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Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace

Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:   Vicarious Visions
Publisher:   Activision
Genre:   Platformer
Est. Release:   Fall 2001
Posted:   June 13, 2001

Mysterio is back and he's turned Manhattan into a place filled with nightmares (not too far of a stretch, all things considered). It's up to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to put an end to Mysterio's evil ways in Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace, coming out for the Game Boy Advance this fall.

It seems that Spidey has been present in one form or another on every gaming console over the past decade, and the Game Boy Advance is no exception to the rule. Vicarious Visions, Inc., the company that produced Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the GBA, will be the development team behind Spidey's debut on the GBA.

In keeping with the GBA's retro stylings, Mysterio's Menace will be a side-scroller, hearkening back to the days of the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. The game is stylistically similar to the archetype of the genre, Double Dragon, in that Spidey will have to fight his way through several levels of goons and bosses before he can get his shot at Mysterio. Along with the usual punch and kick functions, Spider-Man will (as you might expect) have all his usual special faculties, including the ability to use his webbing as both an offensive and defensive weapon and full usage of his web-slinging and wall-crawling techniques.

Despite a somewhat linear game and level design, exploration in Mysterio's Menace remains surprisingly free (particularly for a side scrolling platform game). You still need to complete a designated task in order to progress between levels, but within each level, vertical and horizontal movement and exploration are relatively unrestricted. Naturally, popular locations from the Marvel Universe are sure to be included in the game.

Even though the game focuses on that amusing longtime Spider-Man villain with the fish-bowl on his head, other recurring baddies are sure to make an appearance (whether by way of Mysterio's illusions or in reality is pure conjecture at this point). The usual assortment of faceless thugs, ninjas, henchmen and goons will make their typically pedestrian appearances throughout the game as well. While this is to be expected from what is, essentially, a new take on an old-fashioned side scroller, one can only hope that we're not looking at another "Night of a Million Ninja" like in the SNES' infamous Tick (any who dispute the validity of 'truth in advertising' should look up that one - there seemed to be at least a million ninjas in that game!).

Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace is shaping up to be a pleasant update of the classic 2D side-scrolling platform genre. If anyone can bring the style back into popularity, Spider-Man may just be the ticket. Look for Mysterio's Menace for the GBA later this fall.
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