Reviews: X-Men Next Dimension

It's not actually a game

When something is called a game, there is the implication that somehow the controls you manipulate will have an impact on what is proceeding on-screen.

XMND considers this approach effete nonsense. Most of the time all the controls do is affect how it kicks your arse, not whether it kicks your arse.

In some games, The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard. XMND doesn't even make an effort to hide this, leading to most opponents being hugely annoying and difficult to kill (although Juggernaut, oddly enough, is relatively easy despite being basically a walking tank, since he can't block very well and moves very slowly). Their power bars charge faster, their attacks do more damage, and they have the reaction time of Quicksilver on speed.

The main faults:
  • Controls are very fiddly. The big power moves tend to be one key press away from something far smaller and wimpier. Magneto, for example, only has the down arrow on the D-Pad between "unleashes huge storm of magnetic blasts that wipes off half your opponent's health bar" and "projectile shield that lasts about four seconds".
  • The third dimension isn't very well implemented, meaning that unless it specifically seeks them out, half the time your Awesome Huge Level 4 Power Blast Finishing Move Of Doom misses the enemy, whereupon they smash you into a pulp with theirs.
  • Everyone you fight is an MK Walker who is either blocking or attacking and tends to spontaneously try a grab every time you do.
  • There are a lot of puzzling questions, like: why is Wolvie a legitimate threat to Magneto when Mags can (and, on one occasion, did) pull out all of Wolvie's adamantium? How is Toad able to kick me in the head 15 times in four seconds?
  • There's a trace of the Luck Based Mission in that occasionally, seemingly at random, someone will get knocked through a painful chunk of scenery and take damage. Better hope it's not you.
  • Combos are almost impossible to disrupt. If you didn't block the first hit, you won't be able to block any others. If you did, it's likely one will get through.
  • Since you block by moving backwards a little, it's very hard to close with Cyclops or Havok since they can shoot frakking lasers at your head.

And yet, I keep playing it - because I refuse to let the son of a bitch who programmed this game beat me.