Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Uncanny X-Men Arcade (1992)

With X-Men: Apocalypse doing well at the cinema, I thought we'd check out the 1992 Konami Arcade game Uncanny X-Men or just X-Men to fans and collectors.

The game was released in 1992, alongside other Konami brawlers that were popular for the time like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Simpsons and Bucky O'Hare just to name a few of the more popular ones based on pop culture. Rather than be based on the comics, this one was based on the 1989 pilot Pryde of the X-Men. 

The game gives you 6 X-Men to choose from. Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Dazzler, Cyclops and Nightcrawler. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. Plus they all have their own mutant power which does actually drain their life bar, so best to use it only when needed. Storm unleashes tornadoes. Wolverine fires energy from his claws. Colossus hulks out with energy around him. Dazzler fires a sonic blast. Cyclops unleashes an optic blast and Nightcrawler teleports around the screen. 

The game follows the plot of the cartoon very closely, having the X-Men save the city from Magneto and his sentinels, to the kidnapping of Xavier and Kitty Pryde, to them trailing Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to Island M and finally onto Asteroid M. The game is a challenge, even with both friends and solo. Players can attack enemies while they're down for extra damage with special attacks. Nightcrawler jumps up and down on the downed enemy for example. 

In the arcade, there were 2 versions available to players. A four player version and a double wide 6 player version. Both versions are now considered collectors items and fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market. It was also ported to the Playstation Network and XBox Live Arcade a few years ago. Then to the App Store and Play Store, for iOS and Android devices. The game allows you to play both the US and Japanese roms, which the only difference being, the Japanese ROM allows you to have health items and power ups. The voices were re-recorded as well, but kept in the classic lines of "I am Magneto, Master of Magnet" and "Welcome to Die". 

If you have an arcade that still has a copy of this game, or if you have it on your PS3 or 360, definitely dust it off and have a blast with it. It still holds up even now as one of the best brawlers in the arcade. The graphics and gameplay are superb. It looks, feels and plays like both a cartoon and a comic book, the animation on the characters is smooth.