tiistai 11. kesäkuuta 2013

REVIEW - Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers | GB | 1993

GENRE(S): Action / Platform
RELEASED: July 1993

Nowadays, sequels almost never cease to please those people who were into their preceding titles. They might even outright amaze them. When you make a near-masterpiece of a first game, you observe and take notes of what mainly the media thinks you could've done better - after all, the media in turn affects a lot of casual gamers and their takes on the game, whether they want to admit it or not. Then, you release the second game, and it very often is just the kind of game people wanted the first one to be like. It's all very simple and obvious. Back in the early 90's credible, wide-spread video game reviews hardly existed, and even if they did, very few developers would've taken 'em seriously. That might be the exact reason why a game like Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers came to existence - why stop publishing games which basically sell themselves, and why improve the game if there's no one around to tell everyone it sucks before it's too late? The company it's in might not be too impressive in itself, but Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers is plain horrible, and one of the worst games I've had to suffer along the Marvel road.

Slay him, slay him dead

During a routine New York City check-up, Spider-Man finds himself face to face with a group of robots of unknown origin, dubbed the Spider-Slayers.

Although many are willing to disagree with me on this one for some doggone reason, Spider-Man 3 has virtually nothing to do with its predecessors. It's not really a typical platformer like the first one, nor is it more like an adventure game like the second one. I'd call this somewhat of a hybrid... of a few different colours of crap. It starts off like a side-scrolling beat 'em up, a generic but not a totally unplayable one - once the platform jumping kicks in somewhere around the second or third level, it takes a dive. Not a gradual one, either - but a straight, head-on dive to hell.

There's a call from a Mr. Giger.
The cutscenes are full of grammatical errors and extremely boring in look, but the in-game graphics are actually quite good, so good that I'm (mostly) willing to disregard how much character designers owe to other people for these designs (whether it's the developers or the comic book artists, I'm not really sure since I'm not acquainted with the serial this game's loosely based on). The soundtrack comprises of about a quarter of a handful of loops, at most.

I wish the curse of bad controls that plagued almost every Marvel game of the era, regardless of the platform, was present, but no, the controls in Spider-Man 3 ain't bad. Instead, they're so horrible that they render the game completely unplayable from a certain point forward. As far as the beat 'em up schtick carries on - not too far - the game's nearly all right. In the first level, you need to identify 20 muggers from an array of constantly spawning sprites in a park and kick their ass. You lose points from attacking civilians. Too bad the difference between a mugger and an innocent bystander can't be figured out until they're something like half an inch away from Spidey, which very easily allows them to land a cheap shot after another at you. Collision detection also sucks ass. Luckily you have a lot of health to spare. The first boss is quite easy to figure out and defeat just by using basic melee attacks, once again thanks to your vast reserves of health.

Let's do this simple, aight?
You open your mouth, I jump
in, level complete. No? This
ain't anything like my youth.
The bird boss is the waterbreaker, who'll most likely leave you with the conclusion that you bought this game for its first five minutes. You're supposed to get on top of this fuckoo-cuckoo instead of attacking him from the ground, and to do that, you must use your web - unlimited this time, but that's far from the point - to first make it to the top of the two buildings on your sides, then climb on his back. First of all, simply jumping in this game requires effort, not to mention clinging onto a wall or ceiling, or sling the web at the absolute correct time, or even make it stick to a surface. Finally, the most impossible task of all: use the web for swinging and jumping. If you thought the controls in the previous games were bad... no. I was going to recommend this game for reference, but I won't even do that. Steer clear from this piece of trash.

Well, that's it for the Spider-Man games for the original Game Boy - finally, after only three games. Two which sucked, but almost had potential, and one which turns out simply unplayable in a matter of minutes. Next up, several Spider-Man console games from three different generations, all from the 90's though. I'm not prepared for greatness, but I'm certainly prepared for some better time than I ever spent with these three.

+ Sometimes highly impressive in-game graphics
+ The first level shows some faint promise...

- ...Which is immediately flushed down the toilet
- Melee combat suffers greatly from poor collision detection
- "Jump! Jump! In the name of God, jump!"
- Totally unresponsive, confusing web mechanics which render the game unplayable
- Repetitive music and boring "cutscenes", presentation at its absolute worst

< 2.5 >

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