When it comes to two superheroes who share a great deal of history together, while having very little to do with each other, Batman and Spider-man are right up there. Not only have they had similar histories, but their overall personas are two sides of the same coin. They are also arguably the most popular superheroes in the market today. Similarly, their video games have shared a great deal of success and downfalls throughout the decades. Ever since the early development of video games, there were games for Spider-man and the caped crusader. Whereas Spider-man got his debut appearance in Atari 2600’s “Spider-man” released in 1982 and Batman made his debut in “Batman” released for home computers in 1986. This is prominent for the mere fact that several would draw the conclusion that Spider-man video games are largely knockoffs of the Batman games, which is not true.
Yes, there was probably some ideas gained here and there throughout development of both, but to bury the needle immediately without getting the facts is a mistake. Just because the combat system in the 2018 Spider-man game is very similar to the one in Arkham Asylum from 2009 does not mean that every single asset was ripped from the Batman game. Case and point:
Spider-man 2 (2004)
Hailed as one of the most unlikely gems to grace the wall crawler. Not only was this a free roaming sandbox, but it was also a movie tie-in game. Both of these elements normally spell immediate death for any game developer and whatever video game they were commissioned to produce. It went against the odds and not only survived, but thrived. It is still hailed as one of the best classic Spider-man ports of all time.
While it is not without its faults and glitches, the game is still very enjoyable as a whole. One highlight of the game is that you are able to travel throughout the entire city swinging your web just like the webhead himself. Beating up criminals is fast paced, fun and simple without making the game too much of a chore to learn. This is where much of the gameplay in question comes into play. As you are about to be hit by an opponent, your spider-sense goes off to tell you to dodge. The mechanics and the interactive fighting is not as polished as the Arkham games, but they still have their own charm. The graphics are bright and colorful, though, in retrospect, they didn’t age all that well. The people themselves look like blurry alien life forms. Still, that’s just how things have progressed over the years.
The boss battles are plentiful and diversified in their mechanics as no two are exactly alike. One of the more agitating ones is chasing Black Cat through the city, following her trail. However, in keeping with the movie storyline, Dr. Octopus is the man of the hour and his boss fights do not disappoint. There are other usual suspects from the Spidey rogue gallery, including the Shocker and Mysterio who don’t have so much to do with the plot. They’re more there to keep the energy up and the game a bit longer.
Much of the cast from the movie reprise their roles for the video game. Though the voice work is rather choppy in many areas, mostly due to the fact that they had limited numbers of voice actors, it’s not distracting from the overall quality. With a variety of side missions to perform and an overarching story, it’s still relatively short. What game there is will keep you occupied throughout. Though, one side mission that many have cited as a more dismal memory was “I lost my balloon!”
Though the name is not very imaginative, the game itself is very much deserving the name. Based on the 90’s animated series, what it lacks in three dimensional graphics, it more than makes up for in purely fun gameplay. Whether you prefer the N64, PS1 or Dreamcast version, it doesn’t matter. The wall crawling is still very easy to learn and the graphics are easy to get use to.
The game is a marvel of its time, featuring a vast number of Marvel characters throughout. It can get especially easy in some areas, for sure. However, if you’re just here to experience the game, it is quite the ride. Not only are you playing as the titular character, but you are also running from the police as you have been framed for a crime you did not commit. Now you must fight to clear your name with the help of allies such as the Captain America, Daredevil, Black Cat and Venom… wait what?!
Despite its born on date, this game has aged with some grace. Though, it still comes with the obligatory glitches and mechanical failures. For the year 2000, it’s quite the marvel. They may not have added the webs to his character model, but they brought numerous alternate costumes as a wonderful incentive to keep playing.
As you may have noticed, Spidey has gotten a lot of love from game developers who just wanted to do him justice. Games that had no business being as good as they were turned out to be classics that are still played and talked about to this day. Very few super hero games can do that for you. To be able to play a game and feel like you are the hero is a very rare quality, even today. The fact that Spider-man had games that could achieve even a fraction of that feeling back in the early 2000s is outstanding! Yes, he has had his fair share of the stinkers, every hero with his library size has.
He still has better games than Superman, am I right?