X-Men: The Arcade Game


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 7.5

I'll admit I know very little about the X-Men. Aside from the 2 feature films and a scattering of video games, I know nothing. What I do know is that Konami makes some great beat-em-ups that are easily some of the best of their time. X-Men falls just a hint short of a few of their efforts, but it still stands out as one of more popular games in a genre lost to this era of video games.

First things first, the actual 4-player upright cabinet features a spectacular widescreen display that is unmatched for it's coolness factor. Well, other games have used this set-up, but there's something about the X-Men that made it that much more entertaining. 6 of the mutants are selectable, quite the number for a beat-em-up. Each of them features a mutant power which can be activated twice per life and is used by pressing the third button on the panel. It's an oddity that it's not used by pressing jump and attack together which is the norm and does give this one something to separate from the pack.

What drags this one down a notch is the startling lack of moves. You can punch, jump-attack, attack enemies while their down, throw and shoot off your mutant powers. Other games in Konami's line-up offer various animation routines for the standard moves and it gives the overall package much more engrossing experience. X-Men doesn't. The variety of enemies isn't their either. This really becomes apparent late in the game when the enemies swarm the players and it becomes a mish-mash of purple and aqua-blue.

Granted what is here is outstanding, from the animation to the hundreds (if not thousands) of explosions. There's always something going on and there's even a sparse amount of mode-7 tossed in for effect. The cinemas get extra credit for keeping the style of comic book art alive and well in the video game format. The sound, as spectacular as the explosions are, is a step down from the visual aura that the graphics are. The music is muted every time a skirmish begins thanks to the deep bass that fill this one.

There's are plenty of other worse choices you could make when picking a brawler, but compared to the plethora of other Konami BEU's, this one just barely falls short. It's a bit on the long side, moves are limited, and don't even think of taking on the later levels solo. You'll be dead in seconds. Regardless of the flaws, none of them are completely fatal and fans of the series will find more than enough to satisfy their cravings.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:37 PM