Software : Spider-Man Arcade (Sega)

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This review was first published on: 2007.


This Sega coin-op was the first Spidey game to enter the video parlor. The game was good for its time, and was quite successful in generating cash. It ran on the Sega System 32 PCB.

In Detail...

Spider-Man Arcade (Sega)
Year 1991 : SM Title
Summary: Multi-Character Fighting Game (Spider-Man Stars)
Publisher:  Sega
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I never really got to play this game back in 1991, since it ate 20c coins far too quickly for my budget. Fortunately, I actually managed to buy one from the local video game parlour for a very reasonable price, and installed it in a two-joystick cabinet I purchased. I had it running on free play at my work for quite some time, until the cabinet died.

The blurb says... Jumping in the air, crawling on walls and clinging to the helicopter, the 3 comic book heroes and a heroine are pursuing Dr. DOOM, and incarnation of evil, by fully using their ultranatural abilities. From a city full of high-rise buildings, they proceed to Dr. DOOM's castle in pursuit of the stolen "SORCERER STONE" by boarding a helicopter. However, VENOM, a formidable enemy, the "ARMOURED FORTRESS", "FLAMING CAVE", and a final scene await you. Can you destroy the doctor, your ultimate enemy?

To be specific, up to four players (if enough joysticks are fitted) can play simultanous, co-operative. Choose from Spider-Man, Black Cat, Namor, and Hawkeye. Spidey with webbing, Black Cat with a grappling hook, Namor shooting electricity, and Hawkeye with his bow.

Play alternates from zoomed-in 3D "Street Fighter" combat (kick, punch, jump, swing) to zoom out to 2D (jump, shoot, dodge). The game is configured that basically you can finish the game, it just costs you. Even the greatest player could never finish on a single coin, and so the game lasts as long as your wallet.

The four acts, with various villains and stages takes over an hour to complete. On the way, you meet the regular suspects - Venom, Kingpin, Octopus, Electro, Lizard, Scorpion, Green Goblin, Hobgoblin, and finally Dr. Doom. You fight most villians a couple of times. Venom three or four.

In General...

As well as standard kick and punch, each hero had a special ability. Spider-Man could do a web-swing from side to side, hitting everybody on the screen. Using the special ability cost life points, so when you were low on life anyhow, you just spammed the special ability until somebody clipped you a small blow and KO'd you.

When KO'd, you could continue as often as you liked. Even good players couldn't survive forever, you needed to put more coins into the machine on a regular basis. If you wanted to get to the end, you needed to figure on somewhere around 20 tokens, which is a far bit! Still, a full game would take an hour or so, though it got a bit token-hungry towards the end.

Still, an hour to finish, with no breaks? Well, just make sure you went to pee before you started!

Overall Rating...

Even though the moves were a bit repetitive, there were plenty of different bosses, and backgrounds. For it's time it was an exceptional game. The four-player co-op was novel at the time also.

I remember being tired but happy the first time I defeated the final boss, and I played it through end to end a few times after that. I should get that machine repaired. Four webs.