riostarwind's Spider-Man and the X-Men: Arcade's Revenge (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) review

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I can see a good game here yet it is full of annoying design decisions that make it real hard to enjoy it.

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While organizing my older consoles this weekend I noticed I pulled out this game the last time I had my SNES out for some reason. LJN published games aren't known for quality after all. But I had some strange urge to try my best to make my way through this game. While I didn’t succeed I did come out the other end seeing a bit clearer at the good and bad aspects of this game.

At first when booting up the game it appears like some effort went into this with a little comic book page laying out the story of Spider-Man noticing that the X-men seem to be being kidnapped. Then you get thrown into the first stage and never really see a scene like that play out again. I will also say they had some ambition going by the fact you can play as 5 different characters.

A lot of the stages don't give the player much room to dodge attacks.
A lot of the stages don't give the player much room to dodge attacks.

Yet it becomes abundantly clear after the first level this isn’t a world set up in a fair way. Starting off you will get access to Spider-Man and his limited swing ability. Learning that you can change the length of the swing is really important to beating each level after the first one. Once I figured that out the way the level is designed is reasonable. At least till they added in wind & bottomless pits in the third level then it turns into a test of patience as you learn the level. Not that fun anymore so I didn’t really attempt it anymore after the first game over.

Next up Cyclops gets his eight way blast that is totally useless thanks to the layout of his mine-cart level. That is set up to kill him instantly if you miss any jumps along with the enemy placement making the 8 way shot useless. After that Wolverine gets to punch everything with his claws. The way the level is set up it expects the player to pause occasionally to let his health regenerate. To bad it eventually stops working. While it is one of the levels where an extra life can be farmed it doesn’t have any variation to it so once you play and fail once you’ll just be doing the exact same playthrough as before.

Gambit gets a timed level thanks to a giant spike ball constantly following him. Although I wanted to get a bit deeper it was a bit too easy to die on this level thanks to limited ammo and how fast you had to move to succeed. Unsure why Storm gets a swimming level but surprisingly it is one of the ones with a reasonable challenge. Thanks to her ability to refill her health by swimming to the top of the water. Since the goal of the level is to raise the water level it is possible to go a bit too fast and get stuck in a no win solution. Yet going at a slow pace lead to victory yet one hero saved does not equal victory.

When the swimming level is better than the rest that doesn't seem like a good thing.
When the swimming level is better than the rest that doesn't seem like a good thing.

Like some classic games once you run out of lives that’s it. No continue here so even though I got quite good at the first Spider-Man puzzle level it was a bit annoying have to redo that every time. If each level was set up with an extra life you could grab this game would actually be doable after enough attempts. Sadly that isn’t available on every level leading to annoyingly designed levels that are set up to kill the player a lot.

Unless you have a lot of patience this isn’t a game set up in a fun way at all. While you could say it’s just old school difficulty that doesn’t really make it good. Most of the levels do seem set up in a way to cause the player to lose a lot while progressing a little bit at a time. Eventually succeeding does feel great yet all the progress is lost a few minutes later. Truly makes it a hard game to go back to and certainly makes it a game I cannot recommend anyone play.

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