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Spider-Man The Video Game - MAME

Spider-Man
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3.9 / 10
 
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Released in the very same year as Data East's Captain America an the Avengers, SEGA's Spiderman is yet another Marvel superhero game from the early 1990's. And everything Captain America didn't get quite right, Spiderman did. Well, at least sort of, anyway.

Really, although there are differences, the similarities between the two games (especially considering the release dates) are astonishingly striking. After a while, one gets used to the fact, that once you've played one side-scrolling brawler, you've played them all. But these, almost fricking identical, games released in the same year will probably never ever cease to amaze me (Black Tiger and Tiger Road, anyone?). So forgive me, if I keep comparing these two games throughout the review, but since I'm writing this after finishing the review of Captain America, I just can't really help it.

Now, while Captain America is more of a heroes-save-the-world kind of epos, Spiderman follows a more episodic story-arch, revolving around the eponymous Spidey busting various Marvel-verse villains. Aside from Spidey, the game features three other playable characters in total (just like in CA). And just like in CA, up to two players can play simultaneously on a single machine. The control scheme and the whole gameplay system is identical to Captain America. If it wasn't for the huge SEGA logo at the start of the game, one would almost think it is some Data East's attempt to cleanse their name. But don't let that fool you: while Spiderman came out in April 1991, Captain America didn't do so until December of the same year. So Spidey was actually first.

As far as the visuals are concerned, Spiderman is clearly superior. The colors are bright and vibrant, and both character sprites and the background images are sharp and detailed. What I then consider a nice touch, is the comic-book styled bubbles that every now and then pop-up next to the characters, when they give out a cry mid-battle (shame the resolution isn't big enough to display the cutscene texts as well).

Nevertheless, Spiderman does share also some negative traits with its Data East counterpart. For one, the character movement speed is terribly—t e r r i b l y  slow… Like really, how is a superhero (or superheroine) supposed to save the fricking world if he (or she) moves at such a terrible pace? Spiderman and Captain America, really? More like Spidersloth and Captain Tortoise! But I could probably get over this particular problem quite easily, to be honest. What’s bugging me more is the fact, that both games just don’t quite play by the rules—some of the enemy moves are straight-down unavoidable. You’re gonna get your ass beaten up whether you like it or not, and there’s nothing you can do about it, but to pop-in some more coins. Which, basically, isn’t a problem anyone, but it sure would have made me angry some twenty years ago, playing in the local arcade.

Sounds are somewhat okay, I guess, but the ‘enemy down’ sound is rather ridiculous, and you’ll quite probably find yourself in a situation, where you don’t anymore know whether you’re busting thugs and supervillains or just butchering stray cats… MEOW!

All and all, if brawlers are your thing, give Spiderman a shot. It’s definitely one of the better ones and it’s certainly a better superhero game than Captain America (sorry Steve Rogers, hope you got that reference).

[VEO]

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This game working only with newest emulator Mame142 !!!

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