30 June 2011 | TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews
Yes, none of that bootleg stuff here!
Set between the two sequels(note that it spoils the first two pictures) and setting up the third movie(...well, kind of), this has the team go back to Alkali Lake and discover something down there they weren't expecting. It's also something that only fans of the comics will even know what is, as with several characters, an organization and various details in this. That's strange, seeing as how this follows the movie continuity(rendering any history behind these moot, as they don't already know each other, there's no "it's you!", it's all "who are you?", and confusing newcomers unnecessarily), and will not only attract, but appeal more to, people who got into this franchise(of hundreds of mutants) by virtue of the films. Licensed games almost always suck, as they are rushed(to coincide with the release of something in another medium... and thus buggy, with corners cut to get it out in time and occasionally downright incomplete(not in this case)), either restate the plot or have to tell some "untold" one(like this does... you don't really get to feel like you're making an impact, with a few exceptions, and it reeks of being a "middle" part) so that people can miss this and still understand the flicks(meaning that this didn't need to happen at all in the grand scheme of these), and their design is decided by something else, limiting their creativity further. This falls into that remarkably well. Aladdin and TMNT are really the only titles that don't. This lets you take control of three X-Men. I'll start with the obvious one. Wolverine's portions are easy to do, hence there are more of them than the other two(so much that it gets to be repetitive, even though this entire thing takes around 5 hours to complete), as all you really need to do is build a single room and send a lot of foes against the player(I'm really not kidding, they resort to this several times). As with the other two, there's a light attack and one heavy, and with him, you can combo them(don't get your hopes up, there aren't that many strikes... in fact, you can count them on a pair of hands). You can also jump(only once, stiffly). There's a block that I never got use out of, and you can do a roll from that(useless, as it's too slow to activate, you'll get more out of just running in the direction). That's it. The fighting is rigid and awkward rather than dynamic. One of the biggest problems with it is that while you have to do enemy-type-specific(good luck with that when you're swarmed by different ones, you can only get to one at a time, and yet they can get you) charges to stun, anything they hit you with is going to have that effect on you(it gets to be ridiculous with the boss fights, where you have to just avoid them any time they're doing combinations, because if they start hitting you, they'll keep doing so), and you spend a good deal of time fleeing from the opposition, waiting for an opportunity to claw them, then... rinse and repeat. Oh, and this is also partially because, while you heal a little over time(and you can use Fury to get some back, as well as getting two other stab/cut moves), you really have to find pauses to stand still and mend your wounds(easier done when not fending off others, though that is not always possible)... forcing you to take a break from the action and slow down, something that ought never to happen when you're controlling Logan. And that segues me nicely into Nightcrawler, as the latter goes for him, as well(with the addition of forced recharging periods between them... and not increasing health over time). His parts are genuinely fun, and some of the only unique to be found here. Granted, at first glance, it's a lazy and see-through Prince of Persia rip-off. However, then there's the teleporting, which has the best controls and setup of any player-based that I've tried(and to be fair to the others, that superpower is not exactly simple to give a good treatment when you put it in the hands of players). For transport, you use the mouse to look to where you want to go, you'll get a 3D indicator of where you'll go(that moves in real-time), and then press the key to go there(and this is nearly instantaneous, and can be done as many times as you'd like, the second one starting right after the first is done). Sometimes you can even get lucky and get back to a safe place after falling off, even if you don't indicate where. In combat, you can hold down Lock-on and you will go directly to them every time you click to punch or kick if you aren't already, and whether or not you do so, every time you press another button, you will go to one of the two sides of an opponent(meaning you can throw him off, going behind him every time he turns to face you), re-enacting the first scene of X2. Oh yeah. Finally, we have Iceman, who plays a bit like a minimalist flight simulator. The only real exception is that you have to worry about Bobby's balance on the slide. He has some really cool(pun intended) sections, including flying into a nuclear reactor to save it, then flying back out of it with a time limit, before the outer door closes, locking you in. You freeze stuff, shoot down fire-jets with cold heat-seeking missiles(...I swear I'm not making this up, and honestly, it's entertaining to undertake), and maneuver around, sometimes at a breakneck pace(awesomeness). Level design varies, it's often phoned in. Voice acting is decent, and the performers are indeed the ones playing them on the silver screen. Cut-scenes are dull and cheap. I recommend this to fans of the current series, especially those who want to enjoy the latter two members that I describe in this. 7/10