‘Greetings true believers and newcomers alike…’
Spider-Man on the original Playstation was one of the first games where I ever played as a super hero, and also one of the first games that gave me nightmares.
The game starts with a splash screen where you can pick the difficulty. My brothers spent too many minutes enjoying the different voices that announced ‘kid mode’ every time it was selected, scrolling through the voice actors for each of the villains in the game.
I did not want to play on ‘kid mode’ because little nine-year-old me was not a ‘kid’ anymore…after struggling with the first level for quite some time I returned to that kid mode, and began the game in earnest.
This game was everything a comic fan in the early 2000’s could want, a very complete roster of Spider-Man’s villains, guest appearances from many other comic heroes, vocal performances by Stan Lee and solid web-slinging action!
The graphics were as blocky as one would expect given the limitations of the Playstation, but that did not matter; the art style was vibrant and the gameplay was fun.
My first Spider-Man comic, was a collection titled Spider-Man vs Venom, and I remember absolutely loving that Venom made a key appearance in this game. In fact he and his species, the symbiotes were a key plot point. Because symbiotes were resistant to the damage you could cause you needed to get special fire-web to burn them, don’t ask how that works, the answer didn’t matter to me at the time.
But despite how fun it was I never completed this game. I got stuck in the final encounter that pitted you against the ultimate horror for any 9-year-old.
A twisted combination of Doctor Octopus and Carnage, this boss screeched inhumanely, could not be fought, and was an instant game over if it caught you.
All you could do is run…through a convoluted vent system with janky controls.
I lost so many times I had nightmares of being chased by Monster Ock, all whilst he was screeching ‘it’s not over yyyyyeeeeet!’
Whilst I never returned to the game there have been even more delightful Spider-Man games that have been made in the 15-years since them, which have expanded upon the delightful gameplay and comic experience that we were first introduced in this Playstation classic.