X-Men: The Official Game

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X-Men: The Official Game review


The good, the bad, the X-Men

Return of the X-Men

Not long ago I flirted with the idea that movie games don't suck as much anymore, but thanks to companies like Activision and games like X-Men: The Official Game I just realized how wrong I was. This game was rushed to make it to stores before the movie was released and it shows. I will not bore you with the story and will get straight to the heart of things:

Do you want to save? Do you? What about now?

The game starts off on the wrong foot right away. Activision made a holistic effort to make this game as horrible as it possibly could and the first step towards utter boredom was making an unintuitive, unresponsive, stupid interface. Not only is the blue over blue with blue text layout horrible, but the options you are given are often useless, for example, the video options screen doesn't include any video options like turning on shadows or anti aliasing or anything.

As if the interface wasn't horrible as is, it is also plagued by stupid saving dialogues. When you complete a mission you are told to save your game, when you leave the mission selection screen you are once again told to save your game, once you are leaving the main menu you are told once again to save your game, then you are informed that you will lose all data not saved and are offered the chance to save your game again. Four times they make me save my game without any changes to the files because I'm just trying to leave. That, plus some uninspired animations to switch menus make leaving the game a three-minute experience when I should be able to push a button and leave.

The interface is buggy too, every once in a while, after you enter the game the keyboard won't work so you will have to do everything with the mouse. Not a problem? It will be once you realize that clicking on an option doesn't do anything. Neither does double clicking or seemingly anything. It took me a lot of time to figure out that after you choose the option you still have to click a small 'Enter' button on the lower part of the screen.

The good, the bad, the X-Men (ugly)

The games graphics are average at best, while not terribly bad looking, some video glitches make the graphics as bad as everything else in the game. For example, in one level you fight in a Japanese dojo which has a tree in the middle. That would be cool if it weren't because the camera likes to make close ups of the tree and the leaves are square pictures that you can't see through so you don't know what is going on while fighting. Then again, that's not something that bothered me because by that level I was used to fighting without seeing a thing because of the camera that, just like everything else in this game, sucks (more on that later). While the voice acting isn't all that bad there were a couple dialogues that deserve comment. There's a level where Wolverine has to destroy a force field and before the level starts he says "Do you think a force field will stop me?" It is curious how he says that when you take into account that he can't jump over a knee high rock or get past a patch of grass in the level just before that one. In another level Wolverine has to 'fight his inner demons', once the level actually starts you find out that 'fighting inner demons' means killing one hundred Wolverine clones. Of course saying "kill one hundred clones for no reason at all" wouldn't have sounded as convincing.

Photographs don't do the in-game videos justice. No matter how many images you see you will never understand just how horrible they are without watching them in motion. Videos aren't actually animated, they are more like a flash movie in which static images move across the screen and sometimes move up and down to simulate running. The videos really gave me a huge dose of nostalgia; it wasn't since the times of the Super Nintendo that I saw full motion video characters not move their mouths while talking. On the other hand music is almost bearable because most levels don't have any (at least not something I would consider 'music').


fun score

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