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X-Men: The Arcade Game Review

Blake_Morse By:
GENRE Action Arcade 
DEVELOPER Backbone Entertainment 
E10+ Contains Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

I've got laser eyes!

The thing about comic books, (especially popular ones) that's always astounded me is that they can get their fans to buy just about anything. Grown men would sell their own children (if they had kids and weren't sad, lonely virgins) for rare action figures. They will buy busts of Batman and display them prominently in their home inspiring both pity and an odd sense of uncomfortable fear in their visitors. If there is money to be made off of anything, there is some form of comic label engraved marketing to go along with it.

click to enlargeNowhere is this sentiment more true than with the X-Men. Not only are they one of the most popular superhero teams of all time, they've also got one of the most popular individual characters of all time on their roster, Wolverine. It's almost impossible to get them to stop hemorrhaging money for Marvel (and Disney now too). So it makes absolute perfect sense that Konami would re-release their arcade masterpiece on XBLA and PSN to try and make a quick buck. But one would think that they would add something into the mix while they were at it. Sadly that is not the case.

Sure, those of us old enough to remember the cartoon pilot that this particular incarnation of the X-Men sprouted from or remember when the White Queen as a villain instead of Scott Summer's hot blonde replacement for Jean Gray may get a bit of nostalgia out of the game, but there's not much else going on here.

What you get is basically nothing more than an emulated port of the US and Japanese arcade cabinets and all their various 2-6 player cabinet set-ups That's it, nothing else. Now that doesn't mean that X-Men Arcade isn't a classic ARCADE experience, it just means that's all it is. The transition from quarter-eating brawler to unlimited continue brawler pretty much kills any skill or challenge that there could possibly be. What's the point of playing a game on any difficulty setting if all you and your comrades are just going to use your special mutant power to kill every weird-ass lizard enemy or sentinel on screen until you run out of health, die, and then continue like it didn't even matter?

click to enlargeFor what's offered here it's tough to justify the price tag and feel like you've gotten your moneys worth. Beat-em-up, side-scrolling brawlers like this worked great when there was a fear of losing all the tokens you'd work so hard to buy with your allowance, but once that imminent threat is removed there's nothing but mindless button mashing and endless continues in your future.

And I still have no idea how they kidnapped Kitty Pryde, that bitch can phase through walls! How you gonna kidnap a girl that can walk through anything?!?!
C- Revolution report card
  • A faithful port of the arcade classic game
  • ...but nothing else
  • Nostalgia factor
  • No fear of death or losing
  • No extra modes
  • Use Mutant power, die, continue, repeat
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Also known as: x men, xmen

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