I'm really not sure why this game garners the hate it does (when it gets any acknowledgement, anyway). I know it's far from the peak of the genre and it's certainly not without things that would dissatisfy diehard STG players, but when you boil it down, it's… really not doing anything particularly wrong or different from what you'd typically expect. It's slower than the likes of, say, Ikaruga, and much easier than it too, but I think it's really nice to have something that's both an entry point and something you can just suck down in 30 minutes and have a good time, even if said time isn't an exceptional one.
The Amazing Spider-Man: Web of Fire
Web of Fire is clearly not a perfectly balanced experience, that's for sure, but it was trying things, and I always appreciate that! Its dark tone, while not something I'd always want to see, really stands out and that tone is used to bolster its environments to an impressive degree. The game is fine enough for a quick playthrough, but it feels like it's missing just one more ingredient to really make the premise shine. The story is too minimal and underutilizes the captivating idea of a situation where the villains have the advantage, Daredevil is barely in the game, the music ranges from solid tone-setters to sounding like a GEMS-infused nightmare and flips between the two on a dime, and the combat is either all too easy to ignore or too simple to remain compelling for long unless you really enjoy cheesing dudes against a wall. I suppose I can see why this one's considered a stinker to many and why it didn't exactly change the 32X's fortunes at the very end, but I do think there's some stuff here that deserves proper credit.
It’s rare that a game in this genre can evoke so many different emotions, from pleasure to shock to excitement, even displeasure and discomfort, and it’s worth commending this game for how easily it manages to invest players in its wordless narrative. Even hot off the heels of moments that I found annoying, the game was able to bring me right back in with a well animated cutscene or a gorgeous environment that made me instantly forget the uglier parts of the game I had just experienced. “Experience” really is the key word when it comes to Ardy Lightfoot – one could just boil it down to a series of mechanics and how they compare to the big shots like Mario and Sonic, but to do that would undersell the game...