THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VS THE KINGPIN
You knew this was coming, with The Amazing Spider-Man coming out this week and all…
Believe it or not, growing up I played very few Spider-Man games. It’s not like there weren’t loads of them but somehow I only ended up trying out one game per console.
The one I remember particularly well is The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Kingpin on the Genesis which pretty much revived my faith in there ever being a good Spider-Man game. Before that, I’d played The Amazing Spider-Man on Game Boy and Spider-Man vs The Kingpin on the Sega Master System. Both of which failed to really interest me.
I had some good Batman games to play! No time to waste on sub-par Marvel nonsense…
Take THAT Marvel 20 years ago!
To be fair, Spider-Man on Game Boy wasn’t too bad. At least it was pretty straight-forward and the whole thing was playable enough. Sure it always bothered me that Spider-Man was 10 feet tall and spent his time walking (or ice-skating, rather) from one side of the screen to the other, occasionally kicking spiders (or bats, hard to tell) in the face…
But it was a game and I could play it… which is basically 98% of what I’m looking for in a video game.
If it’s good then it’s a bonus, frankly.
Surely the Sega Master System would annihilate that Game Boy antiquity with its black and white “greenness” and its primitive graphics. Yes they came out about the same time so “antiquity” may not really be accurate but I got the Master System version after so it felt like that anyway. This was a console, on the ground, with cables attached to it and everything, one of them even romancing the wall! This was gonna be great.
So yeah, that Sega Master System game wasn’t good.
It’s funny going back to it once you’ve played the far better Genesis version because you realise just how awkward it actually is. Getting past the first screen is crazily straight-forward when you know what you need to do, which is swing diagonally up towards that last window on the top right corner of the Daily Bugle building, but the first time playing it I was so lost. I had these cops kicking my ass on the ground, a whole crowd of people opening their windows, pushing me away and stiff controls which made the smooth web-swings you usually associate with the character near impossible to sustain.
It’s like the game didn’t want me there!
You really struggled to figure out where you needed to go a lot of the time in this game. It just got tiresome after a while, and that irritating music didn’t help. Luckily, seeing those people bounce away when you hit them was always funny.
But back to that comfy Genesis bosom.
Think of it as a “fixed” version of the Master System game. Picture the SMS game but with smooth controls, better graphics, good music and villains that actually look like who they’re meant to look like. Beating a level is finally not the gaming equivalent of dismantling a clock then rearranging the pieces into a miniature model of the Eiffel Tower.
This is actually a fun game to play through.
The plot sees The Kingpin broadcast a televised message to the people of New York stating that Spider-Man, in order to get revenge on the city that turned on him, has set a bomb to blow in exactly 24 hours time and offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who apprehends him. So Spidey decides to go and find Doc Ock to get more details from him. The Doc tells him that The Kingpin has hired a bunch of his old enemies and the keys to stop the bomb are split throughout all of them. So Spider-Man sets out to find each villain and recover every key althewhile taking pictures of the real perpetrators.
Ok, first of all, why is The Kingpin offering a reward for Spider-Man? If there really IS a bomb in the city planted by said crime-fighter, wouldn’t the police, the army even, be out to find him anyway? What is he, gonna give the police a reward? Then what? Oh and a bomb that requires like five keys, all of which are in different villains’ hands, villains who don’t even know why they have those keys in the first place? I don’t get that. I guess to lure Spider-Man to each of them but…
I don’t think that plot makes any sense, you guys.
That said, it’s a good excuse to get Spidey to fight some classic bad guys like The Sandman, Hobgoblin, Electro, The Lizard, even Venom pops up once in a while. They’re all pretty darn easy to beat once you know where to stand or once you get the obvious pattern. It all ends with you fighting The Kingpin and that takes forever, he’s a tough cookie (and rightly so).
lol Just remembered The Kingpin looks like Alfred Hitchcock in the Master System version.
So on the whole, I’d recommend the Genesis version of the game: it’s not perfect in that it’s a little inconsistent and the controls take some getting used to but it’s a fun game. Not “amazing” but fun.
I should also mention the Sega CD version which looks even better than the Genesis one and boasts some rockin’ tunes but really is mostly worth playing for those ungodly, kind of terrifying animated cut scenes.