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  X2: Wolverine's Revenge
Overview
Decades ago, a secret organization brainwashed you and implanted a virtually unbreakable adamantium skeleton into your body. Now, as Wolverine™ - the X-Men's™ most dangerous weapon - you've discovered you were also implanted with a deadly virus that will kill you within the next 48 hours unless the antidote is found. Your future at risk, you must return to confront your past at the sinister Weapon X facility. Time is running out. And so is your life.

Gameplay
Of all the characters in the X-men world, like many people, I believe that Wolverine is the coolest and most badass of them all. He is by no means the most powerful of X-men characters, but what he lacks in powers, he makes up for in attitude and abilities. He’s been my favorite (tied with Spiderman) ever since I first saw him in an X-men comic way back when, wearing his tacky yellow and blue jumpsuit. Having already played as Spiderman in his video games, you can just imagine the excitement I felt when I found out that finally I would be able to play as Wolverine in a video game. I had some pretty lofty expectations for X2: Wolverine’s Revenge, and while some of them were met, some of them, well… were not.
First of all, as soon as I started playing the game, I fell in love with the sense of power I got when I pushed the R2 button and heard the “shwwick” of Wolverine’s adamantium claws extending. That was what probably got this game a rating of 8.5 from me. After hearing that sound the first time, I went nuts and just rampaged through the levels in a chaotic berserker rage that Wolverine is so well known for. Rarely did I spring form the shadows to disembowel an unwary guard. Much to my dismay, this is not how the developers intended the game to be played and therefore severely limits your gaming experience. Wolverine has a wicked temper and is definitely a rage over stealth kind guy. Unfortunately, the developers decided to make this more of a “stealth-styled” game. You start out with a few slashing and kicking attacks and that’s about it. Your types and number of attacks increase as you gain dog tags throughout each stage. To get a dog tag, you have to perform a “Strike” upon your opponents (accomplished by pushing the circle button). Strikes are cinematic-style, stealthy attacks and finishing moves that allow Wolvie to snap enemies necks, take out more than one guy at a time… slice ‘em and dice ‘em, basically. If you collect enough dog tags, your Combat Level increases at the next save point and grants you access to more powerful Strike moves. If you instead just berserk throughout the levels and skip the ninja-like stealth aspects, you are going to end up using a monotony of basic repetitive hand-to-hand slashes and kicks.
While the graphics are not the greatest, what really irked me was the camera angles. I found that the camera fidgeted a lot and made doing stealth attacks difficult sometimes because the camera decided to have a mind of it’s own, right when you were ready to pounce, obscuring your view. Very frustrating.
What I did like was the implementation of Logan’s mutant senses. This allowed you to sense enemies before you actually saw them, detect mines, track thermal footprints, see objects further away, etc. And all at a press of the L2 button. Another nice touch was the claw/healing trade-off. As most people know, Wolverine has an exceptional mutant healing ability. In the game though, this healing ability was only activated when your claws were retracted. Nice touch. Also, Logan’s Feral Rage ability was probably the closest to the Wolverine persona that I am familiar with. Every time you hit an enemy or and enemy hits you, your rage bar increased. Once this reached the “red-zone”, you could activate your Feral Rage. Your claws spring into action and you move faster, hit harder, and resist more damage. Nicely complemented with a subtle heartbeat sound and a rhythmic vibration of the controller.

Summary
While Wolverine’s Revenge did have it’s fair share of problems, there was something about it that kept me playing. I couldn’t stop myself. Perhaps it was my love of the character, perhaps just straight escapism and fantasy fulfillment… call it what you will. There was a lot of potential for this game, and I’m sure that in the near future, someone will see this and fix all the problems that existed. Until then… I’ll probably keep playing. If you are X-men extremist or just a diehard superhero fan, you’ll wanna buy this gem. If not… just rent it.

Review ID Number: 482
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2003-05-09
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 8 out of 10
 
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