THE TRIBUNAL: X-Men Legends (Multi)

For the first time on Inside Pulse, we had three different reviews on the same game, albeit for different platforms. X-Men Legends is the game, but how do the opinions differ in…THE TRIBUNAL?!?!?

THE SESSION HAS NOW BEEN CONVENED

*The crowd gathers into the fabled Inside Pulse Tribunal Stadium*

Attention! Attention! All will come to order!

*The crowd refuses to quiet down…and instead clashes in an ultimate battle of the mutants. (MAN, you should SEE THIS! It’s too grandiose to describe into words! YOW, is that a femur?) Anyway, the piece treaties are eventually signed, and we continur.*

…Okaaaaay…um…We meet in the fabled Tribunal hall today to pass judgment on a game based on a classic comic book franchise, but taking a new approach. X-Men Legends, rise and step forward.

*The game does so.*

X-Men Legends, the Tribunal has brought you forward today for one purpose: to prove yourself to our judges, and to the world. Now there have been several X-Men releases in the past, but they’ve all fallen under either the fighting or action/adventure banners. This particular game takes an action-RPG role, a first for the X-Men. How do you fit this bill? We shall see today.

Your judges today are William Quinn, A.J. Angeloni, and Michael O’Reily. How will their opinions mesh in today’s…TRIBUNAL?!?!?

LET THE JUDGEMENT COMMENCE

JUDGE #1: William Quinn

Alrighty. So after weeks of waiting, I finally receive my Xbox copy of X-Men Legends.. oh, wait. I don’t have an Xbox. Add another week of trying to find a game shop that would actually do a straight-up trade-in for the PS2 version, and I finally get to plunk the disc into my system and begin some multi-player mutant madness!

Unfortunately, there just isn’t any reason to play this game again after you’ve finished it the first time. I mentioned how story mode was extremely linear, well we can also add that albatross around the neck of the multi-player battle mode. Sure, it’s fun to actually use Havok or Juggernaut. but the novelty wears extremely thin after about 10 minutes.

X-Men Legends is a game that anyone can pick up and play. That, honestly, makes it a good game. Regardless of the linear storyline and any other shortcomings it may have, it is a fun game if you’re looking for something Smash TV-ish. Die-hard X-Men fans will either eat it up for its roster and assortment of inside references [Proteus!] – or they will spit it out due to its lack of key players in the X-Universe [Hello! Archangel, anyone?!].

X-Men Legends receives a 5.5 in the end. “Average” is the label, if I do say so myself. Don’t get me wrong. Raven and Activision should be very proud of their first X-Entry into the RPG/Action genre and I’m sure that the sequel will make the effort to improve upon the current game’s downfalls. In the end, it just really comes down to whether or not you’re a big X-Men fan. If you are, then you’re probably going to buy this game either way. If you’re not, then I’d recommend renting it, or finding it in the bargain/used bin, have a go and then trade it in for some store credit.

THE SCORE: 5.5/10

JUDGE #2: A.J. Angeloni

X-men Legends has gotten a lot of fanfare since its release, and while some of it is the usual overblown hype we have all come to expect from the usual suspects, some of it actually is well deserved. The X-Men franchise is certainly one of the most successful of all time, whether it is movies, comics, action figures, or games. This latest installment puts things in a new context for us game play wise, while having all the familiar faces around for your gaming enjoyment. Usually we have come to expect the X-Men characters to be used in the fighting genre, and that is where X-Men Legends deviates from the usual X-Men formula. X-Men Legends, much like the recent Tales of Symphonia, finds itself in the emerging sub-genre of the action RPG. It’s a welcome change, and with the X-Men franchise at an all time high in terms of popularity in the general public this game finds itself being released during a very conducive marketing period.

Using the X-Men franchise in an action RPG capacity certainly is a new spin on the series. Fans of the series will relish the chance to experience a new game play experience with their favorite characters. With that being said the action RPG is becoming a much more common sub-genre these days, and fans of it will not find anything innovative here. What X-Men Legends does is provide another good game to add to the action RPG list, while making use of all the time tested game play methods and modes of play that have been used before. So the good part is that you’ll only find a pretty enjoyable game play experience here; however, if you’re looking for an action RPG that adds new elements other than those you have come to expect then you’re looking in the wrong place. X-men Legends still manages to do a lot right folks.

Graphics, control, game play, and the story range from passable to above average. What hurts X-men Legends is the lack of replayability, the sound, and the lack of any meaningful balance. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that for the very first X-men action RPG, this is a great offering. The developers did their homework and made a good game in the mold of other action RPG’s out there. It is up to them now to take the next step with the already announced sequel to this game and improve on what was lacking in X-men Legends. The potential for this game to turn into a great series is there, no one can debate that. But I have to keep my perspective here. X-men Legends is a good game, not a great game. While it did do a lot of things I liked, it didn’t do everything it needed to even be a contender for action RPG of the year or even come close to contending with the heavy hitters of 2004. What X-men Legends is, is a good addition to any gamer’s library who is looking for twenty hours or so to kill, and nothing more than that.

THE SCORE: 6.0/10

JUDGE #3: Michael O’Reilly

X-Men Legends goes where no X-Men game has gone before, giving you control of not just one X-Man, but four of them. And while this is something to be applauded, as the X-Men have never been about just one person, there are just too many things that are either just good enough or worse to keep this from being a fantastic game. While there is a multiplayer component, the game was designed as a single player game. The story is at best well used, and at worst just plagerous of older X-Men storys. Voice acting is well spoken but miscast and the entire Danger Room component of the game needs to be further thought out and re-worked as the game underachieves on it’s potential there.

The above may lead you to conclude this game is unworthy of your attention. That would be incorrect. All it’s flaws do manage to keep it from being a AAA title, but there is still a very enjoyable game here. Get three of your friends together, get comfortable and then battle your way through the game. Rotate during the single player only portions, possibly by taking bathroom breaks or going for a smoke, and come back when it’s time to get Mutant on somethings ass. Even if you’re a person with no friends at all you will find some pleasure in Legends.

A good first effort in what will hopefully become a fantastic series. Give it a go, and see for yourself.

THE SCORE: 6.5/10

The Tribunal has spoken! And now, to the final judgment…

SCORE #1: 5.5
SCORE #2: 6.0
SCORE #3: 6.5

FINAL JUDGEMENT: 6.0

It is the decision of this Tribunal that X-Men: Legends, while a decent first attempt at being an Action-RPG, is only an above-average game on the whole. It brings to the table a fun experience, but is not fleshed out enough to make it a breakout game. Perhaps with some fine tuning it could be better, but as it stands, it’s only above average. So X-Men Legends may go now, and provide joy for the fans of the comics.

THIS SESSION HAS NOW BEEN ADJOURNED

We now dismiss all the attendees to this gathering. But we shall require your presence again, once The Tribunal deems another to prove itself…