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: X-men (Mega Drive/Genesis)

X-Men on the Genesis / Megadrive is a phenominal game and Marvel cashed up the development studio (Western Technologies Inc) and cahsed in on the craze. This game was released in Australia as the long running X-men cartoon was airing (Back in the days of Cheese Tv) in 1993. Sydney had just been selected to host the 2000 Olympic Games, The Late Show was still on ABC, I saw Jurassic Park at the Cinema and I was about to turn 12.

Unfortunately I was still trying to get by on my pocket money, and seeing as games like this were retailing at about $99, they were far beyond my reach. So every weekend I would beg mum to drive me into town to hire a game. The great thing about being brought up in a small town was that our local Toyworld hired games out, and for only $3 each! The best part about it was that they weren't open Sunday, so if you hired it Saturday, you still payed $3 and kept it till Monday.
So you turn on the power and WOW... there's the X-men logo *yawn* (you begin to wonder why they'd make such a crappy title screen for such a hyped up game) and then *POW* Holy Crap Man! There's most of my favourite characters represented in their 8-bit glory!

The game begins with Magneto having an epiphany to himself, he can crush the X-men with visible binary code!

As far as close ups go, this shot of Magneto is one of the highest quality I've ever seen in a Genesis game.

Is that binary code? Cool.

I do remember there's a cheat (I think a level select) that you could attempt at about this time. I really miss those days, getting the latest HYPER magazine and checking for cheats for my fave games.

So Magneto does his thing, then we find ourselves in the Danger Room. (The X-men's hologramtic training room) Here you can select from the four playable characters. Gambit, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Cyclops.



Each have their own unique power sets and abilities. In this gaming era, many games explored varied strength between heroes, which was great. There was nothing worse than playing a game with completely different characters and all that changed between them was their apperance.

Seeing as there are only four playable characters, I'm going to write small summaries of each.

GAMBIT: It was always great to see Gambit in a game (and there weren't many). I guess Stan Lee thought he was a 2nd rate character and decided to eliminate him from the movies (obviously not counting the file on the computer in the 2nd film). It was really a shame he wasn't included in the newer films because he would have been a great character to play as on today's consoles.

As far as this game goes, Gambit is equipped with his silver bo-staff to whack things with, and dressed in his kick ass jacket. The fact that he always had pink in his costume could be overlooked cuz of that orsm jacket! His unique mutant ability 'to charge an object (partial to playing cards) and release the energy on contact in an explosion', was very well transfered from comics/cartoons to this game, however his cards bounce back and forward in the air (providing a damaging shield).

He wasn't telekinetic man! You don't need to try to improve on Gambit! He was the epitomy of cool in the 90's! The mad, metallic boots, the orsm jacket, the gloves missing a couple of fingers, the coolest 90's hairdo available and the black eyes with RED PUPILS! TOTALLY COOL *ahem*

He has a double jumb, the bo-staff to whack things with and his card throwing ability (which takes up too much of his energy bar) but over-all is an easy character to use.

Nightcrawler: He was a well-written character. Great back story and such, but in the end he's still a pussy. A little girly mutant who looked like a demon but ran around being scared of everyone. In the game, he can't jump as high as the rest of the heroe's but why would he need to?

He has the amazing ability to teleport! It really is pretty cool, because with Nightcrawler you can skip through a lot of the levels, whereas the other characters can not. He can punch and kick, flips when he jumps and looks like a sissy. His teleport ability isn't exactly easy to use either. It's great though that it damages enemies. I barely used Nightcrawler at all because I hate him.

Wolverine: Even back in the era before the Hugh Jackman, Wolverine was still everybody's favourite. The lone, bad-ass warrior who you hoped would come good.

As far as the game's concerned, they went the right way about it and made Wolverine a scrapper. High damage output made it easy to breeze through the game with Wolverine. His mutant ability was his healing factor which allowed him to survive the grafting of adamantium to his skeletal structure, plus they through in a few kick-ass claws for all his carving needs.

The healing factor was included in the game also, allowing your character to regenerate some health if it got too low. His jump attacks when his claws were out were great for just slicing, dicing and moving on.

Having no ranged attacks did make things a little boring from time to time, but that's the life of a scrapper.


Cyclops: I never really liked Cyclops in the cartoon, however he always had one of the coolest back-stories and an orsm power. I guess he was included in the game because he was the "leader" of the X-Men, which worked out alright because as a game character, he's quite good. He has his standard attacks, fly kick and a flip double jump

Pretty boring stuff really. His flair lies in his ranged attack. A beam of energy shot from his optic visor. This ability can be charged to give it a lil more damage and doesn't use as much energy as Gambit's cards.

 

Plus the fact that he can shoot in any of the 8 directions a side-scroller allowed. Very easy to use character. So you start out in the danger room and suddenly the simulation for the Savage Lands begins. You battle your way past bugs, pterodactyls and annoying guys with spears. I love the fact that even in the first level of this game, there's a mini-boss. Juggernaut. Cameo's like this were fantastic as you progress through the levels. Encountering various villians from the cartoon, I mean that's what you paid your money for right? Throughout the game you'll come across Sentinals, Sabretooth, Apocolypse, Mojo and Magneto. There's even a couple of cut-scenes thrown in! "We love our cut-scenes, oh yes we do!" Speaking of cameo's, it wasn't just villians who appeared. You had the ability in this game to call on your fellow x-men to come to your aid. You just had to pick up the icon, equip it and press your power button. Archangel, Rogue, Iceman and Storm were available for assists.

Jean Grey also shows up if you fall off the screen.

She uses her telekentic ability to guide you safely to the nearest platform... and then drop you. Apparantly when she releases you from her hold, it hurts because you lose life. Way to go Jean, way to be a team player! Stupid bitch.

Before you get to go challenge Magneto, you have to battle Mojo - The ruler of Intergalactic Television. Once defeated, you have to 'soft-reset' your machine or the virus he's created will spread and you can't finish the game. This was a fantastic idea so early on in gaming history. There were few games who went that extra step and broke down the 4th wall.

So many fantastic moments in this game (especially through the eyes of a child) made it a joy to play again. However, I must say that it doesn't even hold a candle to the sequel. X-Men "Clone Wars". Keep an eye out for that review.

Ranted by Benny J



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