AVAILABLE ON: PC
DEVELOPER(S): Paragon Software
PUBLISHER(S): Paragon Software
So, the 1989 game commonly known as X-Men: Madness in Murderworld actually got a sequel; as it turns out, the game was X-Men II by informal title only, to clarify the fact that these games were developed and published by the same company. As a game, X-Men II - or X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants, as it is commonly known - is totally different from its "predecessor". What we have here is an "RPG" that kinda looks like Gauntlet by a quick look, and swipes a bit off from console RPG's too. In truth, what we have here is a totally incoherent, incredibly cryptic mess of a "game", that just might've been conceived during one single drunken night at the Paragon offices. It's so ridiculously bad it's nearly entertaining.
And your first challenge is: getting to the title screen
Until about a week ago, I knew nothing of this particular pair of X-Men games beyond its existence. When I finally got around to this phase of the marathon, totally stunned at how royally the first NES game actually sucked, I was pretty much ready to doom this whole marathon to hell. However, I saw a lot going for the first DOS game before I even started it and I got my hopes up for a decent curiosity item. Perhaps I wouldn't go as far as to call it even decent, but it had good ideas. Perhaps with the sequel, those good ideas would be translated to an actual game a bit better. Then it turns out that the game has virtually nothing to do with the previous one, even though it's dubbed X-Men II. And, although once again it differs from the usual superhero schtick, its good ideas go to waste in a terrible game. Wait... what good ideas...? X-Men II is such pain from the very start - even before the start - that I'm not sure whether I should score the game at all. Then again, it does look the part. And, I laughed at it - let it be known that I was not even able to laugh at the NES game.
|Whoa. That's what I'd like to see in an X-Men|
movie. Or not.
So, the game is a roguelike RPG, meaning it's one confusing pile of randomly generated screen upon another, filled with traps and power-ups only one of your party can disarm or use, respectively. Who? No idea. How do you change party members? No idea. You have two weeks (some tens of minutes of in-game time) to finish an area. It even implements a day/night cycle, which however has close to no effect to the game. If your party leader dies, he dies, and the turn to lead the group moves on to the next mutant until you've run out of your trap fodder. Those traps pop up everywhere, all the time; it depends on the level, too, I guess, but the point is that you have no way of knowing they are there. Or if you do, I didn't figure that out. Your mission in each of these levels is to find not one, but two members of the Freedom Force, and defeat them to proceed to the next area. After each of the three areas has been cleared, I'm guessing a fourth area unlocks and you will fight against the Adversary.
|Of course he does.|
What were the creators of this completely senseless game on? Why in the world didn't they just heed the good potential and the feedback they got from the first game? Why, why, why did they make this game? Well, it was an experience, I guess.
+ Nice collection of X-Men to choose from...
- ...Whose identities don't really make a stinking difference to how the game will play out
- Completely senseless, randomly generated levels with awkward, not to mention invisible enemy and trap placements
- Terrible controls and retarded gameplay "mechanics" from field to combat
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