RELEASED: September 20, 2001
AVAILABLE ON: GBA
DEVELOPER(S): Vicarious Visions
We're almost finished with Spider-Man's lead roles in Marvel video games - all that remains, for now, is a bunch of Spider-Man games for the Game Boy Advance. The first of them was Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace, a stand-alone curiosity item forgotten by time - no wonder, since Spider-Man games just kept on coming back in the day, and handheld exclusives like this game were almost bound to fail, commercially. Well, it's my job to make you remember. Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace - here we go.
The fishbowl's revenge
|See? I told you!|
I didn't know a thing about this game just a while ago. Whenever I start research on a title that has come out during the last few generations, I immediately head to Game Rankings to get a feel of how well the game has fared in gaming media. I was surprised to see Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace rated pretty high with the average score of 80.38% calculated from 20 (!) reviews. It's actually the 7th best-rated Spider-Man game listed on Game Rankings, falling just behind the PlayStation 2 version of Spider-Man 2 (the movie-based game), which many critics consider a classic. High hopes, high hopes.
Surprisingly, the audiovisuals are the worst part of the game. The music is quite horrible, in fact. While the game isn't outright ugly and should please a Spider-Man fan, it isn't much of a leap forward from the Game Boy Color titles, seriously. The capacity allows for level design that looks a little less like copy/paste and there's the occasional pseudo-3D environment to admire, but character animation, for example, really doesn't look that different from Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six - just slightly smoothed out.
Another superhero game that Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace reminds me of besides its predecessors is... Darkwing Duck on the NES. Before you start blasting me - YES, it's a superhero game for sure! And YES, I meant that as a compliment since it's one of the greatest NES games ever made. The initial layout of the game is quite similar, as there are three stages you can beat in any order. Beating the first stage unlocks a second stage to form a whole level, so there are six stages in all. Beat them all, and you go one-on-one with Mysterio in one final level.
All in all, Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace is a reasonably entertaining game. I wouldn't go calling it great or the most essential addition to your Marvel video game collection, but it's good - I can most definitely call it one of the better Spider-Man games from yesteryear, now that I'm this close to the end.
+ Kind of like Darkwing Duck meeting all the best qualities of Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six - not bad
+ Fast pace, reasonably good level design
+ The suit power-ups are a clever addition
- The graphics have not evolved much
- The gameplay's still exactly the same and hickups are still present, from extra-sensitive movement to lacking collision detection
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