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X-Men (Genesis) artwork

X-Men (Genesis) review


"Hear the sound of razor sharp adamantium claws make when they x-tract their revenge..."


X-Men debuted on the Genesis in a time when the Marvel franchise was at its peak of popularity, when the FOX Kids cartoon was in the airwaves and boosted the mutant heroes into stardom among fans. Obviously comic book fans would want to try the game on the 16-Bit system being that the commercials for it were pretty enigmatic as well. While it didn't exactly became the best seller that it could had been, X-Men left an imprint into pop culture of gaming, one that some were lucky to X-perience.

The story starts with Magneto sabotaging the X-Men's Danger Room with a virus that corrupts its programming while they use it for training. You will go through various dangerous scenarios in places like the Savage Land, X-Calibur's Mansion, and a future setting where Sentinels roam the world hunting down mutants. Presumably, one of said settings happens to be an actual place where the X-Men help the Shi'Ar against Ladybird's invasion, something that is not mentioned at all after you clear it. Between missions you replenish health by destroying orbs that float around the screen. As you progress said orbs become more difficult to destroy before you embark to the next stage.

There isn't much variety in the choice of X-Men available for the game, although you have extra characters serving as screen clearing of enemies or other assigned assistance, such as Jean Grey carrying you to a safe platform after you fall into pits, or Ice Man forming an ice bridge for you to cross. In a two player game Jean Grey is added to the menu to help players catch up to their companions should their character falls behind. The X-Men featured to play include Cyclops who can shoot his trademark optic blasts in various directions when performing a double jump, Gambit who can home into enemies with his kinetic cards, Wolverine who can heal if you are patient enough while leaving him in a safe area, and Nightcrawler who can teleport around stages but cannot go through solid areas. Each character comes with health and mutant power bars, the latter diminishing every time you use a character's special abilities. Wolverine cannot use his claws if said bar is depleted for instance so it is wise to use your powers as you transverse a stage. Another concept of the game is that you can switch between characters on each stage, but you got to be careful not top lose any of them being that once their health is gone you cannot have back in the game at all. Its also important to note that whatever health you are left with surviving characters will not be replenished unless you destroy orbs between stages or find health power-ups along the way. This makes for some tedious strategic play in the player's part which makes the game have a definite difficult curve while playing through. One final tidbit I will add is that Gambit has a difficult time avoiding enemy fire being his height makes him a target even when he crouches. These are simple yet thoughtful insights added into gameplay.

As far as gameplay goes, X-Men is pretty linear and average. Stages are well designed with some puzzle actions added to navigate through. Enemy placing isn't too bothersome but they respawn every time you go back to the same section of a stage, so you would be wise to memorize their patterns and be careful not to waste much needed health before reaching the stage's boss to progress. Music is both campy and at times intriguing, especially at the title screen and beginning of the game. If the gameplay doesn't do much for you at least its soundtrack can be inspiring enough.

Even with its flaws X-Men is a jewel among Comics videogames. If you are an X-Men fan as I am, this is a definite title to own and keep in your Sega Genesis collection, even if you do not spend much time playing it.

3.5/5

CptRetroBlue's avatar
Community review by CptRetroBlue (November 25, 2018)

Cpt. Retro likes old school gaming the most and grew up playing Arcade games in Mexico. He also loves talking about retrogaming.

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