Spider-Man Review

More fully realized than anything on the 8- or 16-bit systems, Spider-Man for the GBC is the game we all wish we had ten years ago - a totally convincing interpretation of Spidey for the handheld sector.

It can be assumed that Vicarious Visions' Spider-Man for the GBC benefited from sufficient inspiration, since it was released on the heels of Neversoft's opus to the web head. What we have with Spider-Man for the GBC is a mini 2D testament of Neversoft's sharp game design - above and beyond any of Spider-Man's previous incarnations, barring, of course, the game that served as its muse. If only we had it this good during our NES days.

Vicarious Visions' Spidey can jump, crawl, swing, and web-shoot with the best of them; throughout the game's side-scrolling environments, there are plenty of opportunities for you to swing through the air, crawl on walls and ceilings, and snare the throngs of thugs that incessantly wander near. Spidey's jump is fairly mighty, and he can adhere to surfaces as easily as his PlayStation counterpart, albeit without the skewed effect on the control scheme. When you're in the air, hitting the A button will cause him to swing on his web - an effect that can be repeated indefinitely, as his web supply is unlimited, this time around. His web-based offensive moves are performed by rolling your thumb from the B to the A button - the motion is much more fluid than it sounds, and it is quite easily achieved. Webs initially serve to snare your opponents, though eventually, they take on more harmful characteristics, letting you inflict damage as you entangle opponents. What's more, webs can be shot while wall crawling or while in midair, so as to simulate Spider-Man's dynamic offensive capabilities. Spidey will also gain experience levels throughout his adventures, granting him stronger, more-plentiful attacks - in the form of escalating combos - and a tougher hide.

Spider-Man's foes, who are in respawning abundance throughout the levels, seem plucked from the ranks of countless classic beat-'em-ups. Heartwarmingly nasty, your typical array of crowbar/chain/fist-wielding thugs will advance upon Spidey in throngs, threatening life and limb. Also, all manner of avian will assault Spidey from the skies, knock him off his webs, and generally appear wonderfully absurd and out of place.

All the character sprites are of a smallish size, though they're very nicely detailed, and the game's animations are spot on. The environments are also pretty impressive, making it a joy to interact with this gameworld: They're large, multileveled, and rather intricate. Naturally, no licensed game is complete without a host of characters making an appearance. Vicarious Visions' Spider-Man is no different, so keep your eye open for appearances by J. Jonah Jameson, Venom, Aunt May, and more.

If you're looking for some web-slinging action on the go, you can't go wrong with Spider-Man. More fully realized than anything on the 8- or 16-bit systems, Spider-Man for the GBC is the game we all wish we had ten years ago - a totally convincing interpretation of Spidey for the handheld sector.

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Spider-Man (1991) More Info

  • First Released Oct 17, 1991
    • GameGear
    • Genesis
    • Sega Master System
    Spider-Man fans should be pleased to know that the video game world has been blessed with an excellent framework on which to base future Spider-Man games - and an exceptional game to boot.
    Average Rating2598 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Spider-Man (1991)
    Developed by:
    Bits Studios, Recreational Brainware, Technopop
    Published by:
    Flying Edge, Tec Toy, Sega
    Action, Adventure