Wasted opportunity for comic book action
Decent games based on comic books aren't exactly common, with some pretty dire examples such as The Punisher
and Batman Returns
standing out more than the better ones. Unfortunately, X-Men 2 falls into the former camp and is only really worth playing for die hard fans of Wolverine and company. The storyline is perhaps the best part of the game and closely follows the similarly titled comic book crossover, seeing our heroes seeking out Storm and Forge before being caught up in a time-warp, with all sorts of 'What if?' shenanigans then ensuing. Gameplay-wise, Fall of the Mutants takes an overhead view, Zelda-style and tasks players with moving their team around a map, seeking out enemies to engage in combat. While the roster of heroes and villains to encounter is fairly impressive, with the likes of Beast, Archangel, Iceman and Nightcrawler popping up, their appearances are not enough to save this from being mediocre at best and downright dull at worst. While there are different styles of gameplay on offer here, neither are thrilling enough to really convey that sense of comic book action which is required and so sadly the game simply plods along in tedious fashion, with repetitive battle following uninteresting exploration. The visuals don't really help much, with basic representations of all the favourites and some equally boring maps to wander round, while the sound effects are equally lacking in appeal. It's a shame really as with all the excellent movies based on this line-up and the potential of the characters, it really shouldn't be that difficult to produce a decent game. Sadly this isn't it and we are only left to wonder 'What if?'
Top down JRPG with turn based instanced battles
This game tries its hand at a couple of ideas, none of them too cleverly portrayed or brought into the limelight. On the overarching map screen, you will control any of the X Men characters. You can move, interact with other characters, get quests but also do battles. However, when you get involved into a battle you get directed into a secondary screen, where you play much in the style of a brawler. However, the battles will keep in mind the different powers of your hero, which will challenge you to find the right offensive and defensive strategy to consider. When you're back on the top down map you will have gained experienced points and you will level up when you gather enough points, being able to invest points into your skills. The game is pretty crudely drawn for the beginning of the 90s, and it also features animations that are pretty jagged. With a really limited color palette to add insult to injury, you will rarely find the game good enough looking to justify learning its secrets and its mechanics.