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  X-Men: Mutant Academy 2
More X-Men. More mutant moves. More arenas. This seamless sequel to the original X-Men game packs more punches, bonus backgrounds and six brand new characters. And, to compliment my opinion of it’s predecessor, I’m also issuing an enthusiastic thumbs up for this perfectly entertaining release from Activision. And, not only do you get to unleash super powers and polish your combat skills, this time around you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at X-MEN the movie concept sketches, costumes and more!

Much like the original, this new version allows you to choose from four different modes of play: Arcade, Versus, Academy, and Survival. If you’ve played the first X-Men game then you’ll already know what each of these modes entails. But for those of you who haven’t: Arcade Mode is well, basically the same as any arcade game where you select your character/costume of choice and fight a series of pre-chosen characters until you either win or lose. As you emerge victorious over other characters you unlock secrets that you can later check out in Cerebro mode which provides access to all of the secrets you’ve unlocked by achieving various goals in the game. Versus Mode is for two players obviously where you can again pick your character of choice but also adjust your health to a value between 50%-150% as well as your pick of arena from the available game levels. Academy Mode comes in handy if you’re a “newbie” to the game. It’s designed to teach you how to maneuver your characters and better use their powers and other abilities. Once you’ve chosen your favorite character you can the choose a desired course and lesson and listen to Professor X as he directs you through your training. The last mode, Survival, is another one-player game where you test your now “tuned and tweaked” fighting abilities against a never-ending series of enemies. My advice is to pick your character wisely, because their attributes are your only guard against losing.

While your playing keep a eye on your on-screen display, which includes your character’s health meter and super meters. By avoiding damage for a period of time you’ll be able to gain back recoverable (red) health (Wolverine has a more rapid recovery rate) and your super meters display the number of remaining super uses each character has. There are three bars that each correspond to a category of Super Move: Super, SMI Supers, and X-Treme Supers. Just remember that your Meters get used up whether you botch a super or X-Treme move or not, so in simple terms don’t screw it up.

The game still offers all the same options as the first, allowing you to perform signature mutant moves in ten of the original arenas as well as six new locations and, what I believe is the best part of this newest version, the option of fighting as any one of the ten X-Men from the original roster plus your pick of six new X-Men characters including Rogue, Havok, Nightcrawler, Forge and two unlockable characters which I believe are Psylock and Jugarnot. In addition to these added touches, the game has added an additional level of play called Aerial Combat which enables a player to execute a string of combo and special moves against their opponent in the air. And remember, although all of the characters are able to do this regardless, there are various X-Men characters that can fly or hover rather like Rogue, Phoenix, Storm and Magneto and will levitate for a short period when you double-tap the “up” directional button.

Overall, the combination of the old with the new additions not only makes this game fun but actually better than the original. Both are good of course, but now you can play six new characters in six new settings with a variety of new mutant moves and all the while sitting comfortably in your own home. Life is good isn’t it? I will still recommend that as far as arcade mode goes to start off on a moderate difficultly level because this sequel does appear to be much more challenging that the original. So if the thrill of watching X-Men on your tube isn’t quite enough, dish out a few bucks and try this game on for size; trust me, it’s a “one size entertains all” kind of game.

I rate X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 a 10/10.

Review ID Number: 492
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2002-02-05
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 10 out of 10
 
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