Reviews: X Men

A game with repetitive gameplay and zero challenge can be fun as long as it's multiplayer

I never had a chance to play this game back when it first came out, but when I happened to come across a review of the Play Station Network / X Box Live Arcade version, I just had to try it out.

Basically, this is as mindless as a beat-em-up can possibly get. Walk to the right and hit the attack button a lot, occasionally performing jumping attacks, or special attacks capable of wiping out a large cluster or row of enemies at once. Should you die, hit the jump button again to rejoin the action with no loss whatsoever - you even get to keep your score! It's even more mindless than the game would be even in its original arcade form, as by removing penalty for death from the equation, you don't even have the threat of losing money if not progress.

Players are therefore not even encouraged to play well. So, they kind of don't. Special attacks are thrown about as if they were nothing by some players whose entire strategy consists of "use all special attacks, then whack the attack button on enemies." I also once witnessed two players repeatedly throwing themselves off of cliffs just to trigger the game's hammy announcer shouting their characters' names as they came back to life.

And yet, it somehow manages to be fun. Stupid fun, but well worth the $10 I spent on it. The infinite lives change the game from something that involves any sort of strategy, into simply a party. The ability to join an online game in progress meant I was able to get a great many 6-player games going. The sheer cheesiness of the music, the corny dialog and hammy acting, combined with the repetitiveness of the gameplay to make an experience that's so stupid it's excellent. Combine that with the game's short length - I received an achievement for beating it under 25 minutes - and you have an experience you don't need to commit to.

My brother asked me if there were other games like this to buy on the Play Station Network - simple cooperative action games that you could join online and leave at any time without having to commit for the long haul. After looking at all the games available to buy, I had to say the answer is no. Right now, there really is nothing out there quite like the experience from this game, so check it out if you can. Just don't play solo!