When you entered an arcade back in the 90’s you’d see people racing in Cruis’n USA, killing each other in Primal Rage, and shooting bad guys in Lethal Enforcers. But there was always one cabinet that stole the show, the monstrous X-Men arcade game. This beast of a machine allowed six people to play as their favorite characters at same time and was so large it actually had two screens. Unfortunately, as arcades began disappearing so did the ability to play this game. Finally Konami announced that it was coming to console so we could relive the glory days. So was the classic done justice, or did it “Welcome to die”?
Beat ‘em up games weren’t really heavy on story but the premise of X-Men The Arcade Game is Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants are attempting to take over the world. The only thing standing between them and world domination is the X-Men. Your mission is to take out The Brotherhood one member at a time until you finally face off against Magneto.
X-Men The Arcade Game was practically untouched during the port to console. The way the game looks, sounds, and feels fulfills a nostalgic feeling and brings you right back to the 90’s arcade. From Colossus’ classic roar while using his mutant power, to Magneto calling you an “X-Chicken”, it’s all there.
Move forward and take out everything that’s in your path until you reach the boss and strike them down. That’s the format X-Men follows and it works. With the console release, Konami has introduced an online mode so you can easily fill all six slots. Whether the game runs smooth or lags depends on the connection of the host. This typically results in a few games being sluggish but for the most part online play is lag free. Also included is a drop in/drop out feature that is flawless during offline play, but practically freezes the game while playing online as the new person comes in. Eventually the game picks up to the original speed but the freeze can get quite annoying if multiple people enter/exit the game. As with most beat ‘em ups, you can use a special attack that uses a bit of your health. Luckily you have unlimited continues so you are never penalized for spamming out your mutant power in battle. Konami has also given the option to play the Japanese or the US version of the game. The main differences are the Japanese version has enemy drops that you can pick up, and three slots to use your mutant power without losing health, while the US version has none of this.
A few other reviews claim that that the game is outdated and is repetitive, but when you’re dealing with a direct port from a game over fifteen years old you should know what you’re getting into. X-Men is a ton of fun and I highly suggest picking it up. Hopefully Konami keeps the trend going and releases the arcade Simpsons game.
X-Men The Arcade Game can be purchased on XBLA for 800 points and on PSN for $9.99.