X-Men: Reign Of Apocalypse

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You are watching: X-men: reign of apocalypse

The Marvel team branch out onto the GBA. It's a decent first adventure, but it needs more variety.


By Craig Harris

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It's amazing to see just how many X-Men games there have been on game systems from the NES and beyond — our games database alone lists more than two dozen titles, making these guys one of, if not the most popular superhero videogame team around. And they're branching out to the Game Boy Advance in Activision's and Digital Eclipse's action title, X-Men: Rebrianowens.tv of Apocalypse — it's definitely not the best X-Men game around, but it's enjoyable in its own mindless ways.

Features Four playable X-Men characters ll levels Link cable support for two players, co-op and competitive play Four battery backed slots Only for Game Boy Advance The Game Boy Advance desbrianowens.tv mimics the Final Fight-style brawler genre, and in fact it shares a similar feel with the outstanding X-Men arcade title released by Konami in 1991. At the beginning of the adventure players choose their persona from four selectable X-Men characters: Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Rogue — the decision is important, since the developers unfortunately force you to play as that character from start to finish. Sure, you can have four independent games going thanks to the battery backed RAM, but once you make your selection for one of those save slots, you're stuck. Each character has his or her own attack strengths and special attacks, but honestly each of the characters have similar abilities and will get the job done…it's all a matter of personal preference.

But though it's similar to Final Fight and Konami's own X-Men game, the GBA version from Digital Eclipse just isn't as satisfying in the gameplay department. The game has more than eleven different locations to fight through, with each level having its own inhabitance to exterminate in the trek from left to right. But the levels fail to offer any sort of variety in enemies — you'll fight the same characters over and over and over again, some palette-swapped to make them look like they're different. In later levels there will be different enemy sprites, sure…but again, it's the same enemy sprite over and over throughout the level. The repetition of sprites does put a drain on the enjoyment of the action…that “oh, it's that guy again” feeling just never goes away.

Of course, the brawler genre really isn't the type of game that just screams variety, and the company did what it could to build on the game desbrianowens.tv to make it more than just an A Button Masher. Building up the character's attributes at the end of each level, for instance, is a great addition, as is the ability to “juggle” opponents that are knocked high into the air. And, with a second system and another copy of the game, you and a friend go through the game together. But more could have been added to give the players more things to do — branching paths, item collection, and platform-jumping, for example.

The game's real charm comes from its art style, which has some of the most detailed hand-drawn sprites ever seen in a sidescroller…though, admittedly certain player characters look better than others. Like Wolverine and Rogue, for example, animate much more fluidly and exaggerated than Storm and Cyclops for whatever reason…and playing as these two characters feels much more rewarding since they've had more attention paid in their motions. Sprite enemies and boss characters all have decent animation, especially the oversized ones you just can't brianowens.tvore. Backgrounds are also painted with nice detail, though in several instances you can see squares all over the images — it's obvious that the developers needed to tile the backgrounds due to the Game Boy Advance's limitations. The one very noticeable drawback is the slowdown and framerate drops that occur when more than six characters appear on-screen. It's not a huge problem, but it does stick out like a thumb.

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X-Men: Rebrianowens.tv of Apocalypse is mindless fun for folks who know and enjoy the X-Men license. It”s a decent first try on the Game Boy Advance, but it”s not hard to imagine a game with the license that”s more satisfying than an old-school brawler. These guys are capable of so much more, so why restrict their abilities in such a rudimentary game desbrianowens.tv?


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