Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Complete first two levels
Conversion of the NES title of the same name, starring your friendly neighbourhood web-slinging superhero.
Guide Spidey across the six platform levels, defecting the minions of each of the six villains. Gyoinks!
Poor old Peter Parker. The shy, retiring science student went along to a lecture held by his favourite scientist, riding high in the research charts with his hit theory on irradiating small things, and accidentally became part of the experiment! The professor was displaying his number one formula by irradiating a little money spider. This spider was accidentally blown across the room by a sneezing zoologist at the end of the show, whereupon it chanced on the hapless Petey's bare arm. Understandably a little outraged at having been dragged from its comfy web into the midst of a particle accelerator, the spider lashed out, biting young Parker. The rest, of course, is history. Yes, Peter was left completely unable to climb the sides of baths!
Of course, there was only one way the shattered chap could possibly rebuild his life, and that was to don a gaudy costume and fight crime. Now six of his deadliest enemies hove banded together to trap our hero and and pull all his legs off before washing him down a big plughole.
Spidey's task in hand is to track each of these villains to earth and defeat them before they have a chance to launch a group attack on him in this new platform game from the people who brought you Krusty's Fun House, except they didn't on the Game Gear (yet).
Webs are very useful indeed for spiders. They make houses out of them, trap food with them and even wrap up their grub for later with them, a bit like clingfilm. Spider-Man also has a number of uses for webbing (shot out through his mechanical web-shooters on his wrists, as opposed to coming out of his, er, spinnerets like on a real spider). Spider-Man spins a thread of web to swing from one place to another, allowing him to cross large gaps or gaping chasms with ease. In this game, simply jump in the air and then hold down both buttons to spin your web. Spidey also uses his webs as on offensive weapon - they tell rude jokes. Actually, he spins compacted web balls which he then hurls forcefully at his opponents, knocking them unconscious. However, the supply of web fluid for this function is limited, a bit like it isn't in the comics, and Spidey has to take care to pick up plenty of ten-shot recharge cartridges found around each level.
Spider-Man is so named because he has all the powers and abilities of a spider, apart from being able to miraculously appear from under the sofa as soon as you start hoovering. All these powers are represented in the game, so fans of the comics can relive all their favourite web-slinging scenes with ease. Well, in game terms, this means Spidey is a bit of a dab hand at climbing the old walls. This means there ore a number of routes through each level. There's the standard running along the ground one, or there's a running along the rooftops or high platforms path. Alternatively, you could combine the two and just climb your way through. Of course, once you know the layout of each level it's easy to avoid a lot of hazards by assuming the correct elevation.
Spider-Man has to be the comic character ripest for conversion to cartridge. Sadly, in most cases not enough is made of his extraordinary abilities, and such is the case with Revenge of the Sinister Six. That's not to say that it's really a bad game, as Game Gear platform titles go it's not bad at all, but there's certainly a great amount of potential wasted here. For example, there are very few points throughout the game when you actually need to climb walls, or indeed, sling a web — any size! Most of the action centres around pretty standard platform hi-jinks. However, if you forget about this being a Spidey licence it's a lot better. The graphics are very clear, mostly because of the bright, distinct colour use, and although the scrolling is very fast there's no screen blur. However, the one problem is that the game might be just a little bit too fast for its own good. Everything moves so suddenly it's hard to get a grip on what's going on at times. Mind you there's still a lot going for Spider-Man — it is very enjoyable, and whilst the six levels aren't too long, they do get pretty hard after a while. All in all, not a classic by any means, but a passable platformer.
Apart from the excellent first Megadrive and Master System Spider-Man titles, companies seem to have a real problem with making my favourite super hero look cool! This is no exception and I should imagine my Dad would look more convincing in the famous red and blue garb than this sad-looking sprite. The game doesn't play as well as the NES version either as control over his jumping abilities is erratic to say the least: He either jumps on the spot or takes a huge leap with no control over what happens in between! As with the NES version, there is no point in climbing the walls other than frustration with the game! The layout is all too familiar which is not always bad thing if there is something going on to liven things up. Sadly there are few enemies to attack — and even they just hang around exercising their one frame of animation in the most boring fashion possible — so yawns are just queueing up for first place on the player's face. The original Spider-Man game is far superior to this.
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