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X-Men Arcade (Xbox 360) Review

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The X-Men Arcade game came out in 1992 and is still considered a revolutionary machine. An arcade title that was had six players and was a monstrosity in size. Translating this to Xbox Live Arcade seems like the smart option. A six player classic beat em up experience sounds great right? The problem with X-Men is there is no challenge and that ends up the fault of the original design. Arcade games by design are after the player's quarters and will usually deliver cheaper game play stacked against the player to get more money from a continuing player.

This formula doesn't work in 2010 and instead of charging your account every time you continue, the player simply gets infinite continues. What this does is eliminate any challenge from the game as players will end up just throwing themselves on endless kamikaze runs. This also exposes the game for being a rather shallow beat em up, even in comparison to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which came out prior.

X-Men Arcade on XBLA

The best thing about X-Men that still works is the music and voice clips. The music is very catchy and fits the varying stages just like other Konami beat em ups, it is not on the same level as any of the Turtle games but the music works. Classic quips like "Welcome to Die" and "I'm the master of magnet" remain in the game and are still hilarious. Characters in this game mouth off quotes all throughout the game, it's quite funny but it really demonstrates the broken translation this game represents.

That also is apparent with the switching to Japanese and the sudden appearance of power-ups to help give players some help. Items that give your mutants more energy or stronger punches, that also don't seem to work. The effect of these power-ups seem to be placebo.

Everything in X-Men seems vibrant in color and character until you start playing. The combat just doesn't hold a candle to anything being a single button game with the other attack button being the mutant powers you can unleash. These powers drain your life down to one bar almost instantly but it doesn't matter because you have infinite lives. Hopping online to a six player match ends up with everyone spamming their power, then taking a single hit and dying. It is the only real option of combat as well when an optic blast from Cyclops kills everything on screen but the one button fisticuffs falls short against 8+ enemies.

X-Men Arcade on XBLA

X-Men offers six playable characters that were big at the time: Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Storm, and Colossus. Each of the characters play exactly the same except for their mutant ability. Characters like Wolverine and Nightcrawler are given screen clearing attacks, while Storm and Dazzler are given smaller ranged attacks. The trade off for the smaller ranged strikes is an extra strike or two. Consider that a game over can ever be forced upon you, with six players online you can infinitely juggle any enemy or boss in the game with the amount of knock-down mutant powers you control.

Is X-Men worth the money? No it really isn't. For ten dollars the game offers maybe two playthroughs at best and an online experience that mirrors the offline; just four times faster. Konami took a misstep here by not making the effort that was taken with TMNT: Re-Shelled; they didn't remake a quarter guzzler into a modern game.








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