With X-Men Legends on the PS2, Charles Xavier's brave band of mutant heroes steps into one of their best video game titles yet. Following essentially a 'new gauntlet' gameplay design, you get a chance to take the role of fifteen different X-Men heroes. Four players can get in on the action at once, and by far, this is one of the more entertaining multiplayer games that I've played in a while.
Instead of relying on the single button mash play style that's dominated games like this, instead you've got two separate attacks and a series of button combos that you can use to deal out some major damage. Each X-Man has a relatively small set of individual powers, reflecting their mutant abilities, but there are three noteworthy types of abilities that stand out from the rest. Damage adders help you keep up with the power curve of the game, special movement powers let Iceman skate along on tracks of ice, and the might ability allows strong characters to pickup heavy objects and even throw around fellow X-Men. For those X-Men fans out there, try using Colossus to throw Wolverine, and you'll know what I'm talking about.
The main complaint I've got with the game is the fact that there's little to see in the way of items for your characters, much less than what you'd normally see in this sort of game. The difficulty of the game also ramps up significantly depending on how many people are playing. If you've only got one player, you can control each of the different X-Men, one at a time, and the enemies aren't too tough thanks to the fact that you're always getting backup from three AI controlled characters. Add another player, and you'll see that difficulty ramp up, forcing you to rely on good teamwork, which requires practice.
All in all, this is a really simple gauntlet style title, but it's a good one, and worth playing with three of your friends.
Download X-Men Legends
In their campaign to give gamers one less reason to fear and hate them, Professor X's Children of the Atom are turning to the previously untapped RPG genre. "A simpler genre," says Project Lead Pat Lipo, "would demand that the X-Menn's various mutant abilities be glossed over and simplified into a basic weapon or fancy method of damaging your opponent. X-Men: Legends, however, takes advantage of the depth allowed within an RPG and encourages gamers to use these mutant powers to unique effect, solving puzzles and combining them in interesting ways."
Legends' ensemble is packed with X-Men past and present. Each character has upgradable traits and talents and. with training in the Danger Room, can be tailored to fit your preferences. "One player may end up with a completely different version of Nightcrawler than his friend has," Lipo explains. And on top of improving individual mutants, you'll need to coordinate them as a group. "Team combos are a big part of the game," says Lipo, "allowing various pairings of characters to combine their powers for spectacular results. There are also times when your choice of team members in a given situation will yield unexpected surprises." Nuff said.