Review by DandyQuackShot
"X-Men Go Save the City!"
There is nothing better than coming home to find one classic game of arcade nostalgia to hit the Xbox Live Arcade! X-Men: The Arcade Game was a mega experience at the arcade with a large screen and six control sticks and three buttons on an extended gaming panel. This game was one of the great attractions of the arcade arenas of the day and nothing ever took its place. And to come home and find this game on the Xbox Spotlight was quite a joy because this is one of the few arcade games that stand out in everybody's memory.
The great feature of X-Men Arcade is that this is a six person cooperative game where each player can pick between six of the legendary X-Men such as Wolverine or Storm, or get stuck having to play as one of the not so famous characters such as Dazzler or Night Crawler. The game is split up in eight stages that probably take out about 30 minutes to less than an hour to play through. Magneto invades a city and captures Professor X and gang while precipitating attacks from a remote island and an asteroid base in space. The 21st century has a lot to live up to in terms of what the X-Men setting has in store for it.
I'm the Juggernaut!
Controls are way easy to use. You have an attack and jump and a special mutant power that drains your life away once you use up your given powers or ones you earn during the game. Of course where the arcade experience is killed is your unlimited ability to keep continuing. The 800 Microsoft Points (worth a ten dollar value) is probably a much cheaper experience than what I spent back in the day on the arcade version of this game. So you get to use your special abilities all throughout the game which takes away from beating your way up and having a challenging experience against the many bosses in the game. Each X-Men character has their own unique style and some are better than others but with the unlimited continues, playing online is a cake walk. Online you have to compete with whoever gets Colossus and spends the whole time shocking all the bad guys. The other online setback is if somebody decides not to participate anymore and this game being a side scroller there is not a good remedy to the problem. If you get stuck because somebody isn't moving then bombs will come down and kill everybody but you only get to move to the next section of a stage after that in which the process repeats itself.
The extra bits thrown involve leaderboards and the Japanese ROM version of the game, which is basically the same as the US version of the game with the English sound but a few Japanese subtitles to mix. Playing online is highly recommended with a lot of the achievements based on playing in six person games.
For those with widescreen capability the six person mode works great and for those without widescreen you were kept in mind as you can set the options to a four person mode if playing online or local. It would definitely be tough to have a six person local game anyway. The graphics are smoothed out for a nice update but you can take this out in the options menu. Even so, everything I remember about this game is there, especially the intro with the marching sentinels. The only thing I remember about those sentinels though were that they were really tall compared to the X-Men when playing on that big arcade screen. But we're talking some sixteen years ago so my memory is nothing but childhood memories of always picking either Storm or Night Crawler and pumping quarters into this machine.
Final Recommendation 7/10
For a nostalgic blast from the past, X-Men the arcade game is a great classic to bring back to life on Xbox Live Arcade. To come full circle they would have to bring back The Simpsons Arcade and life would be complete. For a port, you just cannot bring back the experience as it was in a fun filled place as a 90's arcade room and the unlimited continues totally burn the game length up. But to get to play this along side five other people online it's still a short, but enjoyable experience. Xbox Live Arcade cannot do justice to these classics but it is definitely worth going back and saying "Hey I remember this!!". Side scrolling beat 'em up games are great fun when playing with friends in a local setting and games like Castle Crashers helped to bring this fun back. However Marvel has long capitalized on this genre starting with this game and is still enjoying such success with games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 12/16/10
Game Release: X-Men: The Arcade Game (US, 12/15/10)
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