Review by Wist

"A solid superhero game with many fun elements"

Xmen. That single word can make so many people relate to so many different things. For some, it was a cartoon. Others a comic book. For others, movies. Then for some others, it might be a video game. However, this game is unlike many others. It takes the gameplay style of many different types of games and combines it into a very fun game with a lot to do and accomplish. With many characters and moves, this game will probably become very addictive and you'll find it hard to walk away. Add a few buddies and this game's addictiveness increases. It is Xmen afterall and better yet, they are controlled by you.

Well to make things short, you are one of many Xmen. You choose a team of four or less out of a handful of mutants and proceed into a big adventure with a lot of killing and well, killing. There is experience points in which cause your characters to level. Upon leveling you recieve four points to add into four stats. You could evenly distribute the points but you could also mix it up and customize your units. The four categories are basically hit points, special attacks, strength and speed to make things more vague and not go into much detail. They actually are more complicated than that but I'm just summarizing. Then you also recieve a point to put into one of the abilities. Each mutant has many abilities such as melee attack moves, ranged attack moves, aura's and abilities. So basically as your character levels you get more and more customization. Dead enemies also drop potions, money, and equipment. So basically you can have full customization of your squad and even some benched mutants due to the fact that you can swap mutants in and out of your group. As you play you can only control one mutant though. However, you can still quickly switch between units and even order them without switching. You could possibly have 3 friends over and they can assume the roles of your sidekicks if you desire. The levels are also destructable meaning you can destroy walls, boxes, pipes, machinary and even pick up objects (even with your mind if you are able to) and hurl them at the enemy. So in essence, this game takes on adventure elements, RPG elements, and even fighter elements (due to combo moves) all wrapped up into an arcade type feeling game.

The story of the game is pretty decent and somewhat entertaining. However, my beef with the story is not that its not possible or well designed. In fact, the story is pretty well thought out and is actually pretty neat. My problem is that its somewhat poorly executed. Mostly all the cut scenes are in game with cheesy animations between characters who are pretty much just standing there talking to one another. This isn't no Final Fantasy with deep love stories and cinematics of epic proportions. Most cut scenes are of Magneto talking to someone while jestering his hand in the air (just an example). However, if you can look past the lack of in depth story you will find that the story is kind of cool but not really the game's strong point.

The graphics of the game are pretty neat. I love them actually. Its not beautifully designed with lots of lighting and textures but instead the graphics have a very neat comic book feel to them. So when you are Wolverine and you are slicing through a bunch of people, you feel as if you are a part of a Comic book or a cartoon. However, once again, its nothing that flashy. It just has a cool Xmen type feel to it and it definitely works.

The sound is mediocre. The sound effects are good but some of the voice acting in the game is subpar. I love the fact that they actually do have voices rather than boxes of text though. However, its nothing too amazing and its somewhat cheesy that characters shout out some sort of lame one liner whenever they level.

I haven't experienced any problems but from what I hear that the game is somewhat glitchy. I heard that it sometimes crashes on people but obviously it doesnt happen to everyone. Another problem I have with the game is that there isn't much direction in it. I feel lost sometimes due to the fact that I don't have well developed missions. They kind of just throw you into a zone and you finish quests without even knowing about it. Also, when you do finish a quest you have the option of going back to your "base" or you can just keep going. Whenever you go back, its like nothing even changed. Don't even bother talking to anyone because they will have a big list of dialouge questions you can ask them just as you did the first time you talked to them. Its not a big problem, its just a flaw that makes it a 9 instead of a 10. Not a biggie.

This game is fun and addicting. There are many mutants that you can try out and I think that adds many, many hours to spend playing this game. Also with a very fun multiplayer mode this game can last a while before it collects dust on your shelf.

Closing Thoughts:
This game was a lot of fun even though its not perfect. Its pure entertainment and gameplay and thats very important in a game. I wish I could give it a 10 but I simply cannot. I assure you that this game will satisfy you and your friends when they come over and want to kick some butt with some mutant powers. The only problem is that you might be fighting over characters.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/17/05

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