Genre: Action Developer: Bluesky Software Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1 Released: 1996
You’ve probably heard of the 32x, the ill-fated but loved Genesis add-on with very few games. You’ve probably heard of such classics like Knuckle’s Chaotix and Star Wars Arcade for the 32x, but have you heard of Spider-Man for the 32x? Read on readers.
Spider-Man: Web of Fire for Sega 32x was made in 1996 by developer Blue Sky. It is the last North American title published for the 32x, and the Internet says that only 1500 copies of this game were made, but this hasn’t been proven and seems very unlikely. The game can be found for about $100 cart only and about $250-300 complete. So don’t fret, the game isn’t EXTREMELY expensive for such a rumored low print run.
And now that you know a little about the background of the game, let’s go onto the game itself. In Web of Fire, it seems that Hydra has put some kind of laser web (called a Web of Fire, the name of the game in one of the opening newspaper headlines that tell out the plot before the game beings) over the city of New York and he’s holding the city ransom for one million dollars, and an evacuation of the city has been called because of it. Hydra has sent out these purple gargoyle-like machines called The Enforcers out upon the city along with the rest of his regular henchmen, and Daredevil has been captured. It’s your job as Spider-Man to fight Hydra’s forces, save Daredevil, and save New York ! I must say, this game definitely captures the Spider-Man feel right off the bat. Newspaper headlines, the intro of Spider-Man jumping at the screen, it all looks pretty good. The plot is a bit odd for the wall crawler, but it’s not too bad. But does it play well?
The gameplay of SWoF also captures that Spidey feel. You’ve got Spider-Man shooting web shots, punching, and swinging over web. The very first level has that Spider-Man sensation of jumping from building to building, swinging from web to web and beating up the baddies. It’s a shame that the next few levels are more boxed in and tougher. You’ve got a health bar, and a web bar. Whenever you get hit the bar decreases, and whenever you use web swing or web shot, the web bar decreases. Throughout the levels you have health squares floating in the air to get more health, and blue web squares for more web fluid. Also, midway through the first level, you free Daredevil from a cage and get two Daredevil uses. You can hit pause and choose an option to have Daredevil come out and flood the screen with an attacks, like a screen-zapper. The game’s mechanics are pretty simple, nothing overly complicated here. The game’s difficulty is pretty average. Not too tough, but not too easy either. The levels after the first one aren’t designed very well though, especially the second one.
But, there are two big problems with the gameplay though that keeps the game from being really enjoyable. First is the hit detection. The hit detection is rather off in this game. Unless you’re enemy is tied up by some web, you’ll find your fists kind of going through the enemy. You have to be right next to the enemy in order to hit him it seems. It’s pretty bad, but it’s not so bad that it makes the game totally unplayable. The other main problem is the slowdown. At times, this game will really chug along. And when slowdown combines with poor hit detection, the game starts to go down in playability. For example, when you see Daredevil in the cage and you have to hit the cage to free him, the game goes at a snail’s pace it seems. And the part doesn’t even have that many enemies, just a few mere robots around the cage that float in a straight line either up-to-down or left-to-right. And it’s not just here as well, it seems that there’s a good amount of the game plagued by slowdown. It really just messes up the flow of the game, and most of the time when the slowdown happens a bunch of enemies are around you.
The graphics in this game are so-so. There are some good 3D effects that you wouldn’t see on the Genesis, like the background, or buildings on fire. But graphics tend to look grainy sometimes, especially the fire. The character models don’t look too bad, but aren’t much of an improvement over the Genesis Spider-Man games. They look a little 3D, but you would think that the 32x would be more capable of better character models. They do look good enough to fit in with the rest of the game though. The backgrounds aren’t bad though, you get to see multiple layers of buildings and the laser web in the sky. The laser web looks a bit crude though, it looks more like glow-in-the-dark, pixilated silly string lain out amongst the night sky.
The sound in this game is so-so. You’ve got a good amount of sound effects that emulate their sounds pretty well, like guys getting beaten up or web shot by ol’ web head. The music is highly forgettable though. It’s this odd techno beat music that doesn’t seem like Spider-Man all that much. The game makes good use of Genesis stereo sound, I must say that. You’ll really hear both your speakers putting out different songs when listening to the game’s music.
In conclusion, Web of Fire is a pretty average game. It’s rare, but its mediocrity is probably what keeps its demand pretty low for such a rumored low print. Pick it up if you’re a Spider-Man fan, you might enjoy it. Hey, maybe even pick it up if you’re just looking for a new original 32X game. I would suggest you try it out on an emulator before you buy though.