Candied, crushed sago't gulaman
Spider-Man Fun Fact: Did you know that Peter Parker is wanted for indecent exposure in the state of Arizona?
Jumpin’ Jehosaphat Job: Real talk. My first exposure to Spider-Man wasn’t through comics. While they were available, my measly 20-peso/day allowance didn’t allow me to cut a slice of that action. Instead, I made do with the completely badical cartoon series. That and the Activision video game. Man, that game. It got everything right. The wall-crawling, the web-balling, the friendly neighborhoodship. The controls were tight, the visuals were slick, and the references were all over the place. Was that Stan Lee narrating in the beginning? Yes, he was and I swear he told me he loved me.
Soon enough, I was webbing up gimps with guns, sneaking to save hostages, and throwing wisecracks at the hapless goons! JUST LIKE SPIDER-MAN.
[In Sundate, two writers kick back in their rocking chairs and wax reminiscent.]
JJ Job: I never thought I’d say this but Activision made my dreams come true with that game. It was a simpler, more innocent time.
You know, I just realized that the game’s plot was strangely similar to The Amazing Spider-Man’s placeholder conflict. Instead of turning NYC into a scaley anthropomorphic hotbed, the villainous fog would act as a go-signal for creepy symbiotic bodysnatching. Coincidence? Most probably! But I like to think that Spider-Man: The Video Game inspired something. It sure did inspire me! To do good deeds and great power is coming on great responsibility or whatever! See? Video games can be good, too, CNN.
JJ Joseph: I find nothing heroic at all about making any sort of connections between the TRULY amazing Spider-Man on the PS and the utter mediocrity that is the film.
The video game had you web-swinging across buildings for the first time in the history of the character’s appearance in the media. It let you beat the ever-loving piss out of Scorpion, Venom, Mysterio and Carnage. It featured actual interactions with the rest of the Marvel universe! It had freakin’ J. Jonah Jameson!
JJ Job: That and more! More villains, more cameos (Uatu, what are you doing here?), more costumes! Oh yeah! I can’t stop using exclamation points! Help! What were your favorite digs? Mine was naturally the Amazing Bag-Man. Gussied up in a spare F4 leotard and a paper bag over his head, Spider-Man arrives at the scene of the crime.
Speaking of villains, the game had insane boss fights. Do you remember that one with the giant Mysterio? And of course, I don’t think anyone can forget that last sequence where Doc Ock/Carnage chases you through airvents. I STILL GET FLASHBACKS OH GOD HE’S RIGHT BEHIND ME
JJ Joseph: Who didn’t have the Amazing Bag-Man as their favorite costume? Second to that would probably be the black symbiote costume because I was 13, and it was cool to be black and brooding. The extra strength and unlimited webbing it granted was a nice bonus, too! Man, that game had a crap load of bonus content, and just like everything in those simpler times, it was all free.
And yes, that memory of Monster Ock charging after me as the base was exploding was forever etched into my mind. The game actually managed to make Carnage a terrifying foe. Sure, it took him possessing the mad genius with the cybernetic tentacles that could bend steel, but props to Neversoft anyway for coming up with the idea!
JJ Job: Neversoft being in charge of originality is something I cannot wrap my mind around. You’d think after success of Spider-Man, they’d continue the franchise. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Spider-Man 2: World Tour! Or Spider-Man 2: Metallica or Some Other Defunct Band Like Soul Asylum. No wait, I would mind. Because those are terrible ideas.
JJ Joseph: They did make a sequel! Spider-Man: Enter Electro, which managed to turn a C-list villain with the dumbest costume ever into an actual powerhouse threat. He finally got it into his star-shaped head that his powers of electricity could be amped up to the point of elemental godhood.
Facing him as the last boss fight in his living lightning form atop the twin towers of the World Trade Center (edited at the last minute to be some no-name pair of buildings after 9/11) was pretty epic actually.I didn’t find it as COMPELLING as this first game, but it retained most of the fun parts to have made it worth my while!And hey, Neversoft created the single best extreme sports game in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, so they ain’t too bad!
JJ Job: Did Neversoft do that? Wasn’t that Vicarious Visions? I remember because I did not like that game. At all. And I tend to remember what I don’t like. Like okra. I know okra because I hate it with the hatred of a million exploding galaxies.
But I concede on the epicness of that final boss battle. It was pretty hard, wasn’t it? It was such a difficult and trying time. For all Americans. Never forget 9/11.
Have you played any of the more recent Spider-Man video games? I just could not be bothered. Web of Shadows? Web of Sha-blows. Friend or Foe? Friend or Go. Away. Shattered Dimensions? Shattered Attention… Span?
JJ Joseph: A cursory check of Wikipedia says you are absolutely right, and my brain has officially been colored by those damned rose-tinted nostalgia goggles. Haven’t played any other Spider-Man video game ever since, except for screwing around with Shattered Dimensions on my girlfriend’s PS3. It was pretty bland. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.
JJ Job: Or maybe we just had a higher tolerance for stilted gameplay back then. I’ll try that game out again and see if it still makes me feel good. And if it doesn’t–I will fight someone. EEL NATS was a code that unlocked everything, I just remembered. And it’s STAN LEE backwards! Stan Lee, you flimsy man, you got me again.
Spider-Man Fun Fact: This. Everything about this.