Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
About six months ago, Sega released the world’s most famous web-spinner onto both MD and MS. They shared the same scenario but played very differently. I loved the MD version.
So when Acclaim... sorry, Flying Edge sent us this cartridge, I was eager to see how a portable webhead game would play. Imagine my surprise when the title screen told me it had been programmed by Sega US, and only ‘donated’ to Flying Edge. (Luckily, we both saw the funny side.)
The good news is that it has the same levels and playability of the MD version, rather then the poorer MS.
As ever, Spider-Man’s in trouble. Spidey’s been framed by one of his many long-time enemies, a muscular (some would say fat) gangland boss nicknamed The Kingpin.
Through a television broadcast The Kingpin’s accused Spider-Man of setting a bomb that will destroy barrels of chemical waste in the sea, wiping out the New York environment.
Slightly unhappy about the situation (wouldn’t you be?!), Spidey goes to The Daily Bugle newspaper offices to see what’s going on. Things are worse than he thought: the boys from the NYPD are already there, and they’re not about to award him a bravery certificate.
This is where you come in. You must guide Spidey through the streets of New York, beating up baddies, righting wrongs and hopefully disarming the bomb to clear his good name. Good luck...
You’ll need it, as The Kingpin’s not alone. He’s enlisted the help of several of Spider-Man’s most feared enemies: Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Electro. Sandman, The Hobgoblin and Venom.
As the game progresses, Spidey discovers each super villain has a key which will partially disarm the bomb. And so the mission is set: find each villain, beat them up then disarm the bomb with all six keys. Then you can deal with The Kingpin.
As Spidey goes through the levels, he uses up his wonderful webbing. To keep his supplies topped up, you have to take news pictures to earn the money for more webbing.
Spidey’s only graced with one life and limited energy. When weak, he can replenish his power by popping home (via mystical amulet) for a kip. But this uses time, a precious commodity, for as the clock ticks so the bomb approaches detonation...
As I’ve said, I loved the MD version. Spidey’s brilliantly animated, great to control and the games challenging, even with so many continues.
The GG version is just as good, if not better. The graphics are out of this world, with even more detail than the MD version! This is the first time I’ve been able to compare a GG cartridge with an MD game. It excels in all departments except sound.
Great attention has been lavished on all graphics, even on the opening Daily Bugle screens. The building’s highly detailed and the policemen’s uniforms look real.
In addition to backgrounds and sprites, the static presentation screens of The Kingpin, Spidey, Jonah Jameson and so on are fantastic — they look like they were traced directly from a comic.
With additions over the MD game, such as interlude screens and a guest appearance from Dr Strange, GG Spider-Man makes the best use of graphics of any game for a long time.
Thankfully, the gameplay’s up to scratch as well. The difficulty level’s well set, although the fact you have to beat up every guard and thug on every level is a bit depressing. Don’t worry too much — the first levels aren’t that big.
I really can’t rave enough about Spider-Man. It’s the best GG game I’ve ever played and beats most MD and MS games, too. I’m thankful Sega gave it to Flying Edge otherwise it may have been lost forever. Save up and buy it.
What a fantastic game! I ploughed through the Mega Drive version and it’s not half as playable as its small-screen counterpart! The first thing that hits you about GG Spider-Man is the presentation. The Intro sequence and static shots where characters Interact provide a great atmosphere. Spidey’s easy to control, swinging here, there and bloomin’ everywhere like a good un’! Both graphics and animation are superb, sound FX and ditties are many and varied. At long last, a GG cart where playability comes to the fore! Addictive, incredibly involved, Spider-Man does Game Gear owners proud.
Paul’s favourite GG game! Betterthan Sonic!