PSX Mania – 009 – Spider: The Video Game (1996)

Completion time: 6:54:11

Much like Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Spider: The Video Game is both a 2.5D game (that’s the third one already for PSX Mania) and one I’ve heard great things about previously. I knew very little about it going into this, and much to my surprise, Spider: The Video Game turned out to be an absolute gem.

The mark of an excellent platformer is when the controls are such where 99% of your deaths are attributed solely to your own misplays. Though the jumping is a bit floaty at times, it takes a minute to get used to directional changes when moving, and the default melee attack leaves the Spider wide open to be attacked first, the controls on the whole are fantastic. Throughout my time with the game, I noted many deaths were completely attributed to my own failings in some for or another, and that’s how a platformer, hell any video game, should be. Couple that with some of the most well-made stages I’ve ever played through with many having multiple paths to different exits, and Spider: The Video Game sets its self up to be a treat to play.

There are a few knocks against the experience as a whole, however. The aforementioned adaptation to the jumping and directional changes are incredibly minor. Two other issues I had were based around the annoyance of grabbing the atoms scattered all around (think Mario coins; 100 nets you a 1-up) and having to tiptoe through stages initially. The former does become a nuisance due to the atoms literally a hair above Spider, so you’ll need to jump to grab many of the atoms you come across. The latter is based on the camera being too tight into the combat. If there was a wider view ahead of the Spider, the amount of stop/start movements would be easily halved. It does become a bit moot in the end, once you run through the stage several times, but I feel that with a pulled back camera, the action would feel a bit more non-stop, and would likely have put this game over the top.

There’s also one of the final stages where, although platforming deaths were still all on me, the aggravating scorpion placements made what should have been a 10-20 minute stage. last maybe two hours. Between that stage and the volcano stage, it soured my appreciation for the game as a whole, but not in a severe enough manner thankfully.

Spider: The Video Game is an absolute marvel (no really, I didn’t mean that semi-pun there), aforementioned notwithstanding. It’s not the greatest looking game, and the audio is mostly forgettable, but the actual experience of it all is quite something. I’m not as enamored with it as I was with Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, but I do feel that, though I have heard many positive things about it, Spider: The Video Game is criminally overlooked, and perhaps underappreciated, gem for the PlayStation. Definitely worth adding to your collection, but more importantly, more than worth your time to play through it, especially since it’s not a very long playthrough.

Rating: 8

Twitch VOD:
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