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Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety – Genesis

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety – Genesis

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation AnxietyPlatform:  Genesis

Release Date (NA):  November 1995

Developer:  Software Creations

Publisher:  Acclaim Entertainment

Genre:  Beat ’em up

Nerd Rating:  4.5 out of 10




Venom/Spider-Man: Separation AnxietyAs I stared at piles of comic book related video games one day, I was a bit overwhelmed at what to choose.  Eventually I settled on Maximum Carnage and Separation Anxiety . It wasn’t until I began doing a bit of research that I discovered the two were related; Separation Anxiety is the sequel to Maximum Carnage!  At first I was excited by this happy accident, and then I actually played Maximum Carnage, which I found to be painfully dull and repetitive.  Does Separation Anxiety hold up any better?  No, not really.

Separation Anxiety is again based on a comic book storyline, though it takes most of its plot from Venom: Lethal Protector rather than Separation Anxiety proper.  Venom’s symbiote spawn are on the loose, and again Spider-Man and his enemy must form a tenuous alliance to track them down.  An organization known as The Jury acts as a secondary antagonist and provides most of the game’s standard goons.

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

Look at the happy family!

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

Looks almost exactly the same as Maximum Carnage

Like its predecessor, Separation Anxiety relies on the classic beat ’em up formula.  From the very beginning the player chooses to play through the game as either Spider-Man or Venom.  Unlike last time, the characters are a bit different; Spider-Man is faster and Venom does more damage with his attacks.  Our hero (or anti-hero) begins by fighting off street punks but quickly infiltrates the headquarters of The Jury.  The Jury’s machinations and members act as the cannon fodder here, and a few well equipped ones appear as bosses.  Beating up even faceless henchmen is still a time-consuming process due to their large-ish life bars, but the controls have been improved this time around.  It’s easier to move into the correct horizontal plane to fight, and overall the controls are more responsive, movement is more fluid, and using moves beyond the standard punch to do something useful is much easier.

Besides characters’ movesets, the ability to call on other heroes is also brought back.  This time the number is much smaller, consisting only of Daredevil, Captain America, Ghostrider, and Hawkeye.  The helpers are now easier to acquire, even sometimes left behind by defeated enemies.

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

The Jury, with an assist from Cap himself!

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

It gets more tiring than you think.

In nearly all other respects, the gameplay of Separation Anxiety is identical to that of Maximum Carnage.  Spidey or Venom moves from screen to screen beating the hell out of people, over and over.  Enemies take quite a while to finish off completely, and this game goes on even longer than the last.  Whatever the improved controls make up for is undone by the increased length.  The characters still face the same old bad guys over and over again, though at least this time the bosses aren’t overused in such ridiculous fashion.  This time we go up against both hard-ass members of The Jury and the symbiotes themselves.  Both groups attack and behave in peculiar fashion but they’re not quite as difficult to damage as in Maximum Carnage.  

The graphics see mild improvement, but not much.  Characters and back drops see a slight increase increase in detail though scenery is repetitive and less varied this time with much of the action taking place in a boring looking underground bunker. Separation Anxiety even makes liberal use of several of the exact same sprites from Maximum Carnageincluding Carnage himself.  Gathering continues is necessary to keep advancing; as one nears the end of the game, it’s easy to lose 3 or 4 lives on a single screen.  The baddies hit hard and stay tough, making for an excruciatingly long playthrough.  A 2-player co-op mode is available, perhaps making the game a hair easier.

Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

Wait, this is all I get?

Once again, we see a rather lifeless comic adaptation.  The simplistic gameplay is supposed to provide mindless entertainment, and while it does to an extent, there is far too much of it.  Novel elements are never introduced to spice things up and even the foes rarely change in appearance.  Endless repetition sucks out any potential fun.  It seems like it’d be so simple to replicate the awesomeness of TMNT II for the NES, but apparently making a great beat ’em up is tougher than it looks.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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  1. The soundtrack kicks major butt in my headphones though.

  2. InfiniteKnife
    InfiniteKnife says:

    I remember playing this one on SNES. It was just a fun beat-em-up where you got to be a cool comic character. Admittedly, I never beat it, but I still remember those cheap ladies who whip you with their hair.

    The ending screen reminds me of Jurassic Park. So disappointing.

  3. Pingback: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage - Genesis - Nerd Bacon Reviews

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