LJN – Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Single player – Released 1992
LJN, purveyors of ‘quality’ title licences throughout the late 80’s to mid-90’s, shoveled many a sub-standard game onto the home videogame consoles before its amalgamation into Acclaim in 1994. One of its more playable titles is one to appeal to the geek in all of us in the Marvel cross-over, Spider-man/X-men Arcade’s Revenge. As with the majority of platformers back in the day, there was little to no story, other than an extremely brief comic style opener in which Spidey says the X-men have been kidnapped.
The game opens with old Web-head setting out to rescue his mutant allies. In order to do this, it seems Spider-man must follow his spider-sense to obtain several blinking lights in a specific order. And destroy a few annoying robots. Once that’s out of the way, Spider-man rescues the captive X-men, then giving the player the option to choose between Spider-man and four of the X-men. The characters available are Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit and Storm and for reasons that are unexplained, each character has levels unique to them, all in quite differing styles. Wolverine is in some circus type ‘funland’ where he must claw his way through toy soldiers and jack-in-the-box bad guys. Unless there was some storyline involving a twisted circus, Wolverine does seem a little out of place.
Cyclops’ stages seem a little less on the silly side, with him having to get through some mines whilst fighting attacking robots. And riding mine carts. Gambit on the other hand is pursued by a giant spiked ball. And perhaps most baffling of all is the Storm sections. All she does is swim and break stuff. At least Spider-man’s stages make some sort of sense with them set in NYC. There’s a host of recognizable villains out to stop the team-up, including the likes of Shocker, Carnage, Apocalypse, Juggernaut and Master Mold, to name a few.
It’s not all bad though. ‘Eccentricities’ aside, it’s actually a decent action/platformer, with Spider-man’s levels proving to be the most entertaining. It’s not the most visually impressive of SNES titles however, and the sound is rather sub-standard, which compared to such titles boasting superb graphics like Super Mario World, which was released at launch, it is a tad disappointing. Overall, it’s a fairly decent experience, enhanced by the fact it features some of the greatest comic book heroes and villains ever created and will certainly make the hours playing this seem like minutes.