Review by Flyersfreak85

"Spiderman and Venom...as a team? Oh yeah, it JUST happened!"

Introduction: What is there to say about Spiderman other than the obvious: Peter Parker is the web-slinging, radioactive spider bit him and gave him super powers and strength, fights for the good of New York City, man in a red and blue suit (Seemingly, doesn't EVERY superhero do that?). There was Amazing Spiderman, Spiderman and allies, Spiderman as part of the “Avengers West Coast” series, and even Spiderman of the future in the 2099 series. As a result a mass marketing scheme made him accessible to everyone in every walk of life, so why would it not surprise everyone that video games would be made staring him? And why would it be a SURPRISE that for once, Acclaim did NOT drop the ball on a comic book adaptation/arcade to port conversion?

Oh, but Spiderman is NOT alone this time, for his arch-nemesis Venom (alias Edward “Eddie” Brock) is actually TEAMING with the web-slinger, in an effort to erase the mentally unstable Cletus Cassidy, also known as the red guy named Carnage. I mean really, why else is the cartridge red, after all?

Gameplay: Side-scroller games are not the epitome of well bore thought, but at least the ENTIRE game is not one side stage, beat people up, proceed to next side stage and beat more up kind of game. There are actually linear, chase stages and challenges as well, and as an added BONUS, the game can be completed in a variety of ways, with either Spiderman or the big black suited man named Venom. Hidden stages are also accessible for both players, with one being exclusive to both Venom and Spiderman, just to make things more interesting.

You also got an arrangement of both villains (none of which, outside of Carnage, would even be known to anyone who was a casual game player) and heroes to aide you (ditto the villains bit, except for Captain America). Your main opponents are (sub) standard people, such as punks in shorts, hats, and sunglasses (at night?), men in trench coats, fat guys with Billy clubs, women who look like overgrown girl scouts, bald guys in casual dress with what appear to be swords but are actually umbrellas, and guys who look like they were rejected from the old TV show “Pacific Blue” who shoot each other.

Yeah, and if that isn't enough FUN, then how about every other stage, you fight the “Super-villains” repeatedly (Carrion floats around everywhere, Demogoblin flies on his little stupid jet thing, Shriek blasts energy everywhere, and Doppelganger looks a cross between a mentally challenged Spiderman and a larger spider made from plastic parts)

The game also gives you the ability to perform “Super moves” (Both guys have two, although Spiderman has two pathetically weak ones) and will grade you on your “fighting” accuracy for each stage you complete, which adds to your point total.

Here is the BIGGEST and most glaring problem with S&V: MC, the game does not allow for the usage of two players. Yeah, even though they have two characters to choose from, you can't play together in this game. This would later be rectified by “Spiderman and Venom: Separation Anxiety” but let's face it, for that ONE correction, the sequel dropped the ball about a hundred times.
---Gameplay Grade: 8/10

Controls: The controls are pretty responsive and easily used, but sometimes the execution of a flying move will leave you prone to attack, especially in a pack of people, namely the fat guys. In theory, the ONLY button with one use during fighting scenes would be the Y-button to punch, unless you combine that with the B-Button to do a “desperation move” (and when you are low enough you can still jump and kick, but it's pretty pointless). The X-Button will swing your web, you have to hold up to swing up, else you will go across the screen, and the A-Button with corresponding D-Pad touch will swing the web forward and suck an opponent into your grasp (if you just hit the A-Button, it presents a funny little “arrest” of an enemy, or if one is one each side, will pull them together for the big head smash). And if you have superhero help, the L-Button will toggle through the available ones, while the R-Button will let you use them.
---Controls Grade: 8/10

Graphics: The Graphics are good, I mean if there is ONE thing Acclaim could do right (except on some of their Nintendo 64 releases) they did some good artwork, and it's kind of hard to TOTALLY screw up the character design of already preexisting heroes or villains. The backgrounds look good in their given scenarios (like the night scenes look dark and gritty, the day scenes look bright and contrasting) and the character sprites are of good size but do not manage to obnoxiously hog up the entire screen. Even when you have too many enemies on the screen (the max for common enemies is four) and your guy and activate a superhero, it doesn't slow the game down, unlike some other SNES games which would suffer that or glitches in action.
---Graphics Grade: 8/10

Sound: I never knew who Green Jelly was before this game, but after the game, I knew who they were. It seems Acclaim and their developers tapped this group to make the music for the game, giving it a rocking and dynamic “live” edge to the game, and they do great with the music, especially the two boss fight songs. The sound effects seem to line up with what they were designed to, like the sound of the web slinging sounds like such, a punch sounds like a punch, and the screams of the men being beat up (and the oft-occasional women) sound like such. Granted, there isn't much variety between the grunts and stuff, but I guess Acclaim could be sparred that much, since they didn't screw up anything else.
---Sound Grade: 8/10

Challenge: I'm not exactly sure why other users who have reviewed this game want to complain that this game is so tough, because it's not. I mean, maybe it's because I played it enough and don't need to use any continues to win it (even taking the “longest way possible” through the game) but in all honesty, I think the inclusion of usage of superheroes actually makes the game EASIER than it should have been. I mean yeah, situations can get a bit hairy if you don't have any superhero help and you have to fight a mix of four different common enemies when they attack, but it's not impossible. And to add to the superhero point, if you have “Firestar”, “Dagger”, or Spiderman when he uses the “Reed Richards Sonic Gun”, Shriek, Dopey, and Carnage are not even a challenge.
---Challenge Grade: 5/10

Final Thoughts: “S&V: MC” is a game that gets a lot of flak from gamers who expected a “Fun Spiderman but only ended up with a pretty cool red cartridge” and it shouldn't be brought down like that. Because it should be noted that as I said before, Acclaim actually did something right with this game for a change, which surprised me: before I got this game when it was released, I had expected it to be nothing more than a subpar affair considering the name on it. But overall, this game is not as bad as some others have made it out to be, and the real fun of the game is using two guys who usually hate each other to take down yet ANOTHER guy these two hate.
---Overall Grade: 8/1


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/12

Game Release: Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (US, 09/30/94)


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