maanantai 11. elokuuta 2014

REVIEW - X-Men: Mutant Academy | GBC | 2000

GENRE(S): Fighting
RELEASED: July 6, 2000
DEVELOPER(S): Crawfish Interactive
PUBLISHER(S): Activision, Success

Bryan Singer's film adaptation of X-Men was yet to premiere, when a huge wave of X-Men games already started to roll us over; most of these games were advertised as official merchandise for the movie (series), but the fact of the matter is that very few of the X-Men games released in the last 14 years have had anything to do with the films. A week before the world premiere of X-Men, a one-on-one fighting game for the PlayStation, named X-Men: Mutant Academy, hit the shelves. The game got decent reception and partly paved the way for the success of Activision's first Spider-Man game, which was to turn up in a few months. In a sadder turn of events, Nintendo got a version of the game for the Game Boy Color.

Icky mashyquicky

Why exactly are we doing
For some strange reasons known to the game developers themselves, or if even them, the X-Men battle against each other in different parts of the world to see who's strong enough to take on Magneto's band of villainous mutants alone.

It's times and games like these that make me wonder why in the hell I even bother with portable games, or at least those released in the two-button era. If I read a game description that says "a 2D fighting game in the style of Street Fighter" and it's listed for the Game Boy or Game Boy Color, my bells should ring. It doesn't matter what the name of the game is - hell, it can even be Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or Killer Instinct. It's gonna suck. Take a licensed PlayStation game that wasn't that good to begin with, and work some blurry reflection out of it for the Game Boy, and you've got yourself one vacuum of a game. Before I continue, I must say that the reason I still bother with portable games is that there are good and even great games there on those particular pages of history, just waiting to be re-discovered. X-Men: Mutant Academy is not one of them. It's horrible, yet in a different way than any of the games reviewed within the confines of this marathon thus far. Like I said, it's a 2D fighting game in the style of Street Fighter... for the Game Boy Color. You'll have more fun with the original Street Fighter on a Commodore 64.

Pluralize yourself.
I had just bought a PlayStation, and I had just seen the X-Men movie - I had good vibes from all over when I slapped in the PlayStation game back in the day, but as a game, it turned out pretty mediocre as I was accustomed to Tekken's fluid gameplay, particularly that of Tekken 3. It looked good, though, and it certainly didn't seem like the cheapest game ever made. Neither does this version; it looks good and it sounds good for a licensed Game Boy product. That's enough of everything the game has to its credit. It's all downhill from there - the glorious few minutes the game lasts.

Going into gameplay, I realize that this must turn out one of the shortest reviews I've done in a while, since the game simply doesn't have content - I can't come up with this shit from scratch. You have two buttons at your disposal - A and B. One's for punches, one's for kicks. You can do an air kick, not a drop kick though, since you can't control your character in the air - and mind you, the air kick is so inadjustable that it won't do you any good. What does do you good is crouching down, and punching your opponent in the nuts - or the vageegee - as fast as you can. I'm serious, none of those mutant bastards with zero A.I. have a chance against you. If you want SOME challenge, stand up - perhaps they can land a couple of punches so you won't feel so overpowered. If you've played any Track & Field in your life, this game will be a walk in the park. No, not even a walk - half a piss maybe. If you want to end the matches quicker, watch your Rage meter, ripped straight off the most recent Mortal Kombat games of the time. When the meter's full, you can press A + B and unleash a super combo, of which just one punch is enough to drain a quarter of the opponent's health.

The final one? You wish.
If there weren't so many playable characters - all of whom play out the same save for certain characters' projectile attacks - and good graphics taking the system to consideration, I might not be able to tell the difference between X-Men: Mutant Academy and a Game & Watch game. Again, I find myself in the situation where I must make myself perfectly clear: I'm aware of the limitations here. What I don't understand is why in the hell they made this game in the first place. This "game" is yet another example of how stupid some game publishers think their customers are.

+ Decent graphics and music

- Empty. Just empty. Need elaboration? Read the review, won't take long.

< 2.0 > 

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