GLX reviews X-Men for iOS devices.
Publisher - Konami
Developers - Konami and DotEmu
The original X-Men arcade game by Konami is one of those games that has a special place in my heart. I remember my excitement as I would pop in some coins to put the game through its paces as one of my favorite X-Men. Sadly, I have not been able to spend a lot of time with the game over the years. Thankfully, Konami has brought the game to iOS devices; however, its quality does not match my memories of the game.
The story contains elements of the "Pryde of the X-Men" episode that was the pilot for an X-Men cartoon series that never was; the X-Men travel to Asteroid M to Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The dialogue is downright silly, but its kitschy quality makes it enjoyable. Can you name another game with such lines as, "I am Magneto! Master of magnet!", within its code? Didn't think so.
X-Men's gameplay is similar to most classic beat-em ups. The player moves from the left side of the screen to the right, while laying the smackdown on anyone that gets in their way. With the default controls, the character's movement is controlled by the d-pad on the left, while attacks are controlled by the buttons the right. Players can jump, do a basic attack and use their mutant powers. While the controls feel natural on the screen, it needs a little more depth. Another problem with the combat system is that the use of a particular mutants' special abilities drains health. I can see that the developers did that because it keeps gamers from using the special moves too much, but people play X-Men games so that they can use mutant powers.
The basic "goons" in X-Men are pretty basic, though some of them are only different because of their outfit. The bosses are a different matter. They have their own patterns and abilities that make them stand out. The difficulty of these bosses ramp up at a nice pace, until the second half of the game. It's pretty tough to take down Magneto with just one continue.
There is an option to play with three other people, but it's only through local play. I understand that it is challenging to set up a strong online multiplayer system, but it is a bit disappointment for someone like myself who does not have access to others that have the game. At least, the game has OpenFeint and Game Center support.
The graphics in the game look sharp; while there could have been more animation, the characters and the environments are pleasant to the eye. I have to say that it is impressive, considering that this game was made 20 years ago. The music is typically old-school fare with nothing too exciting about it. Major props to the developers for adding voice acting to the game. For newcomers, it is a nice touch to the game, while fans of the "Pryde of the X-Men" episode will get a kick out of it. Just like the animation, it could have used some more content, though.
Fans of the original arcade game should give this a look as this is a faithful port of the game; however, new players should be cautious about picking this up. The gameplay has not aged well, but it is presented in a nice fashion. Still, I am glad that I got a chance to play this.
7* out of 10*
Written or Contributed by: GLX