SPIDER-MAN & THE X-MEN IN ARCADE'S REVENGE / LJN / SNES
Appealing look, good music, varied and inventive levels ... and then the game shoots itself in the foot by just being unreasonably hard.
In this one you're up against Arcade, the guy with the fixation on kidnapping mutants and dropping them into his evil amusement park. There's an easy opening level in which you play as Spider-Man gathering up bombs to get a gentle introduction to the play style, then each character (including Spidey) has to navigate out of their own unique themed set of two levels. You're free to pick their levels in whatever order you like, but the whole crew shares a pool of only three lives, and when they are depleted it's game over.
Every character's initial level is brutal. You take tons of damage from everything, cheap hits abound, enemies usually don't stun or knock back yet require multiple hits, they respawn if you wander far enough away, and there's often stretches of insta-death traps to boot. Arcade was NOT fooling around in this one, he really wanted these heroes dead.
Again, you only get three lives, and you get no continues, saves or passwords whatsoever. The game expects you to complete it in one sitting from start to finish -- lose your lives and you're kicked right back to the initial "Spidey collecting the bombs" level again! As such, it's virtually impossible to complete unless you save-state-scum like you never save-state-scummed before. It's a shame because there's the bones of a very good platformer here, but the level design and difficulty balance is about as out of whack as it gets.