Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Chris Buongiorno Reviews Atari 2600 Spider-Man on 7800 Avenue!
By Brian Thomas Barnhart |
Hey what’s up everybody? Welcome back to 7800 Avenue! I have a very special guest with me, my good buddy Chris Buongiorno who stopped by the set to play a few rounds of the old web slinger: Spider-Man on Atari 2600. You saw Chris about two years ago here on The Jag Bar, if you saw the episode for Supercross 3-D. That was the episode where everybody was getting really nauseous because the game was that good.
But Chris disappeared for 2 years… Why? Well that’s because he was working with Spidey himself – assisting Jon Watts, the Director of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Before Homecoming, Spider-Man was fighting the Green Goblin. And I’m not talking about Toby Maguire either, I’m talking about Spider-Man on Atari 2600. How does the 2600 version of Spider-Man hold up? Are you ready to get your web-shooter on and do this? Let’s pop it in and find out.
No doubt about it, Parker Brothers had some amazing titles starting with the game everyone wanted for their Atari 2600 – Frogger. Big time Arcade hits like Q*bert and Popeye. Huge franchises like James Bond, G.I. Joe and Star Wars. That’s right, every Star Wars game you wanted, all from Parker Brothers: Star Wars Arcade, The Empire Strikes Back, Jedi Arena, Death Star Battle and the unreleased Ewok Adventure all came from the Parker brothers camp.
Marvel got on board in 1982 with Spider-Man for the VCS. This marked Marvel and Spidey’s first venture into world of video games, and he came swinging in style. And speaking of style, how about those crazy shaped game cartridges? You saw these and knew you were playing a Parker Brothers game for sure.
“Atari invested a ton of money and resources licensing and developing the Star Wars arcade game. And it was incredible. How they ever let Parker Brothers get the Star Wars rights for their own home consoles I will never understand. It’s another example of those terrible decisions that ran Atari into the ground.”
Parker Brothers and Marvel had crossed paths before the Atari VCS game. In 1979, for the comic based on a toy that… well, didn’t really sell. ROM the Spaceknight was the first electronic toy Parker produced. Ever since Parker Brothers came into being in 1883 they had produced nothing but board games. Now it was time to enter into the ever booming toy market – and they did it as cheap as possible. ROM had very little going for it, including articulation. I mean, how do you play with a toy that doesn’t really move? It was no G.I. Joe.
ROM didn’t have what it took to become the toy every kid wanted, but the Marvel comic that helped support the toy had a life of its own and continued on until 1986. Written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Sal Buscema, in 1984 Steve Ditko took over for the last two years. ROM the toy was dead on arrival, But ROM the Spaceknight comic fought along side of the X-Men, Hulk, Fantastic Four, and The Avengers.
Spider-Man was released for the Atari 2600 by Parker Brothers, and was officially licensed by Marvel.
Brian Thomas Barnhart is a classic gaming aficionado, retro pop culture connoisseur, and a Senior Fellow at Atari I/O. He is host of The Jag Bar, Lynx Lounge, 7800 Avenue, and the Atari I/O After Hours Podcast. Brian is a Moderator in the Atari I/O Forums under the name btbfilms76. You can follow him on Instagram and at his YouTube channel.