“X-Men Legends” was released in 2004 on Xbox, Nintendo GameCube & PlayStation 2. (same year Spider-Man 2 came out) It received positive reviews from critics, fan and gamers alike. Besides praise, the game sold enough copies worldwide. A sequel titled, “X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse” came out in 2005 earning critical acclaim. Followed by “Marvel Ultimate Alliance” and two sequels from 2009 and 2019.
Insomniac Games (the Ratchet And Clank series, Spider-Man on PS4/PS5) announced they are working on a solo Wolverine video game. Currently in development, it’ll be released in the future. After Disney bought Fox, the “X-Men” film series is getting a reboot set in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” or MCU for short. It is currently in development alongside another reboot of “Fantastic Four.” To prepare for Wolverine’s upcoming game, I wanna share my thoughts on X-Men Legends. I used to play this game when I was a kid. Wolverine is my favorite Marvel hero.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. Does the first game remain as one of my favorites? Let’s find out shall we?
Strong & Weak Elements
Strong: Voice Actors including Steve Blum, Cree Summer, Dee Bradley Baker & John DiMaggio all did a fantastic job for their respective voiceover performances.
Fun Fact: This is Steve’s first rodeo voicing Wolvie. He’s my second favorite actor portraying the character. Cal Dodd’s iteration from the 90s cartoon is my third favorite. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal is number one.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Professor X. He did a decent job for his voiceover performance. He also participated in the sequel and X2: Wolverine’s Revenge.”
Graphics are presented in cel-shaded format as if a comic book is brought to life.
Gameplay is presented as a dungeon crawler like the “Diablo” series. You navigate you way to your objective, fight a group of baddies, find a way to bypass obstacles and create a team of four characters that’ll help you complete your mission.
Combat is impressive. Normal attacks contain good combos. Special attacks from a selective character packs a punch. Two characters simultaneously use a special attack on an enemy is a combo attack, courtesy of a game announcer shouting” “COMBO” or “SUPER COMBO!”
Soundtrack isn’t forgettable.
If you have enough money, you can buy gear or danger room discs located in a savepoint. Don’t forget to stock up on health and energy packs.
As you progress, you gain experience points leveling up your favorite characters based on their powers/abilities. You may personally invest in skill points or enabled an automatic feature. If you wish to go manually, spend your points wisely.
In various levels, you collect comic book covers, concept art and Danger Room discs. The latter unlocks training sessions as another way to teach you how to survive and level up.
In the X-Mansion a “Trivia Game” is based on the X-Men lore in multiple choice. If you’re knowledgeable, the correct answer will give you experience points.
Co-Op Mode allows you to play with your buddies. Meaning, four players can choose a preferred character.
The X-Mansion is the main hub you can explore the school and subterranean level. Interact with your fellow teammates. A specific character reveals a flashback allowing you to play him or her. For example, Wolvie brings up his troubled past breaking out of The Weapon X Facility.
Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops, Beast, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Iceman, Emma Frost, Jubilee, Rogue, Psylocke & Magma are playable. Professor X is only available in the Astral Plane mission.
Magneto, Mystique, Sabretooth, Toad, Blob, Juggernaut, Pyro, Havok, Marrow, Shadow King, Avalanche & Mastermold serve as bosses. They’re very tough.
A variety of enemies will stand in your way. They can be tough as they are capable of resisting physical, energy and mental attacks. Use another type of attack.
Once you reach a character to Level 15, you unlock his or her ultimate ability known as “Xtreme Power.” Collect a few pieces. Use it carefully if you’re in a sticky situation.
Allison Crestmere/Magma is the main character. She’s interesting with a backstory. Her volcanic powers come in handy.
Weak: The game can be a pain in the rear. When I was a kid, I had to redo a level all over again with the help of a savepoint system. A trial and error tactic. Thankfully, we have walkthrough videos on YouTube.
When you beat the game, you can’t go back to The X-Mansion or revisit locations. Developers took criticism from the first game allowing players to revisit previous locations in the sequel.
The Final Verdict: A-
Despite my only gripe, X-Men Legends, its sequel and Marvel Ultimate Alliance” remain as one of my favorite video games of all time. If you never played any of them, I strongly recommend them. Someday in the future, I hope a third X-Men Legends game may come into fruition. I wanna relive my childhood. Which Marvel related video game is your favorite? Please leave a comment.