X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants
|a game by||Parallax Software Corp.|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 2 votes|
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By now most comic book fans have discovered Paragon Software's Marvel Comics computer games. Paragon has produced the Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge, The Punisher, The Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men: Madness in Murderworld. All are good games, but none are the last word for those characters.
Their latest comic-inspired game, X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants, is largely a combat-oriented game based on issues 225-227 of the Uncanny X-Men. The player puts together a team of five mutant X-Men from 15 possible characters, including Wolverine, Psylocke, Colossus and Rogue, just to name some. X-Men must explore three areas using the time portals: a forest, a desert and a primal age. There is a lot of fighting in the game, but it is not so grueling that it becomes a nuisance.
The story of X-Men II puts the player's team up against the Adversary, a super-being who has brought forth chaos and time portals in Dallas, Texas, in order to lure the X-Men to their defeat. The Adversary kidnaps Storm and Forge as bait. Helping the Adversary are the Freedom Force, a band of evil mutants under government orders to arrest the X-Men because they did not register their powers. Other villains include Pyro, Blob, Mystique and Avalanche.
X-Men II uses Marvel's "What if?" approach, which lets the player put together a unique adventure. Unlike a lot of team games, the choice of characters really does make a considerable difference. If a player has a lot of trouble defeating a particular enemy, it may be because the villain has a special resistance to that mutant's skills. At times it is necessary to switch characters in combat.
The player moves the team in one of four formations, shown in overhead perspective with the leader highlighted. Along the paths are traps to avoid and objects to find that help the X-Men in their journey. The game switches to a side view for combat when the group encounters a villain. The gamer can also perform combat on a grid, almost like combat systems in traditional war/fantasy role-playing games, but the side view is a lot more exciting. In this method, each member of the team must fight an enemy on a separate action screen. The animation is smooth, and the combat is more challenging than similar sequences in X-Men: Madness in Murderworld. The choice of mutants is most important because the wrong team member can pound away forever and not accomplish anything. The graphics in X-Men II only use 16-color mode, but they are nonetheless impressive. The sound effects are appropriate and support Ad Lib.
To enhance the game, Paragon has released the X-Men Construction Set, a program that offers new characters, a character editor, plot and area editor and new background scenes with graphics. A company-sponsored contest will support the X-Men Construction Set. The game moves along a lot quicker than its predecessor, and for that reason it is a lot more enjoyable.