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Games Entertainment

A Web-Head Retrospective 27

In honor of the new movie, 1up has a piece on the site looking at the history of Spider-Man games. While the recent Neversoft and Treyarch titles have been sublime, the deep past of the wall-crawler franchise is more than a little dodgey: "It's a hard point to argue -- early games like Acclaim's Maximum Carnage and Separation Anxiety would just be forgettable Final Fight clones without the Spider-Man license, and most of the famed webslinger's other early games were fairly straightforward platformers with tacked-on Spidey abilities ... Early Spider-Man titles often tasked the webslinger with somewhat arbitrary tasks that seemed like tedious and mundane ways to string together an otherwise paper-thin plot. In Spider Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge, Spidey spent a lot of time running through mazes and searching for bombs, and The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin had him almost aimlessly hunting down his foes hoping to get keys to a bomb. These games failed to make use of one of the things that draws so many to Spider-Man's adventures in the first place: the story."
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A Web-Head Retrospective

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday May 02, 2007 @04:11PM (#18962045)
    In all fairness, Spiderman has been dodgy in MANY formats. Anyone remember the 70's TV series [imdb.com]? How about Spidey Super Stories [wikipedia.org]?

    Frankly, I never even liked the new movies. The first was was so lame and cliched it actually made me physically ill to watch (my girlfriend at the time made me take her, basically). I felt most sorry for Willem Defoe, who has been in so many great films. I swear to God, he ACTUALLY says "I'LL GET YOU, SPIDERMAN!" and shakes his fist in the air at one point. Sad.

    • by Purity Of Essence ( 1007601 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2007 @04:21PM (#18962259)

      I swear to God, he ACTUALLY says "I'LL GET YOU, SPIDERMAN!" and shakes his fist in the air at one point. Sad.

      Yeah, you'd never see such hackneyed dialogue in a comic book.
    • by ReverendLoki ( 663861 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2007 @04:22PM (#18962267)

      he ACTUALLY says "I'LL GET YOU, SPIDERMAN!" and shakes his fist in the air at one point. Sad.
      C'mon. To be fair, he's only pulling a direct quote from no less than 47 Spider-Man comics...
      • Well... 48 if you count the one with the tentacle monster that attacked Mary Jane in the shower... oh wait, sorry, that was fan-fiction...
    • What flamebait! Willem Dafoe is clearly having the time of his life. It's a campy role and he's just having fun with it. After tackling such high calibre fare throughout your career, you'd beg for such a ridiculous scene. Hell it only works because it's Willem Dafoe! Besides, if he was okay playing that hideous drag-queen detective in Boondock Saints then how can you ever feel sorry for the man. That shit with him in the dress at the end was excruciating to watch.
      • Don't you find it ironic that a guy named Da' Foe just happens to play so many of Hollywood's villains? (and plays them well. That shit with the dress was supposed to be excruciating to watch)
    • Not to mention the Japanese TV show where he has a giant robot.
  • Maximum Carnage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2007 @04:57PM (#18962895)
    Maximum Carnage caught my attention because it was the first major video game (to be fair to my lacking history, at least to western regions) to have it's soundtrack done by an established band, Green Jelly.

    It wasn't CD quality, but at least, aside from a logo at startup, the advertising wasn't messing up things in-game.

    Then again, I was younger and far more impressionable.
    • I remember that too... I had no idea who Green Jelly was but I was happy to see real music for a change.

      I seem to remember the cartridge being red too.
  • So Spiderman is the only big name franchise to produce crap games?

    A lot of crap movie tie in games were pushed on us (on the NES) as kids. Spiderman/X-man was a minor incident compared to "Darkman" (god bless Sam Rami, he tried to make a great movie out of it) "Batman", "The Rocketeer", anything with "Robocop". Video game were considered promo-media, or tie in cash, not a genuine media format.

    What we are today (as an entertainment format) is so different from what we were then, you cant really blame
  • The majority of games based on movies are always pants, not just spiderman games.

    When a movie like this is released the movie is just a vehicle to carry the two hundred other spiderman related crap products (video game included).

    The movie isnt even released here in Australia yet (May 4th) but walking into a Kmart its stocked full of Spiderman 3 goodies, movies aint just about movies anymore.
  • After the epic-ness of the spiderman movie series the games that follow just feel so tacky that I don't really have the urge to play them. I was engrossed with the comics and in part the TV series but the games just made me feel like I was looking at a game designer's spare time project. After the experience I had with the gamecube version I decided that I'd leave spiderman where he belonged, far away from my gaming rigs.

    Maybe when gaming gets more cinematic I might consider playing a spiderman game but for
    • Maybe when gaming gets more cinematic I might consider playing a spiderman game but for now, I'd rather not be disappointed again.

      I'll agree with this, and go further. When the gaming industry is seen as a valid outlet for franchise media (IE:a true grown up media powerhouse), we may see games released instead of movies.

      Right now, games are secondary to movies and TV shows, but soon (hopefully) digital media, including video games will increase in importance beyond currently available media formats. Someday, I hope to see the release of a Spiderman game get the kind of response that a Spiderman movie gets, and makes the kind o

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2007 @11:05PM (#18967261) Homepage Journal
    I still have that Atari 2600 version. When I was a little kid my mom sent in some box tops (I think it was Alpha Bits, but I'm not sure) and a few bucks for the game. I remember her holding up the box to let me chose which one I wanted.

    I was at a Game Stop a few years back, they had a sign up saying you could get a discount on the Spider Man 2 Playstation game when you brought in "The Original" Spider Man game. I was tempted to go home and get my Atari one and say "It can't get much more original than that". Unfortunately I didn't have a whole lot of time for that sort of thing at that time.
  • Sublime? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CheechWizz ( 886957 )
    "While the recent Neversoft and Treyarch titles have been sublime"

    Sublime? While they werent the god awful schlock you'd expect from a licensed title, calling them sublime is a bit much don't you think?
  • The Sega Genesis version was released in 1991 and was a widely popular with comic book fans, helping to establish the success of the 16-bit Mega Drive/Genesis system. Critics noted that the game had superior graphics, sound and faithfully recreated the characters for the video game universe, even allowing the player to take pictures of the major and minor enemies in the video game to sell at the Daily Bugle to buy more web fluid. The game had four different difficult levels and a contest was held to see w

  • I really enjoyed the second Gamecube title. I thought it did a wonderful job of staying true to the source material while still adding in enough extra villains and game-related story to keep it interesting. The bits contrived for the game were as much fun to watch as play. I especially liked the stuff with Mysterio, it was hilarious. Not to mention the gameplay was seamless, and very intuitive. Plus if you got bored you could always roam around finding really high things to jump off of. I can only hope that
  • There have been at least two decent spiederman games to my knowledge. One was a rather strange title for the Amiga, which starred a really tiny spiderman on playing field reminiscent of old games like jet set willy and its ilk. The other was the second spiderman game for the xbox generation, the one with the freeform movement around New York. The story weren't all that good, but it played like a dream.
    • Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin for the genesis/megadrive was awesome! Granted, this is through the rose-tinted glasses of childhood, but no boss has ever seemed as tough as The Sandman in that game. The whole thing was actually a challenge, and as far as I recall, not too infuriating.

      This review [sega-16.com] sends me back to when I could be impressed by trivial stuff. "The controls are extremely responsive and the on-screen action will occur immediately following a button press." and "You can make out the eye holes on Spi

  • Damn, this reminds me of the Commodore 64 version of the game: And not for the best.
    While at the time it was quite a cool game (very hard at later levels though), it took one whole casette tape (both sides!) to load.
    I still wake up in cold sweat thinking of those load-errors I sometimes received after waiting about 45 minutes.
  • Apparently someone hasn't played the clunky mess that is "Spiderman 3" yet...

    Spiderman 2 and Ultimate Spiderman's play control was very smooth and responsive. Apparently they couldn't allow that, since the new controls are as stiff as Keanu Reeves.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor