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Ex-Mutants (Genesis) artwork

Ex-Mutants (Genesis) review

"This game is bad, bad, bad, bad. How bad? Here's the premise: You were once a mutant. Now, though... Now... you're NOT. "

This game is bad, bad, bad, bad. How bad? Here's the premise: You were once a mutant. Now, though... Now... you're NOT.

That's right! All those cool X-Men mutants like Gambit and Havok and all of them are nothing compared to these soldiers. Why? Because they USED to be mutants. Mutants are different in this universe; they're ugly and grotesque. Our heroes were stripped of their mutant properties and they're happy as hell about it. Now they're just commandos fighting for a team called the Ex-Mutants for some reason you will absolutely not care about. With such a terrible, horrible premise for a videogame, it would have taken a miracle programmer to pick up the pieces and make even a decent game.

Instead, this was coded by ''Malibu Comics Interactive.'' And you're in for a long day.

The Game

Ex-Mutants is based off of some comic book. As little as I remember about comics from when I was a kid, I do remember that Malibu comics sucked. Playing this game brings back memories of why, as the ''story'' behind our heroes makes about no sense.

Apparently, the world has gone to the crapper and humans are all ugly, foul mutants. All except six, however, as a cyborg scientist has brought three back from their mutations. The rest of the world is overrun by EVIL MUTANTS lead by a SUPREME OVERLORD MUTANT named Sluggo. Sluggo runs the evil mutants pimps up, hoes down. That is to say, he has set himself up against all things human. This immediately raises the following questions:

If a mutant used to be a human, why would it hate humans so much?
If there are only six humans, can you really wage a war with humanity?
Why would a cyborg take it upon himself to revive humans?

But in a bad game, plot holes are almost requisite! And bad this is! Ex-Mutants is the essence of generic. If you take out the extremely charisma-less heroes (a guy named ''Ackroyd'' and a gal named ''Shannon,''), this really could be ANY bad platformer. Levels appear to be random in nature; one minute in a warehouse, the next in a cave, etc. The enemies have all been seen before, and are really not detailed enough to be more than templates for better games. Enemies that first appear as liquid drops but then become small mutants? Check. The blue monsters with the ripped pants in Altered Beast? Check. Swinging pendulums? Oh yeah. If it's been done before, it's in Ex-Mutants. And guaranteed, it was done better than it was in Ex-Mutants.

And it never stood much of a chance. The aforementioned lame character designs? They're pitiful. ''Ackroyd'' is not a name I would EVER give anyone, let alone some ''super'' hero. Ackroyd swings an axe. Great. ''Shannon,'' another power name, is equally as unimpressive with her nunchucku. The thing about it is, though, that BOTH WEAPONS LOOK THE SAME. I swear, before I read that her weapon was the same thing Michaelangelo swung, I thought she was using an axe too. Doesn't matter. They both suck and fit well in a game that sucks so bad.

Nothing in this game is fun. Not finding the hidden stars (''hidden'' in clever places like... item boxes), not platforming around the simple level designs, not fighting the cheesy looking enemies, nor killing the ones that take, say, FIFTY hits to kill. Ex-Mutants is a game of such primitive quality, it feels like a homebrew game, or some generic movie license cash-in that swaps sprites with the engine of another generic game. Jumping isn't fun; the levels suck. Enemies suck, they aren't fun to kill. Character designs suck, they aren't fun to play. And the story sucks, you just can't care about it.

The Delivery

It's not the worst example of 16Bit graphics, but it's not one of the best. A weak showing of parallax is about all this game has to save it from the abyss. It looks terrible, but not SNES Home Alone 2 terrible.

The characters are really small. Noticeably small. They jump funny, just like all the other animations are funny, or minimal. So sparse is the animation, that characters basically levitate into the air until their descent before a change in animation is seen. Enemies suffer from this lack of care as well, as they have the same animation quality found in a three page flip book. The colors used to represent the game are surprisingly varied; it's a shame that the ones picked aren't exactly the most complex the Genesis can brew up. Doesn't matter. It's fugly; several Master System games as well as a few NES games outshine this (minus the parallax, mind you).

Equally as bad as the sights is the sound. The programmers worked overtime to find ways to make MIDI sound like hell. Bad ''bass'' effects and bad digitized synth elements are used to compose some bad music. Generic, too, but bad as well. And the bad voice samples, such as ''Yeah'' and ''Oh yeah'' are as bad in the talent as they are in the game's garbled delivery.

The Truth

Ex-Mutants sucks. It feels like a lifeless clone of an already lifeless game. It was an amateur effort by an amateur team, and the result is nowhere near the quality I've seen in some amateur games. There is no reason to play this game, ever. In fact, this game should be forgotten, as well as its inherent symbolism that bad games can be made from bad source material. Ex-Mutants is less a game than a soldier in a Trojan horse full of crappy carts the world has seen. My rambling point: Stay far from this, this perfect example of what makes a limp, tasteless game.

ethereal's avatar
Community review by ethereal (March 14, 2004)

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