X-Men: The Arcade Game

Based on the comic book of the same name, you’re controlling one of 6 X-Men, who include Cyclops, Colossus, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Storm. As many of you comic book fans know, each character has their own mutant power. Cyclops fires optic blasts, Storm can make a blizzard in 103 degree weather, etc, etc. Let me explain my opening before I proceed to tell the story of the game. In 1989, Konami released TMNT as a beat-em-up game, and it got a lot of attention. In 1992, the same company released X-Men, a 4 player beat-em-up like Turtles. I can understand with success, there must come a better way to market this concept, besides 50 sequels, but wake up people. If you’re going to make a game work, you have to have an original idea, and not make it similar to a previous game you worked on. While the game in general looks incredible, there’s that weird deja vu feeling that you’re playing TMNT, (a game based on a comic book) with X-Men (a game based on a comic book) in the turtles place.

I recall the Sentinels being bigger.

Interesting to see how the plot of the game unfolds at first. Magneto and the brotherhood of evil mutants are out causing havoc in the city. They brought along the Sentinel robots to make a mess of things. It’s also interesting to see the sentinels the exact same size as the X-Men! Weren’t they supposed to be 20 times taller? Ooh, but wait, then who would you be beating the stuffing out of in this game? Right. Right. So let’s shrink these robots to our size so we have someone to play with! Ok, I can understand the logic there. Not good logic! First off, select from one of the 6 X-Men, and get going. I picked Wolverine because I can. Like I said, each mutant has special powers, and in this game, there’s a special attack that I used a lot of until I noticed it consumed my energy, and I kept losing a life faster. You’ll be fighting your way through 8 levels, from the city streets, to a Sentinel Factory, Magneto’s Island M, and other locales all the while facing off with the brotherhood. Pyro shows up in Level 1. He shoots a mammoth fireball at you. What makes this so much like the Turtles game is when the boss characters are close to being defeated, they’ll begin to flash red. There’s that creepy deja vu feeling again. There’s that creepy deja vu feeling again….hehe. Anyhoo, you will also go toe to toe with the White Queen, the Blob, the Juggernaut, Wendigo, and see a cameo or two by Mystique. Oh, I spotted a Giant size Sentinel on Island M. Would have been nice to actually fight it, but it just stood there and watched me kick robot can. Guess it was too chicken to take me on.

Here’s something you don’t hear enough of in TMNT, more speech samples.

As far as I heard, Professor X, Magneto, and Kitty Pryde did most of the talking in the animated movie sequences that told the story. In the main game, each villain spoke before engaging in combat. Phrases like “Nothing can move the Blob” caught my attention. Magneto got on my bad side when I was fighting him, though. He was too smug and kept saying “Ha, now you die, ha ha ha” every time he defeated me. I was surprised at first to see almost all the boss characters show up at the 7th level. But I just kept using my special attack, and they turned red and vanished very quickly. Speaking of which, let’s rate this game quickly.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

I breezed through the game in 30 minutes.

God honest truth, folks. What made it so easy…again, was the use of your special mutant attack. Even though you can only use it until your energy level is dangerously low, it does a good job of plowing through a whole gaggle of the “Just my size” Sentinels, and other mechanical menaces you’ll encounter throughout play. X-Men pleases me in the Graphics Dept. You’ll be amazed too, I’ll wager, as you take in the nicely done animated scenes, although looking a bit on the primative side. The Sprites look great as well. No gripes about the games graphics. It’s just cool. The sound didn’t get my adrenaline pumping. The music is kinda ho-hum, but the fx are fine. I enjoyed hearing some of the speech samples, though sometimes it repeats itself a bit too much. When you’re dealing with beat-em-up like this, you’re dealing with kick the crap out of bad guys. Walk for a bit. Stop! Repeat until you’ve reached a boss. Story unfolds more. Repeat. Do you think you’ll be hurting your precious game playing fingers, or damage the joystick with sudden jerks? Not in the least! It’s merely a simple fighting game that has simple controls to it. How hard can a game be if I finished it in a half hour or so? Well, when you consider the fact I had 18 credits for each character I chose, maybe I made the game too easy by playing the emulated version on MAME. If you get a chance to play the actual arcade machine of X-Men, stuff your pockets with as many quarters as you can. I did lose many a life trying to complete it. I’m giving X-Men the average score simply because the use of the special attack makes things too easy if you abuse it all the way through. This is my score. Deal with it, you big, huge cheater!!

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