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    « CES11: PlayStation 3 is All About the Headaches | Main | CES11: A Fistful of Nyko »

    REVIEW: X-Men Arcade

    Gamers of my day have a fond appreciation for the arcade game, a medium which has been steadily declining in the states, to the point of near death where it lay today. While you may still be able to find arcades around town somewhere, the odds of the games being up to date and the prices being moderate are next to none. One of the elite arcade games of my time was X-Men, a six-player orgy of flying fists and mutant powers, which was a blast both in part to the multiplayer mayhem, and the enjoyment of seeing my favorite mutants mix it up on dual arcade screens. Is Konami's re-release on XBLA and PSN too late to be appreciated? Is our review too late to be appreciated as well? Read on to find out.

    Originally released in 1992, X-Men Arcade allowed up to six players to team up against the forces of Magneto on a double-wide arcade cabinet. This cabinet set up was a technological marvel to me, and the fact that it housed my favorite comic, cartoon, and trading card characters made it extra sweet. 18 years later, Konami banks on the simple fun of the arcade game translating to this present day release. You control one of six X-Men -- Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, and the always disappointing Dazzler -- and repetitively run through waves of generic color-swapped Sentinels, bosses from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and finally Magneto, to save the city, and even Professor X himself.

    Not much has changed since the golden days of the early 90s. You pick your favorite mutant, and smash your way through enemy after enemy until you reach a mutant boss. At that point, you smash the boss and proceed to the next stage, to do it all over again. Fortunately, much like it was back in the day, X-Men Arcade is a wealth of fun when played with a group of friends, either locally or online. I had no problem finding a group of six to go X-Gene on suckaz with. The thing about playing in the arcade, back when I was a preteen, was that I was limited by the amount of quarters my pop would allow me, which usually wasn't much more than a few dollars. This made beating the game a near impossibility, regardless of how many coop partners I had. This release offers unlimited credits, hence allowing your to pretty much speed through the game, regardless of how many times you die. I did die a good bit, but we were able to speed through the game in a little over 40 minutes. That's short. And it's not even like that was the fastest it can be beaten; there's a trophy/achievement for beating it in under 25 minutes. Geez! Fortunately, there are increased levels of difficulty to play for more of a challenge. 

    Art Design
    Again, no real change here from the original release. HD support is about as far as it goes, with no graphical updates or changes made. It's all good, because X-Men is a classic, and classics never go out of style. Thankfully the fun factor of playing with five friends makes up for the lack of visual buffs. Not to mention it's only a $10 entrance fee, you can't expect it all at that price.

    Sound Design
    Did you know that the X-Men Arcade trailer syncs up incredibly well to X-Men: The Animated Series' theme song? Now that's what I call sound design. Aside from that, nothing is new. Same hilarious dialogue found in the 1992 original. Thankfully none of the LOL bits were changed to proper grammar, and that's a good call. Magneto's battle cry of "Welcome to Die" to this day ranks as one of my favorite lines ever uttered in a game. Aside from that, pretty forgettable sound effects and music by today's standard.

    If you have a few friends you can play with locally, this chunk of nostalgia is more than worth the $10 price to play. Grab some beers, hit the couch, and get busy. If you're just playing with one friend, or even by yourself, a classic like X-Men Arcade will have tons of people online, willing to get in with you for some mutant on mutant action. Now, go and save the city!

    Buy it if: You have a bunch of friends to play with, you're a child of the 80s or 90s
    Don't buy it if: You have no friends! 
    The Score: 7 outta 10 blasters!

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