Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
FRAMED! A series of massive explosions have rocked the city, and it seems that everyone's too keen to point the finger of suspicion at your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! The real culprit is the Kingpin, freshly released from prison, and he s out for revenge against our wall-crawling, web-slinging hero. So determined is he to get Spidey out of the way, he's massed the meanest bunch of terrorists and super-villains ever, and they're all out to get Spidey!
Spidey decides to check the situation out and finds that the Kingpin wants him out of the way so he can gain control of the city and use it for his own evil ends As an emergency back-up, he's also planted a massive bomb somewhere in the city and it can only be made safe by collecting five keys that disarm it.
The Kingpin has given these keys to some of his best friends (and Spidey s enemies) including Dr Octopus. Electro and the fearsome Hobgoblin! Spidey can only save himself from the slammer (and the city from terror) by finding the bomb, disarming it, and then going after the Kingpin himself!
The story behind the platform action is related on a set of comic-style cameo screens, and it's here that Spidey learns the true terror of the Kingpin's campaign with a little help from the mysterious Dr Strange Each character in the game (and that includes all of the villains) have their own comic pics.
As everyone knows, teenage science student Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider that mysteriously endowed him with super-human strength, wall-crawling abilities and a special "spider sense" that enables him to detect danger! Being a bit of a science boff he also devised his own web-shooters, ideal for swinging across city streets and webbing up dangerous foes. All of these powers are available to Spidey in the Master System game -his spider sense even tingles with the approach of the end-of-level guardian.
Five keys are needed by Spider-Man to disarm the Kingpin's bomb and each end of level guardian hides his own key However, once captured, these guys aren't about to blab about the location of their key. Often. Spidey's forced to search the landscape again looking for the keys before he proceeds onto the next level.
Pressing both buttons on the Master System pad brings up the item selector. Here, Spidey can select all manner of items ready for use against his foes. The first item that Spidey receives is a strange amulet from Dr Strange. Select this when Spidey's stamina's at an all-time low to warp him back to his house where he can get a bit of rest and reclaim some energy. This item selector can also be used to turn the music on and off as well as cutting down the amount of comic-screens the player wades through between each level.
Spider-Man enjoyed his comic debut in 1963 courtesy of Marvel Comics. However, super-human strength and spider abilities conspire to cause a few problems for Peter Parker, who can't really face up to the responsibilities of being a hero without brooding over past mistakes. Spidey was also the first super-hero to get married (to Mary Jane Watson, an actress/model who used to live next door to Peter Parker and knew his identity from the word go), shortly after graduating from college. Spider-Man became Marvel's most popular comic character in just a few years and he's still going strong with numerous comics and graphic novels available on the streets. Hes also been the subject of an abysmal American TV series and two hideous films (with some of the worst special effects ever!), all starring Nicholas Hammond ans Spidey/Peter Parker.
As anyone who reads the comics will know, Peter Parker supplements his meagre student income by taking pics of Spider-Man in action for sale to the Daily Bugle. Selecting the camera on the item selection screen takes a pic and when the level’s complete, Peter hands over his film to Robbie at the Daily Bugle. He’ll give you the standard rate ($5) for each picture, along with a massive $250 bonus for any decent pics of Spider-Man up against the likes of the Lizard, Electro or Dr Octopus!
After each level, Spidey has the option to get his stamina back by resting up back at his shack. The problem is that not only are there criminals on the loose ready for capture, the bomb is scheduled to explode in less than 24 hours!
Plenty of web-slinging action, with Spider-Man!
Felons of all description are no match for Spidey!
Remember to take snaps of all the end-of-level guardians, for wads of cash to spend on new webs!
This is the best Master System game I’ve played for a long time! The Spiderman theme has been exploited fully, and there are plenty of wall crawling laffs and web-spinning japes. The graphics are very good indeed, with swift, smooth scrolling backdrops, excellent cartoon-style still screens and a very nicely animated main sprite, and the action is fast and furious, with enough original features to keep you on your toes. If you're a fan of the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, or are simply a Master System player who’s after a decent game, this should be put at the top of your shopping list.
I'm a great Spidey fan and the character has always had great potential for console conversion. I’m pleased to say that the Master System version uses this potential extremely well and the resulting game is sort of like Spider-Man meets Shinobi. I reckon that Spider-Man is better than the ninjitsu classic in that there's all the wall-crawling and web-slinging you could ask for and the control method is superb. My only slight gripe is that Spider-Man is supposed to have super-human strength and yet in this game even dogs and rats (?) are capable of wearing down his energy bar! Still, the graphics are excellent and the scrolling's super-speedy - essential for keeping up with Spidey's web-slinging antics. Anyone after a decent platform game should go forth and immediately check out Spidey, it’s playable to the extreme and a lasting challenge too!