maanantai 11. elokuuta 2014

REVIEW - X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse | GBA | 2001

GENRE(S): Fighting
RELEASED: September 26, 2001
DEVELOPER(S): Digital Eclipse Software
PUBLISHER(S): Activision

Just four months after the release of the last X-Men game for the Game Boy Color, Digital Eclipse Software tried their X-hand once more with a Game Boy Advance release by the name of X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse. Here we have something that sounds exactly like a vintage side-scrolling beat 'em up sure to get Marvel fans on the move, as well as people who were ever into such games as Final Fight, TMNT and Batman Returns - not to forget earlier X-Men games of the type. Turns out it plays much like that as well... just not as good. Stiff controls and lack of kind warnings ruin the day - almost.

Dimensional rift

Get out of my house.
Returning from a trip in the Mojoverse, Wolverine, Rogue, Cyclops and Storm find themselves in an alternate dimension ruled by Apocalypse. They must make their way through the shattered remains of this world, including the ruins of their very home, to make it back to their real home.

So, X-Men shift to the 32-bit era of handheld consoles, and not much changes. In fact, the gameplay goes back to the most successful era of the X-Men branch, a side-scrolling beat 'em up (and nothing else) in vein of X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse - kind of hard NOT to imagine the game as some sort of a spiritual sequel to that moderate success story by Capcom, with Apocalypse for the head honcho and the very concept of the Game Boy Advance, to bring 16-bit classics to a handheld's screen. However, Reign of Apocalypse is even more of a traditional side-scrolling beat 'em up than Mutant Apocalypse, with most of the genre's vintage gameplay standards intact, with the exception of a few things that mattered back in the day.

X-Men: Reign of Apocalypse looks good, and even if the game was not made by Capcom, you'd expect some good music to go with all the beatdowns just for the sake of competitive effort, but the soundtrack is decent at most. That's the first spike to the gut.

Marvel Comics presents: David Lee Roth.
I chose Cyclops for the exemplary character this time around; I've used Wolverine as the primary character in every game thus far and we're nearing the end of the marathon, so I think it's only fair, and changing the character brings some diversity to the plot at hand. I started off with an open mind like I always do when I switch to another system, but sadly, the one major issue which has bothered me in nearly every game thus far along the marathon - the whole Marvel marathon - emerges the second you start this game: bad controls. Cyclops moves like a freakin' Sentinel, and generally speaking, I think it was a bad idea to assign jumping to R, while they could've moved that to the directional buttons and used R for something more productive and standard such as blocking. Another huge problem emerges with the enemy A.I.. The enemies have a tendency to stay outside of the screen just as long as you make your move towards them, towards the end of the screen, where they have the perfect window for a cheap shot. It turns out a huge problem once the enemies get tougher, and that doesn't take longer than two levels.

Once again, a short review. Make your own quick judgement, and if the outline sounds bearable enough, go ahead and try the game; this is one of those X-Men games that might even be worth it, thanks to its simple and vintage idea, the small details of which pay even more homage to vintage beat 'em up than Mutant Apocalypse ever did. One of the better X-Men games around, though that's not saying much.

+ Good story
+ Good graphics, just what was expected
+ Like I said in defense of Mutant Apocalypse, sometimes the simplest ideas work best

- Controls. Again. And the control design.
- You're prone to cheap shots all the time

< 7.0 >

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