RELEASED: November 7, 2000
AVAILABLE ON: GBC
DEVELOPER(S): HAL, AVIT
Kind of like to pick up where I left off last time, the capitalization on the success of the first X-Men film continued in the video game business all the way to the premiere of X2 in 2003, which was when the circle began anew; however, none of the games had anything to do with the movie! Even so, a game called X-Men: Mutant Wars was released exclusively on the Game Boy Color to coincide with the first DVD release of X-Men, and could therefore be perceived as official merchandise for the movie. Even though the game was made by a once-prolific company such as HAL and published by Activision, it was a failure, destroyed in the media and all but forgotten by gamers and X-Men fans alike. Sounds like perfect dinner.
From Japan comes a mutant
Some time after their last struggle with Magneto, the X-Men set their sights on a cyborg army, who they believe to be controlled by their arch nemesis.
Mutant Academy might've been a shit stain, but it looked relatively good. Mutant Wars looks like an NES game. The mostly beat 'em up-oriented gameplay inevitably reminds of me of Double Dragon, but other games that come to mind are The Battle of Olympus and some backgrounds remind me of a more refined Zelda II. (All of these games were released well over ten years before this one, by the way.) Basically, any old NES side-scroller - and when I say that, it hits me like a brick: Friday the 13th. Uggggh... now I can't get that image out of my head. The character design's bulky and rough, I have no doubt in my mind they could've made this game with the exact same quality of sprites the last game had. After all, it can't take up much capacity - the levels are copy upon paste upon copy. The music's pretty good, but there are just a couple of different tunes to accompany you on this "adventure".
|Dudes, E.T.'s not here.|
You can switch between the available X-Men - Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Gambit, Iceman - at will, but should one of them die, you automatically switch to the next one, and the dead ones are unavailable until you get your hands on a rare green orb. If they all go, there's not much need for guessing what happens next. There's a password, though, and you get one after each level - all of which last for five minutes if you're quick about it - so don't worry. There is a catch, though - Wolverine is the only really useful character in the bunch. Ironic as it is, his melee attacks work on most enemies much better than the projectiles used by every other character, just like his special attack works better than those of the others - not good, though.
The biggest problems with Mutant Wars are the sluggish controls and boring level design, the usual ones, plus how shoddy it looks. The idea's really not all that bad and could work for a game of a larger scale... and one that remotely felt like an X-Men game.
+ Decent music
+ Decent idea...
- ...Poor execution by ways of boring level design
- Muddy controls
- Only one useful character
- Crappy special attacks
- Doesn't feel like X-Men at all
< 4.9 >