Review by Drew_
"Enjoyable but Painful"
As an X-Men fan, I was interested in this game primarily because it featured characters ignored by Capcom in the X-Men versus series, such as Phoenix and Forge.
The shining quality of the game is the intangible bonus of playing the characters we know from the books. Despite various arcade ports and numerous games, most of the X-Men were not translated to play control. This game is a must have, since you will most likely not see another fighting game with Jean Grey, Forge, Havok, and heck, even Professor X in it. I bought the game not as a fighting game fanatic, but as an X-Men fan.
However the gameplay places more emphasis on combos and less emphasis on individual abilities, which can lessen the enjoyment of the overall game. As a result, getting hit by Wolverine's claws is not damaging per se...it just happens so frequently that you die after the 11th or 12th combo. The game would have been better served if it left a Killer Instinct feel and adopted a more Tekken-ish fighting design. Everyone is fast, and everyone is reliant on the before mentioned chain combos.
The lifebar can also seem really long at times. So despite getting hit with 3 optic blasts, it is no surprise to see little change in overall life remaining. That should be changed, because it lessens the coolness factor of actually playing a character like Magneto or Storm, who should be able to more than hold their own from afar.
In addition, the lack of variety in individual fighting styles is very obvious. Since the game is not actually 3-D as it appears to be in other computer magazines, the opportunity to up the ante by making it seem like some of the awesome fights in the X-Men movie is passed up in favor of aerial combat raves. Even when some X-Men would benefit by an increase in the number of techniques. Some would even look better in a 3-d field. It's not too hard to imagine how much more impressive Storm would look if she could use whirlwinds to blow an opponent back or hail to slow them down. Or see an opponent go flying back after being hit with an optic blast. Or see an opponent being levitated by Phoenix and thrown into the various walls of the arena.
Despite those annoyances, it is a good game with colorful graphics, nice extras and great animation. Even though it can be annoying for non-combo crazy players, X-Men Mutant Academy 2 is a must have. If just to see Storm's Lightning Goddess Super. It gets a 7, but just because I was never one to be impressed by air combos.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/20/02, Updated 01/20/02
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