It came before Web of Shadows; it came before Ultimate Spider-Man; it came before the PlayStation version of Spider-Man; it came before Separation Anxiety; it was The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
Released in 1990, the Master System version was one of the last M.S. games sold in America, while the Genesis version of Spider-Man, released in '91, was one of the best-selling Genesis games and renewed Marvel Comic's faith in licensing video games (though later games such as Friend or Foe might have made them rethink that).
Spider-Man had, for the most part, a very straightforward premise: reach the end, defeat the boss, rinse, repeat. But the need for more web fluid on harder difficulties necessitated the use of taking pictures of the bosses and sub-bosses to sell back to the Daily Bugle to refill the gauge. At the end of the game, all of the bosses band together one last time to keep Spidey from disarming the Kingpin's bomb using the keys rewarded for defeating the aforementioned bosses. The final level culminated in one of the most frustrating boss fights I've ever encountered, requiring punches spot-on to the Kingpin's face in order to do damage (majorly precise timing), all while MJ hangs over a foreboding acid pit.
But one other thing about Spider-Man was the difficulty. Even on Normal (since the end could not be reached on Easy), Spider-Man was tremendously challenging, and Hard was grueling. But nothing could top the Nightmare setting. Ho-ly cow. Not only were the enemies and bosses tougher and more offensive, but one last cruel obstacle was thrown in front of you right before reaching the boss...
While Venom's attack pattern was simple enough to understand, he was often times a wearing and costly waste of webbing and health, and a complete nuisance when thrown into the mix during the gathering at the end.
The gameplay, looking back, was tremendously balanced, even with the web-slinging being fairly physically accurate for its scale. The graphics were fantastic for its time, and the storyline cut-scenes between levels, mainly featuring Spidey talking to the recently vanquished foe and then himself, fit the overall theme of alienation and betrayal nicely.
A must have for Genesis owners, Spider-Man was the first Genesis game I ever played and still continues to be a shining classic, and an example of a simple, yet truly phenomenal superhero game, and as fantastic for the Genesis as the next Spider-Man titled game for PlayStation/PC/N64/Dreamcast, if not more so.
This bend in the road looks like it's going to take us through the Super Nintendo part of the city, and with that kind of library who knows what we can dig up for the next time...