X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse Review
I don't know all that much about the X-Men. Basically I've seen the movies and played a game here or there. However I have always thought the whole mutant power angle was pretty cool and from what I had seen there was a fairly clear distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. So you could say I was a little surprised that in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (RoA) for the GameCube that things were not quite as black and white as usual in the X-Men universe as good mutant and bad mutant need to work together in order to overcome a really evil force, Apocalypse. Nothing like mutually assured destruction to make enemies all friendly-like or as someone once said, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.“
|X-Men and the Brotherhood team up in Legends II.|
RoA begins with a very well done cinematic with members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants breaking into a fortress-like prison. Along the way they run into several of the X-Men....it's usually at this time that a huge battle would follow, but instead both groups of mutants join together and end up rescuing Professor Xavier. It's from this point where you get involved and the game gets moving.
I was a little surprised that my lack of X-Men knowledge was actually more of a problem than I figured it would be. RoA does not spend much time introducing you to the characters or their individual abilities. Granted, fans of the X-Men will be thankful that they don't have to hear for the millionth time why Magneto wears a funny looking helmet but for those of us that don't already know all the different powers and abilities we are left at a little disadvantage. But, seriously, how many gamers are going to even try to play this game without at least a little bit of X-Men knowledge?
While you might not be too far off by saying that RoA is a RPG-light game (especially if you let the game take care of that stuff) , it is certainly not light on the action side of the equation. Throughout the game you control a group of four and the mix of the group can be left up to you. That is, once you get the characters you can combine them in a variety of ways. This can lead to some interesting groups with the mix of the Brotherhood and X-Men. Even with my limited X-Men lore, I know that something is a bit off when Wolverine and Magneto are taking orders from each other. But I think part of the fun for many X-Men fans will be the chance to play as one of the members of the Brotherhood. There is just something about getting to test drive the powers of a bad guy that's appealing. In all there are around 16 different playable characters and naturally each has a multitude of unnatural powers. On average each character has about 10 mutant powers for you to play with. Luckily the control scheme makes it somewhat easy to spin through powers and assign them to specific buttons. It's a lot of fun to try out each of the different characters and see what they are capable of especially when there are so many different powers to be used.