maanantai 11. elokuuta 2014

REVIEW - X-Men: Wolverine's Rage | GBC | 2001

GENRE(S): Action / Platformer
RELEASED: May 15, 2001
DEVELOPER(S): Digital Eclipse Software
PUBLISHER(S): Activision

Out of all X-Men games released in the wake of the film series, the Game Boy Color exclusive X-Men: Wolverine's Rage is probably the one that least promoted the films... instead it was a blatant ad for the X-Men: Evolution animated series, which premiered in late 2000 and in turn did ride on the coattails of the first movie's success. What we have here is the last X-Men game for the Game Boy Color, starring Wolverine on another personal round trip to literally save his insides. What to do to keep mine from spewing out of my mouth...? In all honesty, X-Men: Wolverine's Rage is not from the worst end of the X-Men branch of the marathon, but far from the most interesting one.


Lady Deathstrike has acquired plans for a weapon powerful enough to melt Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, and allied herself with two more of Logan's most persistent adversaries, Sabretooth and Cyber. Wolverine must naturally stop the construction of the weapon at all cost, not just for the sake of himself but for the X-Men.

What I expected from this game was some sort of a new take on the 16-bit game Wolverine: Adamantium Rage. The little I had seen looked pretty much the same, and Wolverine was once again in rage - adamantium-related rage, I might add. So, I headed to the game with a hint of dread, I didn't like Adamantium Rage all that much, at least not the SNES game - the Genesis "version" is supposed to be completely different. Well, X-Men: Wolverine's Rage is a much simpler and more straightforward game, which is ironic 'cause I consider it a puzzle game above all. Too simple, and too straightforward, though. We have come to the point where there are not many X-Men games left, not many Marvel games for that matter. How hard was it to make a good, balanced game out of perhaps the most interesting superhero of that era? We were far away from Batman: Arkham Asylum, but we already had a few quite decent Batman games to choose from, and in this context, good Spider-Man games - the latter of which were published by the same people. At this point I'd like to state that against my expectations, this marathon might not have been all that awesome, but I've learned a lot from it. Truths which were better left unknown. But for now, I digress.

Last I looked, there was an
enemy there. The graphics
glitch "a bit".
X-Men: Wolverine's Rage doesn't look all that good. Calling it repetitive is a compliment, and the cutscenes look like someone vomited all over your Game Boy's screen; Wolverine looks like a pile of unrefined mass in yellow spandex. I'm somehow reminded of the "cutscenes" in the Batman: Return of the Joker remake on the Sega Genesis back in the day. The music is repetitive as well, not much to say about the starting quality either.

The game is a very simple - and highly repetitive - platformer in which all you actually need to do is finish the levels, as in find the exit, which is usually behind a small horde of enemies and strategically placed platforms. You need to find the correct order to the platforms to hop your way to the goal. That's it, plus the few mandatory boss fights, and this goes on for 20 levels, which have five stages each. Phew. The controls feel decent at first, but mashing the attack button too rapidly results in a special attack that lasts for years and during which you cannot control Logan at all. This happens a bit too much, and it doesn't seem all that bad until you realize you're losing health each passing second that attack's on. You can regenerate health by simply standing still, but since every stage has a time limit of just a couple of minutes, it's not very recommendable.

That's it. It's not the unplayable kind of bad, if you can get over Wolverine's rage, which ironically is perhaps the game's most stinging flaw besides the general boredom which has become somewhat of a standard for these games as long as I've played them and will most likely remain one right up 'til the end. At first it seemed like I was off-topic, but I really think that at this point, it was high time to ask the question, "what's so hard about making a decent game out of the X-Men?" For now, there are four X-Men reviews left...

+ Different story
+ Simple idea, good for light portable entertainment...

- ...Highly repetitive once you put your mind into it; boring level design
- The special Rage attack is almost completely out of your control and drains your health
- Audiovisually insufficient

< 5.3 >

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