A playthrough of LJN's 1992 license-based platformer for the Super Nintendo, Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge.
Spider-Man and X-Men: Arcade's Revenge stirred up a fair amount of attention when it was released. It reviewed well in all the major magazines, and it was one of the first decent LJN games based on the characters to appear on a Nintendo system (the first being Wolverine on the NES).
It was a fun romp through the perspective of several different superheroes, and despite how punishingly difficult it truly is, a lot of people seem to have found memories of this one.
It did a nice job at capturing the spirit of the comics better than any game had before. The sprites, though small, were accurate depictions of the characters (unlike X-Men on the NES... uck), and the controls were a lot more natural feeling than ever before. Finally - Spider-Man could sling a web, reliably anchor it, and swing where you wanted with some degree of control - progress sure is a glorious thing, isn't it?
You play as Spidey and several of the X-Men through pairs of character specific stages:
As Spider-Man, you climb across girders on the roofs of some city highrises; as Storm, you swim around in pipes trying to avoid being blown up by mines; as Cyclops, you cruise around on minecarts through an underground worksite; Wolverine runs through a circus-themed level before taking on Juggernaut in one of the most frustrating chase sequences known to man; and Gambit flings cards at people as he's being pursuit by a massive spiked ball o' death.
It mixes things up well in order to keep things fresh, but most stages boil down to punching the right stuff and getting to the boss without bring maimed in the neverending barrage of hazards each level throws at you. The level design and, in many ways, the graphics, make Arcade's Revenge feel like an 8-bit game draped in 16-bit robes. Everything about it is very rigid and straight-forward, but it puts huge demands on your timing, reflexes, and your memory of enemy patterns and locations. It's a short game, but it'll take you awhile to get through - it's definitely one of the harder SNES platformers I've played, broken garbage like Adamantium Rage aside. Overall, the game reminds me a great deal of Batman on the NES, only with far less polish.
By far the strongest aspect of the game is its music. It was done by the Follins, and right from the beginning, you can tell. It gets super funky with its guitars, its organs, and its heavy brass, and all of it suits the old-school comic style to a T. The game itself is fairly mediocre, but the soundtrack really helps to elevate the game's standing.
Spiderman and X-Men: Arcade's Revenge was a good, firm step in the right direction for Marvel games. It really shoots itself in the foot with its excessive difficulty level, but there's enough on offer here to make it worth extending it some goodwill, even if it's just because you want to hear the music.
Or you could go play Capcom's X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, which takes the same basic structure as this game and does it all far, far better. That's probably your better option. _ No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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