X-Men: Next Dimension
Although X-MEN 2 is banging at the gate doors to conquer us all, we bring you this X-MEN: Next Dimension (XM1) review at the very last moment.
As opposed to what I was expecting, this is not a third person beat ‘em up game but a regular arcade fighter like Tekken and Mortal Kombat.
Even though this title got released pretty late on the European market and was not intended to compete with the almighty MK: Deadly Alliance I still have to compare it to that other big fighting title: DOA3.
Is XM1 a match for DOA3 then you ask? Well, it cannot compete on the graphics level. Where DOA3 had incredible graphics and environments that were more or less interactive with the snow that was moving and water that made some nice effects, XM1 has those “hey I used to be a ps2 game’ graphics and levels that were static for the larger part.
I’m not saying it is bad, but it could be better. What the levels do have in common is that hitting the wall in some places gives you a nice effect (like electricity) and in other place knocks the player out of the level to another part where the fight continues. It’s shamelessly stolen but it adds to the gameplay.
Everything seems OK in the sound department. The voices sound like the real actors (especially that of Dr. X) and the sound effects are pretty much what they are supposed to be. Music is, to me, of no importance here.
Only downside is the fact that the characters are repeating themselves a lot. Play the game and you will see what I’m talking about.
What about the gamplay then? As said, every level has different parts so that’s a “thumbs up” although it’s not original.
The controls are easy and the special moves aren’t all that hard. One point of criticism is the fact that characters don’t always seem to listen to what you want them to do. That’s mainly because some special moves can’t be stopped when they start and they do a lot of moving without fighting so it looks as if they are off on their own.
This is an X-MEN game so there is no harm in expecting to play with the real characters. Here they all are: Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Gambit, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Storm, Beast, Havok, Forge, Lady Deathstrike, Magneto, Juggernaut, Mystique, Sabretooth, Toad and then some that you need to unlock. Most of the characters have special moves like in the movies or series; others have a weapon that they can use on different levels.
The specials are divided in 4 levels and you have a power bar that is divided into 3 parts. Making moves or taunts fills the bar starting with part 1 until its completely full. Depending on what parts of the bar are full you can do a level 1 attack (first part full), level 2 attck (second part full), level 3 attack (third part full) and level 4 attack (completely filled bar). The higher the level of the attack the more damage it does. With your right trigger combined with a colour you can decide what part to fill but higher levels take longer to fill. This is the first time I encountered this in a fighting game and I liked it.
There are several game modes; Story is just fighting with cut scenes where you get orders from Dr. X, Arcade and practise is you against the computer with and without AI and Survival is the same as Arcade except you only have one live and the enemies keep coming.
All those modes are fine but it all comes down to multiplayer in this type of games. And I can assure you this: if you are looking for a kick ass multiplayer game, buy this. It gave me, my brother and my father hours of fun with all the special moves and dirty tricks that are in the game.
Maybe the length of the review doesn’t show it, I can be pretty short about this game. It’s good in single player, has descent controls and absolutely rocks in multiplayer. If you don’t mind the ps2 graphics and getting to know the controls, it’s a very good game.
One last remark though is that single player takes a lot of practise because the opponents are almost perfect.