but with The Simpsons arcade and Double Dragon before itallowing the release of different techniques by combining different characters i can but imagine what possibilities could have been used  with the Marvel Universe.

At the end of each level you get  the chance to see who was the MVP of the level killing the more shyguys and bosses and finally seeing a victory animation of your favorite hero.

With the recent releases of The X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games  as downloadable content for PSN and XBL, I hope  for a future release of this classic and sincerely recommend it to any Spider-man and beat-em up fans out there.

 

 Pro & Contra`s, and the Rating

 

Pro & Contra

Pro

Contra

+ Comic book action in video game form

- Not so great music

+ Great Graphics

- Weird sound effects, sometimes voices get unintelligible

+ Cooperative Gameplay

- At times as any other game of the genre it can get repetitive  

+ Two different styles of gaming: beat em up and Platform styles

 

+ Fan favorite cast of enemies

 

 

 Review


Rating

Details

Gameplay

8

The fun of this game comes from playing with friends as a team, to fans of the comic it will remain fun from the beginning to the end

Graphics & Character design

10

This is how a comic based video game should look like, the visual part of the game set it apart from the rest in the arcades.More or less it looked like a animated Spider Man comic from that time. The main characters and the enemies too are well animated and portraited

Music

6

The music isn’t as inspired as the rest of the game, and the producers where shameless enough to reuse music from another older Sega Arcade game

Soundeffects &Voices

8

Even tough they are cheesy and sometimes filled with bugs, the voice recordings of this game remain fun pieces of memorabilia to date, all except for the enemy shrieks which  remain unnerving at times.

Replaybility

4

Replay Value is scarce as any other game of the genre, doesn’t matter with which character you end the game, the ending is the same. However due to it short length, crash play trough with friends can still be a blast after 20 years since its release

Controls

8

The controls felt smooth for the main part of the game however, whenever the game went to a platform mode, the jumping up and down dynamic gets clogged leading to a fare share of unjustified deaths being devoured by a non stopping camera.

Features & Unique Content

10

I don’t remember many beat´em ups that were able to transform in other genre of games, the Platform parts help to keep it fresh

Story

8

Ok lets face it, story wasn’t the strongest part of the game, and coming from a game that had years of source material that’s an unforgettable thing. Its mainly a crusade to stop every bad guy on the city but for an Arcade store beat´em where you would usually skip it on order to play more up that’s exactly what you would want.

Overall

8

Spider-Man the Arcade Game remain a cult favorite to this day along some other titles such as the Arcade incarnations of both X-Men and the Simpsons beat em ups

 

 

 

Authors:

Blue Monkey – Review and Main Article

GBK – Screenshots,text editing and Game Description