In the eve of Insomnia’s and Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, today we are throwing it back to 1991, where it cost 25 cents and a few hours with your friends at the arcade to play the newest web-head game at the time, Sega’s Spider-Man: The Video Game. By today’s never-ending and hard to reach standards, the graphics are bad, the story is too basic, and the mobility of the characters (all 4 of them) is limited. By 1991 “child in an arcade” standards, this game is fun, enticing, has great graphics, action-packed and an all out great time!

The looks of this game has the 90s stamped and trademarked all over it! From the classic look of Spidey and his super friends, Venom, Lizard, King Pin,  and Green Goblin, to the bright-red joystick and the “creatively” titled Spider-Man: The Video Game. All topped off with that blue logo from the KING of the greatest arcade games: SEGA.

The gameplay is simple and classic Spidey. Spider-Man’s greatest foes and their henchman are wrecking havoc among New York City, so you have to stop them by fighting and defeating them. You and your friends (up to 4 people, including you) can play as Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Blackcat, and/or the Sub-Mariner (aka Namor aka Marvel’s Aquaman). You have to defeat Venom and his symbiotic clones (none of which are Carnage or Riot, unfortunately), Kingpin, Sandman, Lizard, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, Electro, Doc Oc, Scorpion and when you defeated all of them the big boss you finally have to fight is… Doctor Doom! This just adds to the awesomeness to the game as it adds mystery/surprise since some of the villains that are in the game are not on the machine itself (with the exception of Venom, Green Goblin, Lizard and King Pin).

Among using the red joystick to move, red button to attack and yellow button to jump, there are cool, secret moves you can do while pressing multiple buttons at the same time. You can use a power-move (web shooter for Spider-Man, arrow shoot for Hawkeye, etc.) by holding down “attack” and “jump,” and you can also do a SUPER-KICK by jumping and pressing  “attack” while in the air. NOTE: using these moves does decrease you health, but you can always restart your character life by pressing the start button of your player number!

Spider-Man: The Video Game is really fun and easy to play. You don’t have to be a gamer to get into this game, nor do you have to be a really big Spider-Man fan. However, if you are a super-nerd for both, this is the game for you! The artistry in the graphics are as if you are reading a comic book and the images or moving. Part of that may be due to the onomatopoeia of the violence in the game, but we LOVE it! The hardest parts of the game would have to be trying to defeat the big foe after you get through their henchman. That is partly because fighting henchman decreases the level on your health bar, and then to fight the big foe like Venom or Sandman, one blow detriments the level on your health bar critically.

I would recommend playing Spider-Man: The Video Game as a stress relief, as the premise of the game is to just knock out as many foes as possible. This game is great for blowing of steam, and requires little-to-none strategy. There is no puzzle/ancient riddle, quest to save anyone or achievements to unlock. It’s a nice, simple fighting game that keeps you on your toes and makes you lose focus on the world around you, as any great game should make you feel. Although I never played this game during its run time in the arcade, Spider Man: The Video Game would definitely be an “after-school flex.”

I personally LOVE Spider-Man, and this game is great in many ways, maybe even perfect! It is an arcade game, so it has to be playable to the public so no one is on it for hours on a single coin use (unless they are a really skilled gamer or have superior hacking skills). That means no special skins, or things that need to be unlocked. But some thing that would have been cool would be to have the option to use the black spider suit AFTER defeating Venom, as he is the first big bad you have to fight. So we could use the black suit to help us defeat his other foes, or it could be a “power-up” when the player using Spider-Man has peak health. And in order to revert back into the regular suit, the black suit health bar has to be low, and the regular suit will resume at a little lower than max health. That’s it, that’s the only thing that was on my mind that I need to let out! Everything else was PERFECT!

Gaming wise, Spidey has come a long way. All of his games have been fan-favourites, and this game is the root of all of it! It’s simple gameplay and uncomplicated story makes this game for all ages, as well as a “game for the ages.” Spider-Man: The Video Game is amazing, spectacular and ultimate! (just like the web-head).

Grade: A+

 

Vishal Lilman
vmlilman@yahoo.ca

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