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Bestselling crap

8. X-Men: The Official Game
2006 | Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, GameCube, PC
Copies sold in US: Close to 500,000
Average score: 52%

Apart from Shadowrun's rich cyber-fantasy RPG world being turned into a shallow multiplayer shooter, it's hard to imagine a worse use of a license than X-Men: The Official Game. Meant to fill in the gaps between the second and third X-Men movies, The Official Game strapped players into the boots of Iceman, Nightcrawler and Wolverine, and then shoved them through a series of levels tailored to the powers of each. Sadly, every last one of those levels was either bland, repetitive or frustrating, and The Official Game stands out for somehow making a dull experience out of flying around on an ice sled and cutting down enemies with adamantium claws.

The company line: "For the first time, X-Men: The Official Game lets players truly experience the powers of three popular Super Heroes from the X-Men movie universe by allowing them to take on the roles of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they wield and upgrade their signature powers and maneuver through unique environments designed to showcase their Super Hero abilities."

What the critics said: Even the more laudatory reviews for X-Men: The Official Game had something to complain about. "I love a challenge, but I hate mindless repetition," said Game Chronicles' Mark Smith, who gave the game a 7.8 score anyway. Other critics were less friendly, tearing into everything from the game's crappy enemy intelligence and overall repetitiveness to its bland level design and useless camera. Wolverine in particular was singled out for abuse, as his levels - which made up the bulk of the game - were unimaginative, button-mashing slogs through hordes of idiot thugs.

The harshest criticism, however, came from The Onion A.V. Club. "Almost everything about this movie cash-in is cheap and incompetent, from the short, forgettable levels to the poor control system to the hand-crampingly repetitive action," wrote reviewer Chris Dahlen. "Even more disappointing than you'd expect."



Why you bought it anyway: Apparently, X-Men: The Official Game did really poorly for an X-Men title, but 500,000 copies sold is still far from a failure. We're going to guess it coasted into your home on the strength of the X-Men license, Wolverine's in-game presence and its arrival just prior to the third movie, and leave it at that.

What went wrong? Sky-surfing as Iceman was kind of neat at first (at least until the sloppy controls and frustrating objectives made his levels excruciating), and teleporting around as Nightcrawler was surprisingly tolerable. Playing as Wolverine, however, was nothing short of mind-numbing. Given the game's host of technical problems, it'd be easy to say that the rush to coincide with the third movie's release turned it into a slapdash production. But in reality, X-Men: The Official Game's design is so fundamentally flawed that it's doubtful any amount of retooling or polish could have made it fun. So we're forced to conclude that this is nothing more or less than a botched attempt to milk a license by people who had no real idea how to make said license work.

Most infuriatingly positive quote: In comparing X-Men: The Official Game to the stellar X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II, GameZone.com's Michael Lafferty calls The Official Game "the best of the three titles so far." Then he stabs us in the eye with "The Official Game equals ‘official’ fun." Bear in mind, however, that these are only his opinions. And that they are dead wrong.

54 comments

  • Moosebomber - December 15, 2008 1:57 a.m.

    i liked enter the matrix. but then again, when i played it, i was 11.
  • aqibloz - July 30, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    "more focused on looking slick than on actual fun." u just described gta4. . .
  • FancyRat - October 12, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    "Aside from the Driver series having its own sizable (if by that point dwindling) fanbase..." What?
  • jingneji - October 12, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    marvel imperfects was a good games but it had it ups and downs but i still liked it
  • chilipeppersman - October 17, 2008 4:47 a.m.

    for the people who said they liked enter the matrix, that game truly sucked and you dont know good games if you think ENTER THE MATRIX was good, so good job GR. fuck all the company lines too, they are full of donkey shit
  • Patius - October 17, 2008 2:22 p.m.

    Eh, in 6th grade, Enter the Matrix was fun. Then again, there were lots of games that we enjoyed back then that suck now that I look at it.
  • twishart - October 19, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've purchased NONE of these games, and have only played Wii Play ONCE. Thanks GaymesRaider.corm!
  • thereaper52 - October 21, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    i loved enter the matrix only because of the slo mo wall kick fuckin A++ to the matrix
  • samboy218 - October 25, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    50 cent what?
  • Graham - October 27, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm so proud of the fact that I've never bought any of these games and, to be honest, I don't know that I've even played any of them. I almost sat down with my roommmates copy of Spiderman 3 once, but after watching him get pwned repeatedly by that lame quicktime event against Sandman at the end, I thought better of it. Also, that other Matrix game, zymn, was Path of Neo. It had its fair share of bugs and lousy collision detection, but it was pretty fun overall. A good five-day rental type of game.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 30, 2008 1:31 a.m.

    When will 50 cent die? I can but dream. How pissed off would you be if you were one of the nine people who shot him and he didn't die?
  • oreomonkey - November 2, 2008 4:27 a.m.

    I liked Enter the Matrix but im sure if I picked it up again right now I would agree that its crap... Wii play was good for the remote
  • MacGyver1138 - November 6, 2008 7:39 p.m.

    Zymn, like graham said, the other Matrix game you were thinking of was the Path of Neo. It was still pretty buggy, and it had some weird fights (Giant, bipedal ants come to mind) but it was way better than Enter the Matrix. At least Enter the Matrix let you see Monica Belucci and Jada Pinkett Smith making out. That made the game almost tolerable.
  • BordersOfInsanity - November 23, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    i actually liked golden eye rogue agent, and driv3r was alright.
  • mugen_ - December 8, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    saw 50 cent's game for 99 cents, they had about a fifty copies.
  • zymn - October 11, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    fiiiiirssst. or, whatever. uhh... wasn't there a matrix game where u played as neo? and it was like you vs. vampires or somethin? anyways, great list. funny as always.
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 11, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    CURSE YOU COMPANY LINES, YOU TRICK US ALL!!!
  • Pablos102030 - October 12, 2008 6:49 a.m.

    Screw you guys, I liked rogue agent. The multiplayer was awesome.
  • bron1417 - October 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    back when "The Matrix" game first came out i actually liked it,i didnt buy it but i liked it enough to play it and at the time it was tight. but still it's a shame there are crappy games but that's why we have GR. nice article guys btw.
  • Rodrigo90 - October 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    "proving once again that no cliché is too stale for a writer who wants to see himself quoted on the back of a box." A Hilarious "Ouch" xD

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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