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Title: Spider Man and Venom - Maximum Carnage
Author:LJN Ltd.
Rom Player: ZSNES (PC) of SNES9X (Mac)
Reviewer: MaskedMonk

Synopsis: IMPORTANT NOTE: If you havenít played Spider Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage yet, just stop reading this review and play it right now. If you have played Spider Man: Max Carnage, you donít need to read this review because you already know that itís one of the best games ever. Really, no matter what, you shouldnít read this review, unless you enjoy reading long rants about video games.
With that out of the way, let me summarize the plot. Carnage is an asshole. You have to stop him. Before you do that, you have to fight thousands of generic thugs, and a few supervillain bosses. Thatís it. However, itís incredibly fun. I always enjoyed the old Spider Man comic where he fights the Politically Correct Inter-Racial Gangs Of Doom, and this game delivers that sort of action. There are only about five enemies, re-colored and pasted over and over. Some of them have special attacks like jumpkicks, crush you under their huge bulk attacks, or the devastating Girly Hair Flip Attack. Itís pretty depressing seeing Spider Man plow through a group of five or so Trench coat Guys and Fred Dursts only to get whipped to death by a small blond girlís pigtails, but itís guaranteed to happen the first time you play the game. Other than that, the enemies special attacks are varied, potentially avoidable, and they keep the game from being boring.
The bosses are kind of lame and badly planned though. For example, the first boss, Large Muscular Spider Man Clone With Four Extra Arms, is the toughest by far, simply because every time you punch him he automatically punches you five times, and he hits harder than you. Some of the later bosses, such as Green Floating Guy Who Does Nothing, and Flying Guy Who Ineffectively Throws Crap At You, are weak and useless, and as a result have to attack in groups of three to four. Immediately after you defeat them, Large Muscular Spider Man Clone With Four Extra Arms and single handedly kills you with one unavoidable ranged attack.
Spider man is incredibly fun to control. Almost none of his special moves involve more than two buttons Ė thereís none of this Street Fighter II style Up Up Down Spin Left R R X Y Hidden Death Button X Z X Q X R Spin Right Select nonsense. You hit the web button and a direction and Spider Man grabs a guy with his web. You hit up, then punch, and he throws this guy at five other guys. How is that not the most satisfying thing ever? You can do a bunch of pointless things like swing on webs or climb on walls, but 90% of the time this just leads to getting jumpkicked by a re-colored Fred Durst, or hanging in one place with five fat guys waiting below you to jump on top of you. I would feel ripped off if I couldnít swing on webs or stick to walls, but that doesnít mean Iím going to do any special moves other than throwing people at other people with the occasional Run Straight Into People Knocking Them Over Unless Theyíre The Fat Guy Or A Boss In Which Case It Only Does A Minimal Amount Of Damage And They Remain Standing attack thrown in for variety. At some points, you get to choose if you want to be Venom or Spider Man. Venom is identical to Spider Man in every way except that heís larger, blue, and easier to kill for some reason. Also, he thinks Spider Man is a big wuss for not killing people, as shown in the cutscenes. Character development! Nobody cares, but I appreciate the programmersí effort.
Overall, this game is fun, but stupid. The only thing I can say against it is that it gets difficult towards the end, though this is probably because it was meant to be a multiplayer game and I have no friends.

Game Play: 10. You can pick up people and throw them at other people. Arenít you listening?
Graphics: 7. It doesnít hurt my eyes, but theyíre tiny, pixelated sprites no matter how you look at them.
Music: 10. I donít like metal, but this game delivers the sort of cheesy instrumental metal that I expect it too, and considering itís a midi, it does it well.
Originality: 1. Hey, letís take a character that somebody else made and have him fight a bunch of thugs in the style of a game that has totally been made before.
Overall Rating: 10. YOU CAN PICK UP PEOPLE AND THROW THEM AT OTHER PEOPLE!

Best Cheats: On third level (right after the climb level) you can punch the water tower (top right corner of the building) over and over, then throw it at the boss to kick his ass instantly. You can get a continue icon from under the water tower as well.

Game Play: 10
Graphics: 7
Music/Sound: 10
Originality: 1
Overall Rating: 10



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