Hi everyone I'm Jack Red, this following topic is one of the major reasons I got more into Marvel. Just going by the games I had from both comic book companies on my Genesis growing up. You will understand why I ended up becoming a bigger Marvel fan. Although DC is better in several ways making it virtually an endless debate.
This is strictly based on not only my opinion but also personal experiences with each game. I spent many hours on all of these as a kid. I was heavily into this console to constantly want more games from it. I don't want anyone to take this personally even at the slightest. Also there are overviews not real reviews of each game presented in this blog. If I ever own all five Batman Genesis games or both X-Men games for that matter. I promise to do a true review of those games.
First up I will list all the games I had from both sides before kicking things off with a boom no pun intended.
1. Batman Forever
One of two beat em up games based on the same Batman movie. OMG the controls are some of the controls I ever experienced. Thankfully I didn't get it's SNES counterpart that's widely known for having even worse controls. There really isn't much to say about it. Except only cheating & training mode are worth playing. Otherwise go play another game.
2. Batman Returns
This is a very mixed received Batman game for many reasons. Yes it doesn't do a great job following the movie it's based on. At the same time I do prefer this being more true to that movie's dark nature than it's SNES counterpart. I do agree based on what I seen that SNES version is the best version. I still have a lot of feelings for Genesis version. This is still one of the better Batman Returns games as well as those on Sega Genesis itself. Yes this game is known for it's difficulty. At least you get infinite continues to help out a little bit. Also there does exist a level select code.
The Adventures of Batman & Robin
Hands down the best Batman game on the console. Second best among it's series of games around that time. This is easily one of the most impressive games for a licensed title I ever played. A strong presentation with an amazing soundtrack despite lacking the theme song. Of course I shouldn't even need to say this game's biggest problem. For those that never heard of or played this version buyers be aware. Why because this game is insanely difficult even on level 1 with two players. It does a great job being what it is but once again based on what I seen. I do agree it's SNES counterpart is the better game for many great reasons. Some of the sprite works alone made this a must buy for Genesis fans. This was one of the most ambitious games on the console. Sadly the team behind this & it's Sega CD counterpart closed down.
1. The Punisher
I didn't know during my child hood that this was a port of an arcade game. I will say I have a lot of fun memories playing it. A solid beat em up with you with a friend can be The Punisher & Nick Fury respectively. This port does an amazing job recreating many things from the arcade version. Easily one of the best arcade beat em ports I ever played. This is a tough game but well worth playing for hours.
2. The Incredible Hulk
Oddly Probe didn't make many Marvel games. In fact they did more DC licensed games including a rare horrible SMS Flash game. In comparison to Batman Forever, this is a much better game. Not only it looks, sounds & plays better. You can use weapons a lot more easier than attempting to use a gadget in Batman Forever. Depending on your difficulty gives you a different ending. There is a learning curve with this being a tough game. I do say if you are a Hulk fan you should check this out. This still stands as one of the better Hulk games that's kinda under the radar recently.
Hell yeah X-Men maybe one of the toughest games on the console. OMG everything in many areas is so damn good. You get to play as several X-Men members that you can switch out at any given time. You also get some supporting X-Men members that will take some time learning how to use properly. Honestly even if I didn't get very far as a kid. I do love this game a lot even right now as a adult. This game was amazing for it's time. One day I hope I get to play X-Men 2: Clone Wars. I swear among most Genesis fans considers it one of the absolute best Marvel games on the console. X-Men is difficult in many ways making the learning curve a little strict. If you are lucky, maybe you can pull off a level select code. Also not playing this on the actual console or emulators. Beating a particular level is made impossible since you must press the reset button on your console to complete it. This issue alone made this difficult to port off the Genesis.
4. Spider-Man & The X-Men in Arcade's Revenge
I really don't like this game at all especially now as a adult. Yes I do agree the music is great. I am glad the Spidey sense noise got removed from SNES version. Also if you get a game over but beaten the beginning Spider-Man level. You can skip that level as long your game is on. Sadly a game with a lot of potential ends up being close to not being playable. This is way too hard for all the wrong reasons. Yes this game did nail Spider-Man's controls but everybody else was forgotten about. This game is a painful suffering to the mind awaiting to happen. I dare you to play it without game genie to see how far you can push on through. This game was rushed by Acclaim according to reports since they clearly wanted money. They never realized giving more time & adding another team could've made a huge difference.
5. Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
Everybody loves this game with an passion including myself. OMG I can't believe this is one of the absolute best Spider-Man games. You can play as Spider-Man & Venom taking on Carnage's group often. I usually get pretty far as a kid at least up to the park level. Everything about this game works incredibly well especially it's soundtrack. You get many support characters that like X-Men game does require time & experience in knowing how to use them. This is a tough game but plenty of fun especially with two players.
6. Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety
Finally we get to the disappointing sequel to Maximum Carnage. Yes you do get passwords to levels & codes. But after playing the first few levels you quickly realized that's all you do. You have to survive the trap room several times that isn't fun. Thankfully you can start with either character instead of just Spider-Man for a few levels like in Maximum Carnage. The soundtrack isn't too bad but maybe it's me I kinda prefer Genesis version of it over SNES version's. There is just something off about how some songs & sounds in SNES version based on what I seen. This game ends up being too repetitive for the wrong reasons. At the same time in some ways is actually easier than it's precursor. Mostly in memorizing boss patterns making them much easier later on. Also get use to being surrounded by enemies. You have to endure this problem so often. This game is okay nothing special but far from the worst Marvel games on the console.
To sum up why I ended up loving my Marvel games more than my DC games should be clear by now. They're more playable, better controls, difficulty was balanced better & more variety. Even Batman Forever couldn't handle Spider-Man & The X-Men in Arcade's Revenge. The best Batman game was simply way too damn hard. Level skip code doesn't help that much. If you were to play it the way you originally want to. Sadly I must point to a game genie for additional help. These Marvel games do hold up better. Yes most of them are beat em up games. The old saying goes if it isn't broken don't fix it. A perfect quote for how replayable most of these games are. They all played to their strengths better in the long run. I will say the two Batman games are worth checking out. I highly recommend Maximum Carnage, The Punisher and X-Men out of all these games. Marvel really tried their best to make everyone happy during my child hood.