The Amazing Spider-Man. (computer game) (evaluation)
by Steven Anzovin
As a devotee of Marvel Comics not so very many years ago, I looked forward to this new game starring the Amazing Spider-Man, the most intriguing character in Marvel publisher Stan Lee's heroic pantheon. Lee's attempt to infuse Spider-Man with psychological and social realism set the series apart from many that had come before it. Peter Parker, alias Spider-Man, felt fears and doubts, had family obligations, and wasn't trusted by the police. He even married! This attention to realism made Spider-Man stories popular for many years. Unfortunately, not much of this quality made it into The Amazing Spider-Man.
A standard arcade game with a tiny Spider-Man figure moving through essentially rectilinear mazes, The Amazing Spider-Man lacks any real depth. The scenario, too, seems familiar. Mysterio, a former stunt man and master of illusion, has kidnapped Spider-Man's wife (Mary Jane Parker) and hidden her in a Hollywood studio rigged with illusions, robots, and traps. (Just once, I'd like to see the girlfriend or wife rescue the superhero, but I guess that game programmers aren't any more willing to take risks than are comic-book writers.) Spidey must use his strength, agility, webs, and wits to deactivate each trap before confronting the sinister Mysterio.
It's not that this is a bad game--the graphics live up to industry standards, some of the puzzles challenge, and learning to play takes you little time. Nothing distinguishes this game from a dozen others though, except for the Spider-Man name. Longtime fans of Spidey's exploits may indeed want The Amazing Spider-Man anyway, but players seeking a new gaming experience will have to look elsewhere. 'Nuff said.