A History of Gaming: Spider-Man

In 2018, being a nerd has come full circle. Being one now is actually pretty cool. There are many different kinds of nerd from comic book readers to gamers, but what happens when you mix the two? Hours of unbridled joy and fun. The leader of DC’s games franchise is quite obviously Batman who has had some incredible titles released over the years. Marvels equivalent? Spider-Man. The wall crawler has always been one of Marvel’s biggest draws and they have used this character constantly throughout the years when releasing games. Spidey is pure gold when it comes to gaming, he has a wide variety of offensive moves, fun transport methods, and the best one liners.

With the epic demonstration of the new Spider-Man game on PS4 we have decided to look back at the other times the web slinger has brought two categories of nerd together for hours of fun.

Spider-Man (1982 on Atari 2600)

The first Marvel Game ever. There’s even a commercial featuring the Green Goblin and Spider-Man that’s 80’s gold. The actors are dressed in over the top, but fairly accurate costumes asking the viewer, “Is this more action than even Spider-Man could handle?” The goal of the game is to scale a building and defuse the Green Goblins bombs while criminals attack him. Spidey’s web fluid slowly depletes over time. When he runs out Spider-Man will plummet to the ground with no means of saving himself. Do this enough times and Game Over. If the player gets Spidey to the top of the building and beats Green Goblin the next level is a similar building with the same stakes faster. This is a simple game now, but in 1982 this was a big thing, and for Marvel this was only the beginning in Video Games. The following are a few more from the 80’s, moving into the 90’s.

1984- Questrobe featuring Spider-Man

1989- Spider-Man and Captain America in: The Doom Tube of Dr. Megalomann, Revenge of Shinobi

1990- The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Kingpin

1991- The Punisher: Ultimate Payback, Spider-Man: The Video Game

1992-   The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six, Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge

1993- The Amazing Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers

1995- Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Marvel Super Heroes

 Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (1995 on Super NES)

Venom/ Spider-Man Cover segment.

Separation Anxiety was a side-scrolling game and the sequel to Maximum Carnage, released for Mega Drive/Genesis and Super NES. It could be played on single player or multi player where players team up as Spider-Man and Venom to defeat Carnage. The game also contains Venom’s symbiote children as villains. There was fantastic cameos from Captain America, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, and Daredevil. I was unfortunately too young to enjoy this game when it was at the peak of gaming software.  The idea however is one we are extremely interested in and would love to see it remastered.

1996- Spider-Man: Web of Fire, Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems

1997- Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

2000- Spider-Man, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

2001- Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, X-Men: Mutant Academy 2, Spider-Man Mysterio’s Menace

2002- Spider-Man: The Movie

Spider-Man 2 (2004 on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube)

Spider-Man 2 Gameplay webslinging through New York.

The pinnacle of Spider-Man games for a lot of people, Spider-Man 2 was quite possible one of the greatest games of its time. The game is loosely based on the 2004 Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2 film. With the free roam New York City sandbox and the innovative three dimension web swinging this game gave players the choice of playing the story or having a leisurely swing around the Big Apple. When finished the story, it is possible to unlock a warehouse in which the player can battle street-thugs and villains like Shocker, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, and an additional boss, Calypso. My favourite thing about this game; climbing to the top of the Empire State building and free falling off, only to shoot a web at the last minute, it was a simpler time.

2005- Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

2006- Spider-Man: Battle for New York

 Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006 on Most Platforms)

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance Cover Image

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is still hugely beloved by comic fans and gamers alike. The game begins with Dr. Doom and the attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Nick Fury sends out a call to all heroes for help. Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine respond. They save the Helicarrier from Scorpion, Bullseye, Winter Soldier, Radioactive Man, and Fin Fang Foom. After the attack, Fury is given permission to start a task force to confront the Masters of Evil. The story of this game is one of my favourite gaming campaigns ever. The sequel never quite lived up to this in my opinion, but im holding out hope for an Ultimate Alliance 3.

2007- Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007 on Most Platforms)

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Spider-Man and Green Goblin

I played Spider-Man: Friend or Foe as a kid, but I didn’t fully understand it. I also had it on the DS but that wasn’t the game’s most optimal version of the game since it was out on the then top of the line system- Playstation 3, but I could fight as Venom, and that was cool. According to an Activision report, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a unique take on the media franchise. Inspired by the Sam Raimi movies. The player teams up with heroes from the Marvel Comics to combat villains and then convert them to Spidey’s side. This isn’t the best Spider game, looking back at it the graphics were just terrible, but it made me happy as a kid. 

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008 on Most Platforms)

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Game Cover

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was a game, depending on the system you had, where the player can choose to make good or evil actions. Unlike those games, this time the player is Spider-Man. After a recent fight with Venom a piece of the symbiote has reattached to him and throughout the game the player can choose to be good and fight without the symbiote or evil and do really cool symbiote stuff. Throughout the game you fight symbiote covered heroes and villains. The ending depends on the choices the player makes in the game, but no matter what, everyone needs to remember. There’s a really cool fight with Wolverine, that is all.

2009- Marvel Super Hero Squad, Ultimate Alliance 2, Spider-Man: Toxic City

2010- Marvel Pinball, Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010 on Most Platforms)

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Man Noir, Ultimate Spider-Man

Before Dan Slot and company’s phenomenal Spider-Verse event in 2014  there was a little Activision gem called Shattered Dimensions, where players could essentially play four different video games in four different dimensions with four different Spider-Men. Amazing Spider-Man for the classic Webhead style, Spider-Man Noir for your best Batman impression, Spider-Man 2099 for your bladerunner Spider-Man, and Ultimate Spider-Man where he wears the symbiote because let’s face it the symbiote sells games. So, throughout the game the Webheads fight new and classic spins on villains like Kraven, Hammerhead, Electro, Sandman, and even Deadpool. Fun fact Neil Patrick Harris provides the voice acting for Amazing Spider-Man, as if the game couldn’t be more fun.  

2011- Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Marval Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online

2012- The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth

2013- Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem, Spider-Man Unlimited, Marvel Heroes, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Puzzle Quest

2014- Amazing Spider-Man 2, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes

 Marvel: Contest of Champions (2014 on IOS and Android)Marvel Contest of Champions Cover

Contest of Champions is quite the divisive game to many. It contains a wide variety of characters and hours worth of gameplay. The issues with this game are similar to most issues with mobile games, micro transactions and waiting times. The story is interesting with the player assuming the role of a Summoner, tasked by The Collector to build a team of heroes and villains and pit them against one another. Gameplay is similar to that of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, where the game’s fighting arena is rendered in 3D with a 2D plane for the superheroes’ movements and actions. New players begin with access to two characters, and can build up to more characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Magneto, Ultron, Loki, and Rhino. Each character is upgradable, featuring their own classes, movements, traits, abilities, and special moves. Spider-Man, whilst not having a starring role in this game, is one of the most fun characters to take into combat.

2016- Marvel Heroes

2017- Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

 Marvel Heroes Omega (2017 on Playstation 4 and Xbox One)

Marvel Heroes Omega Promo Art

On June 30, 2017 Marvel Heroes Omega was released on console was announced for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as a free-to-play game.

The game came with tons of characters to be unlocked and upgrade. The first wave contained our featured web-slinger. Spider-Man was so much fun to control in this game with a wide variety of offence and tons of Spidey typical hilarious quips.

I had a lot of fun times playing this game and there are a lot of days that escaped me as I ran around as Spidey beating up thugs. Marvel Heroes Omega was a great concept and had so much potential for continuous growth, alas it wasn’t to be.

On November 15, 2017, Disney announced that it was ending its relationship with Gazillion Entertainment and that Marvel Heroes would be shut down at the end of 2017. The game and the website for Marvel Heroes were taken offline on November 27, 2017 and Gazillion was shut down.

Spider-Man (2018 on Playstation 4)

Spider-Man 2018 PS4

I haven’t been this excited for a Spider-Man game since, Spider-Man: The Movie game, where you could bowl with Spider-Men, but this looks like it’s on a whole other level. They are using the Spider-Man mythos to the fullest. Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture, and even Mr. Negative show up and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As a long time Spidey fan I have high expectations and a lot of hope for the game coming out this September.

It’s a new game so here’s Trailers

And  here’s Gameplay.

Spider-Man has been swinging through the streets of New York in more than just the colorful pages of comic books. The friendly neighborhood Webhead has been in films, broadway musicals, and since 1982, Video Games. Sony Interactive Entertainment is coming out with the lastest installment of Spider games this September. That gives us around thirty-six years of Spider-Man games. Here’s to thirty-six more.

Written by Peter Harte and Nobody (Kade)

Oh, is this a bio? I better tell people who I am and what I do, right? Well, that’s easy I’ll just explain that I’m a writer of sorts who goes under the alias of Nobody, but my friends call me Kade, because that’s my name. I’m a student working on a degree in creative writing.

Oh, is this a bio? I better tell people who I am and what I do, right? Well, that's easy I'll just explain that I'm a writer of sorts who goes under the alias of Nobody, but my friends call me Kade, because that's my name. I'm a student working on a degree in creative writing.

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