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  X-Men: Mutant Academy
"Enter the world of the X-MEN--mutant Super Heroes pledged to fight for a world that fears and hates them. The X-MEN strive to create a place where humankind and mutantkind can live together in peace... but evil has other ideas. No one said being a hero was easy."

This is, in my opinion, the best one on one combat game recently released. It has a vast selection of characters and the graphics are some of the best I have seen in arcade fighting games. Also, what I think is truly great about the game is that you can choose the scenery in which you want to fight. So, without more delay, lets take a look at the game specifics.

After the little movie introduction, a main menu pops up. At this point you must choose which game play mode you desire to enter. There are five main modes: Arcade, Versus, Academy, Survival, and Cerebro. Arcade Mode allows you to play a one-player game in which you can try out some of your characters powers while also advancing to unlock other available characters and secrets. Versus Mode is a two-player mode where you can set options like Health, Control Set, Stage, Roundtime, and Rounds and enter into one on one combat with a friend. Academy Mode is designed to teach you the way in which to put your character’s moves and abilities to use. In this mode you can choose Academy Training in which Professor X takes you through various lessons and courses or choose Independent Study where you can discover your abilities on your own. Survival Mode is a one-player mode where you test your fighting skills against a never-ending amount of foes using only one life. In this mode, you are awarded more health depending on how fast you killed your enemy but once you run out of health, you are finished. And finally, in Cerebro Mode allows you to access all the secrets you have unlocked during arcade mode throughout the game.

Before commencing play, it is a good idea to check out the Options Menu. In this menu you can alter various aspects of the game. Audio Adjust and Screen Adjust allow you to alter loudness of sound effects and music volume and also center the picture on your screen. Game Options allows the player to adjust the difficulty level of computer opponents and switch demo play on or off. In Controller Configuration you can change the regular default controller to fit the controls to your liking as well s turn vibration on or off.

When choosing which character to use it is crucial that you observe their listed powers, special skills and fighting skills so as to pick a character which is equipped to handle enemy characters in the best possible way. After all, you don’t want a character that will easily lose! I must tell you that although all characters are reasonably equal, there are a few that I recommend due to strength and agility. For example, Beast and Sabertooth are excellent choices when it comes to brute strength but I found Beast to be slightly more agile and able to perform maneuvers quicker than Sabertooth. Wolverine is also a good choice in that he heals quicker than other characters, has exceptional strength and his adamantium claws do provide a slight advantage. The other characters are pretty good but of them all those are the best three in my opinion.

During the game there are some screen displays to be aware of. The Health Meter displays health remaining during a match while the Super Meters display available Super Move power each character has. The X-Treme Meter indicates whether an X-Treme action can be executed. The Round Timer shows time remaining in a match where if time runs out before one of the players is killed then victory goes to the player with the most health remaining. And finally, the Winner Counter obviously indicates how many wins each character has.

As I said before, the graphics are really great. I enjoy combat games like this and so may be more appreciative than those how enjoy adventure or role-playing games. One thing I did find unfortunate about the game is that it didn’t include Rogue in the character options. Also, I found it difficult to perform the special moves because in order to do them you must punch in a series of buttons and during combat it is difficult to just stop and punch in the correct buttons. I find it easiest to simply press all the controller buttons simultaneously and you eventually will unexpectedly perform a neat special move. Otherwise I though the characters where well animated and it is nice to have a wide variety of sceneries to choose from so you don’t get bored.

Review ID Number: 507
  Product Details
Review Date: 2001-04-19
Reviewer: Kristin Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
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