The 1990’s gave birth to many different genres, including the side-scrolling beat ‘em up. It wasn’t uncommon to walk into an arcade back then and see a multitude of coin-ops by different developers competing for your quarters. Konami licensed the X-Men franchise and not only attracted gamers to the arcade, but comic book fans as well.
Imagine the surprise of many gamers when Konami finally decided to re-release this classic on Xbox Live. While still in its original form, the Xbox 360 version offers achievements and online play with up to 6 players. It even includes the Japanese version.
The achievements are a variation of tasks that can be either completed online or offline. Some of the more simpler ones include not jumping once during level 4 and using an energy pill to restore health. The more difficult achievements require the player to beat the game in 25 minutes or less (which is no easy feat) and completing the game in Expert mode. There are 12 achievements in all for a total of 200 points.
X-men also includes a 4-player and 6-player cabinet feature for both offline and online play. This allows you to enjoy the game and unlock achievements with friends. The only issue with a 6-player game is how confusing things can get on-screen. There is so many sprites on-screen (including the players), it can be difficult to find yourself during fights. With this gripe aside, the multiplayer feature captures the arcade experience perfectly. There is nothing more exhilarating than experiencing this classic with a group of friends / gamers.
The gameplay is pretty straight-forward: you must punch and kick your way to the end of each level. The A button jumps, X and B attack, and Y unleashes your mutant powers. The game also supports the analog stick; this offers a choice to gamers, especially if they dislike using the D-pad.
Additionally, a stage select is available once the game has been completed. This makes it easier to acquire achievements that might have been missed in previous levels.
The graphics are identical to the arcade version. While this may turn off some gamers, others will appreciate the nostalgic feel that X-men offers. Most classics see a release with enhanced graphics, but it appears that Konami felt that X-men was fine in its original form. This was a good move on Konami’s behalf.
As a game, X-Men offers countless hours of enjoyment and its well worth the 800 MS Points. Even if you weren’t old enough to remember this game, you owe it to yourself to experience a piece of gaming history. There’s plenty of action and your friends can participate; you can’t ask for more.
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Backbone Entertainment
Price: 800 MS Points ($9.99 US)
|The graphics are classic 2D; they still look great after all these years.|
|The music and sound effects fit the game perfectly.|
|Solid controls and non-stop action round out this slugfest.|
|If you're looking for a classic 2D brawler then X-Men Arcade will deliver.|