tiistai 11. kesäkuuta 2013

REVIEW - Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six | NES | 1992

GENRE(S): Action
RELEASED: October 1992
PUBLISHER(S): LJN, Flying Edge (GG, SMS)

Spider-Man's NES debut actually came a while before Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers - unfortunately - saw daylight on the Game Boy, and like the handheld game, this one was also the work of B.I.T.S. and LJN, and based on a comic book serial released around the same time. Return of the Sinister Six, the serial was called; it resurrected a specific group of great Marvel supervillains from the 60's, who as a group and under their hard-hitting moniker were considered the perfect gallery of bosses for a Spider-Man video game. Yeah, well, no one we've never seen in another game belongs in the Sinister Six, and Venom isn't a member, so what we've got left is a good title and some faint hope for a good game. ...Yeah, well, the title's good.

Return of the sinister d... too predictable.

Why are you pink? Seriously: why are you
Doctor Octopus has reunited the Sinister Six, a group of supervillains consisting of Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Vulture, Hobgoblin and himself. Only one man stands between the group and their plot for world domination - you know who.

I'm starting to get really frustrated, here. I know I'm up for some good Marvel games at some point, maybe not great ones, but good games that are authentic comic book fun, and fun to review - or alternatively, games that are absolutely so laughably horrible that they jump the line of being fun to review as well. With the exception of the half decent old DOS game The Amazing Spider-Man, the Spider-Man games I've done thus far have all suffered from the very same problems. It's like time stood still for these games, like they all popped up from the very same pooper at the very same time. There are no developments, no improvements. Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six was a chance for these two fuck-ups to get their acts straight after a couple of failures on the Game Boy, focus on the gameplay mechanics for once and not solely how cool it would look to the undemanding, casual Marvel fan.

The Osborns called. They want their glider back.
Well, to my surprise, Return of the Sinister Six doesn't look all that ugly - although it has some shades of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes to it like in weird palette choices - nor does it sound all that bad. The controls are also quite good; it's no surprise that the web mechanics suck, and it's awkward how the B button is assigned to three different moves which appear to be registered at a total random, and Spidey has some problems clinging on to ropes or any surfaces you can climb, but well, at least the guy jumps properly. All things seem to be somewhat in check, so how can this game possibly be so horrible? Well, the collection of some of the poorest level design ever will take care of your dissatisfaction with this here product.

It's not just that the levels are dull, one tiny mistake - which might not be yours but of the dark side of the control and detection scheme - can send you down into a pit you can't escape from. That's right: it's not hard, it's not tricky, it's not improbable, it's IMPOSSIBLE. There's a block, at the exact height you can't reach by jumping, and it also prevents you from landing a web shot to a higher level. Flipping yourself onto the block by using a web shot is equally impossible. You might think to yourself: that's all right, suicide is always an option since the enemies respawn all the time. Well, in the particular pit I'm speaking of, the only enemies are rats. It takes forever to be killed by a rat or even two of them, especially since you have plenty of health - actually, the game is very easy, since you have so much health and enemies are so easy to attack, including bosses. Or would be, without this fuckery. Well, even if you do manage to kill yourself by abusing those poor rats, keep in mind that you have only one continue. Fall into this particular pit or any other inescapable trap this incomplete piece of crap has in store one more time, and your game's over. Talk about unreasonable, huh? I'm not sure that's the right word.

This is it: the hole of doom.
Well, I guess it's not the worst waste of time from the B.I.T.S. library of Spider-Man games... wait. Yes, it is - it's literally a waste of time if it's virtually impossible to beat, and only due to lackluster design and seemingly the total lack of testing. Even so, it shows some potential; up 'til the first killing point, I even liked it to some extent. That's an accomplishment, I guess.

+ Semi-functional controls
+ Not as bad as I thought from an audiovisual standpoint

- Like I said, SEMI-functional controls
- Unbelievably poor, incomplete level design, which at its worst might prevent you from completing the game - and which also provides the only true challenge within this game
- Lots of health, but only one continue to go with the previous flaw

< 5.0 >

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