With Spider-Man out this week, it's the perfect time to take a bit of a nostalgia trip to see some of Spidey's best adventures in gaming. Spider-Man has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, I had nearly everything related to Spider-Man. From having bed sheets, pj's, underwear, action figures, bowls and comics, to watching nearly every Spider-Man cartoon and all 3 movie series, Spidey has been part of my life since before I could remember. While I've gotten older and my tastes have changed(Batman says hi), Spider-Man still has a place in my heart and I'm willing to follow him everywhere he'll go.
But enough of this Millennial ruminating on his past, experts from lost vegas are here to talk about Spider-Man's best video games. He's had quite a list in his nearly 60 years of swinging across media. While I haven't played EVERY single one of his games, I'm pretty sure no one would be shocked that I dared not played the wonder that is Spider-Man: Web of Fire on the SEGA 32X. But, I have played enough to know the good from the bad and have decided to look back and share 5 of his best adventures.
5) Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
With the Sam Raimi trilogy done and nothing left for Activision and Treyarch to adapt, the two companies decided to start with a blank slate and make an original Spider-Man story from scratch. With Venom infecting New Yorker's with Symbiotes he created, the purple menace attempts to take over The Big Apple and it's up to Spider-Man to save the day. The twist was that some of Venom re-attached itself on to Spidey, allowing him to use the iconic Symbiote suit.
Web of Shadows was a noble attempt to mix things up; allowing you to shape your playstyle and make choices that would lead to Spidey being a hero or villain. The execution mostly hit it's marks, with a varied combat system, excellent web swinging controls, boss fights that made great use of the open world, and an interesting story. That being said, it also faltered with repetitive objectives and enemies that rarely made the most out the various combat abilities you could acquire.
It's still a fun time, but you still feel like that the developers could've polished it up before release.
4) The Amazing Spider-Man: The Game
The Amazing Spider-Man films are far from the worst that the super hero film genre have ever produced. I won't act like they were flawless or that they were made as an attempt to keep the film rights to Spider-Man away from Marvel and Disney, but they still get a little overhyped in there "awfulness." Still, the original Amazing Spider-Man stood out as not being as bad as many worried it would be. Just like the film, the game based on it turned out to be much better than it was to be expected.
Spidey's web-swinging was a little more automated that in past games, but still gave players the rush and joy that made previous installments so much fun. The combat, meanwhile, was the best in the open-world Spider-Man games by smartly copying Arkham Asylum's counter-combat system. It wasn't perfect, as the game had the same issues that other movie tie-ins had, but it managed to be a perfectly antiquate title. Sadly, that couldn't be said about it's sequel.
3) Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Shattered Dimensions ditched the open world that past games were known for and instead focused on a third-person action game, similar to that of God of War and Devil May Cry. What makes Shattered Dimensions stand out, was allowing players to take control of 4 different Spider-Men that played just different enough to not allow repetition to sink in. Amazing Spider-Man relied on web based combo's, Ultimate Spider-Man used the black suit's stretchy tentacles and rage mode, Spider-Man 2099 could use a slow down mechanic and broke things up by doing some Halo Jumps, and Spider-Man Noir took to the shadows and stealthed his way out of hairy situations.
Along with a surprisingly deep combat system, each world made great use of the various art-styles that came to define the various incarnations of Spider-Man, making each world you visit distinct. Aiding great production values were the various voice actors, that saw a lot of Spider-Man voice actors(Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Keaton, Christopher Daniel Barnes and Dan Gilvazan) reprise there roles as the 4 different versions of Spider-Man.
It's a shame the follow up, Edge of Time, couldn't live up to expectations, but Spidey fans still remember this great title.
2) Ultimate Spider-Man
Back in the early 2000's, Marvel decided to release the "Ultimate Marvel" line up. It took some of Marvels most established characters and allowed creators to start from scratch, setting them up in modern times. Ultimate Spider-Man once again had Peter Parker as a 15 year old kid, getting Spider powers, but deal with revamps of some of his greatest foes.
Taking place after the Venom arc, the Ultimate Spider-Man video game continued from where the comic storyline left off and told an original tale within the universe, with the series creators(Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley) heavily involved with the games development. Ultimate Spider-Man took what made Spider-Man 2 a hit, and recreated that feel of that with beautiful cell-shaded artwork that looked like the comic came to life.
Along with great Boss Fights, fun combat and solid web-swinging controls, Ultimate Spider-Man also allowed players to take control of Venom. He played vastly different than Spidey, playing similar to the Hulk in Ultimate Destruction. This gave the game a great hook and added much needed variety to the simple but fun combat system.
If there was one issue with Ultimate Spider-Man, it would be it's 5-6 hour length. Regardless of that, Ultimate Spider-Man still passed with Flying Colors.
1) Spider-Man 2: The Game
Surprised? Spider-Man 2 is considered the quintessential Spider-Man experience both in the film and the gaming world. Peter's struggle with balancing his life, while still being Spider-Man, struck a cord with audiences and critics. Spider-Man 2 is still one of the best Super Hero flicks of all time and the game is equally regarded as one of the best Super Hero games of all time.
Sure, the story is a dull re-telling of the film and Toby Maguire is phoning in his performance, but the gameplay is what made Spider-Man 2 a classic. The web-swinging was great, the combat was simple and fun, and the various crimes and story missions really made you feel like Spider-Man. It may be a bit of a dinosaur, as other Spider-Man games have made several improvements to controls and combat, but it was the game that finally let players live out there childhood dreams of being the Web-Slinger.
Agree, disagree? What are some of your favorite Spider-Man games? Did it make the list? Leave your own list in the comments down below