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Comic games that got it right

Individually, the X-Men might not be able to hold a game on their own. Hell, even X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse has a few glaring problems, but when it comes to working as a team, this game's got it where it counts.

From the massive roster of both heroic and villainous mutants, you can have up to four running through the overhead levels at once. The gameplay's basic stuff - follow maps to mission goals, then blow up or beat up whatever's in your way. You'll gain experience points, adjust your mutants' abilities and watch a clichéd story unfold, but with four people in the room fighting together, the sum is much greater than the parts.

Performing special attacks simultaneously bumps up the damage, so calling out something like "silver dude! Hit him now!" lets your pals know to bring the radioactive pain down on one target. It's all about moving as one unit and listening to someone who knows what's up, rather than going off and doing your own thing. Cyclops hangs back, shooting optic blasts while Juggernaut or Colossus head in for a beatdown. We couldn't help but throw Wolverine into practically everything, because hey, he heals fast. Sorry, whoever plays as Wolvie - you're the regenerating tank, get used to it.

Legends II may involve a lot of stat-tracking and menu-surfing, but when the team comes together, everything shines. Playing it on Xbox Live is one thing, but if you're fortunate enough to sit three friends down in one place and devote a night or two, this may be the best superhero team game available.

So, why not Ultimate Alliance? Because the entire Marvel universe isn't a team, and hugely powered heroes like Thor and Silver Surfer could handle most of the bad guys by themselves. Such balancing takes away from the character's true power, thereby making it a compromise, not an authentic representation. The X-Men are a team, and need to be if they're going to stop villains like Magneto or Apocalypse. Ultimate Alliance may be the better game, but it's surely not the most on-target.

5 comments

  • darkheath - December 5, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    The DARKNESS was incredible... and the WWI levels were the creepiest I ever played in a video game. I didn't know anything about this game, nor the comic book, but got it as a freebie in a 2K promotion when I bought Bioshock. After finishing Bioshock, I slipped this disc in and was AMAZED. I actually think I enjoyed this more than Bioshock and that's really saying something. Pick this game up and give it a go. You won't be disappointed.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - March 31, 2010 9:46 p.m.

    I have 2 of these games :D Comic book nerd forever :')
  • cart00n - August 11, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    The Darkness is one of my all-time favorite games, its moody story is brilliantly told, and the action is just plain fun. I'd never read any of the comics before - I bought this solely on the strength of Starbreeze's previous effort, Riddick, another great game!
  • garnsr - August 12, 2009 4:39 a.m.

    It's cool to see comments on these articles that came out before commenting on articles was possible, due to links from new articles. Time warp!
  • Cyberninja - August 11, 2009 7:27 p.m.

    love utimate spider man ds

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