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A Web-Head Retrospective

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the does-whatever-a-spider-can dept.

Games 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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Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962045)

In all fairness, Spiderman has been dodgy in MANY formats. Anyone remember the 70's TV series [] ? How about Spidey Super Stories [] ?

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.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (5, Insightful)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (3, Funny)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962375)

heh, reminds me of a recent PA [] concerning staying true to source material.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18977453)

No, in good comic books, you don't see that shit.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (3, Insightful)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 7 years ago | (#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...

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (1)

CdrGlork (1096607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962499)

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...

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18962907)

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.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964833)

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)

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (-1, Flamebait)

Chimera512 (910750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965157)

ALL of Boondock Saints was excruciating to watch, not just that section. After taking a step back from everyone and their mother talking about how much they love that movie and watching it without having been drinking heavily (people love to watch that on St. Patrick's day here in Boston) something clicked in my head that made me want to do violence to the people who had produced such an inane pile of crap with about 12 seconds of amusing footage.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18980243)

God thank you. I really wanted to like it but that movie is pretty horrid. For some reason I think it's really beloved just for being so Irish. That's the kind of attitude that keeps that ass Carlos Mencia from getting his terrible show cancelled. "Hey I'm Mexican and he's Mexican so that must imply that he's funny!" What is it with all this mindless tribal endorsing. Judge something on its own merits. The fact that you've been modded flamebait just goes to show the strange cloud around that film. It's just plain bad. Bad story. Bad direction. Though I did like the actors involved which makes it so much more painful.

Re:Spiderman has sucked plenty of times before (1)

GhaleonStrife (916215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18964585)

Not to mention the Japanese TV show where he has a giant robot.

There were videogames before the NES. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18962849)

I still have the Parker Bros. Spider-Man Game for the 2600.

Players had to shoot "webs" up the side of a "building" and swing across windows to pick up bad guys hanging out of them. When you got to the top, a battle with one of the goblins on a radio tower (i.e. less web-anchor space). Then you got to do it again. Kind of like a Crazy Climber knock-off/mod.

Maximum Carnage (2, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Maximum Carnage (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18973353)

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.

Wait (1)

Groggnrath (1089073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965483)

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 old school code crunchers and game designers. They were trying to bring us a new media form, which they loved, any way they could.

Day Light Robbery (1)

b.b.rodriguez (1092915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18965979)

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.

Spiderman games have always been lackluster. (1)

DavidKlemke (1048264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966307)

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 now, I'd rather not be disappointed again.

Re:Spiderman games have always been lackluster. (1)

Groggnrath (1089073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18966573)

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 of money WoW, CS, or EQ make. People nay-say corporate intrusions in games, but it's a necessity. Without funding, you can't make any games.

Atari 2600 version: (3, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18967261)

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? (2, Insightful)

CheechWizz (886957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18974491)

"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 Amazing Spider Man vs. The Kingpin (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18975123)

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 who could successfully complete the game in the ultra-hard nightmare mode.


According to developer Randel B. Reiss, this version was a huge commercial success: two thirds of all Genesis owners at the time also bought the game, and single-handedly convinced Marvel Comics not to cancel the licensing deal they had with Sega. [1] -- The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin []

I don't think that this title deserved to be knocked. It was one of the better Genesis games available. Of course, my favorite Spider-Man licensed game is still Revenge of Shinobi....

Spiderman 2 (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18975693)

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 the third title will be as good.

Decent games too (1)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18978873)

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.

Re:Decent games too (1)

coldcell (714061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18985671)

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 [] 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 Spideys costume and even the belt on a thugs pants." made me chuckle.

Load error ! (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18988001)

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.

No mention of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18994021)

There's not even one remark in the article about the shit Activision did with the difference between the PS2/PC versions of Spider-Man 2. The PS2 version was awesome, free web slinging through the city, while the PC version was like something a bunch of college seniors do for their final project.

Sublime? Pheh... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007827)

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.
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