Co-Optimus - Editorial - Co-Op Classics: Spider-Man the Video Game

Spider-man The Video Game

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Co-Op Classics: Spider-Man the Video Game - Page 2

Each of the characters has the standard punching and jumping moves, plus, by pressing both attack and jump together, the use of a special ability unique to the character. Spider-Man, naturally, uses his web shooters, while Black Cat uses her whip to slash enemies. Hawkeye's arrows make sense as a special attack, but Namor... Namor shoots electricity, a power he has only rarely exhibited in the comics. It's nitpicky, for sure, but just serves to underscore how odd it was to include Namor in Spider-Man the Video Game.

The standard progression in brawlers is to beat up dozens of lesser enemies, before facing a boss at the end of each level, and often in the middle of one. Spider-Man the Video Game follows this formula closely, and has the advantage of drawing from Spidey's extensive rogues gallery for bosses. The Kingpin, Venom, Dr. Doom, Electro, Scorpion, and both the Hobgoblin and the Green Goblin make appearances. It's the finest degree of fan service, for sure, though the glee at facing these villains is lessened somewhat by the sameness and boring facelessness of the street level minions that appear by the hundreds.

Spider-Man and his companions are lovingly rendered in very large sprites, though they move around a bit too slowly for super heroes. One very interesting feature of the game is the inclusion of platforming sections. The screen zooms out, reducing the heroes to a much smaller size, and the action switches from continuous fighting to jumping and light puzzle sections. It's not easy to mix genres in this way, and it's pulled off flawlessly, adding a nice variety to the action. Swapping from brawler to platformer is the best innovation the game has to offer.

If you are a fan of comic books, or just super heroes in general, you will enjoy Spider-Man the Video Game. The storyline is a bit chaotic and "kitchen-sink" in nature, but that's appropriate for both comics and 90s video games. Apart from the puzzling inclusion of Namor as a playable character (poor Daredevil never gets any love), the game is quite good. It doesn't rise to the level of X-Men, and maybe not even The Punisher, but it's definitely better than Captain America and the Avengers, despite the latter's oddball charm. The game is a solid example of the genre, and holds its own when compared to other games from the same time period. Like the character himself, Spider-Man's arcade game is a true classic.

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