X-Men 2: Mutant Academy
X-Men 2: Mutant Academy is a beat 'em up game that allows you to fight as one of 14 X-Men in a variety of game modes. Unlike other titles in the genre such as Tekken and Street Fighter you have immediate access to all the fighters and a superb tutorial mode that learns you all the moves of your favourite character.
There are three different gameplay modes on offer. First of all there is the standard Arcade mode where you have to win the best of three rounds to win the contest before progressing to the next opponent. There is a Survival mode where the battle is over in just one round and you have to win as many fights as possible and just one loss will mean the end of the game for your character. The Versus mode is the original two player mode where you can take on a friend in a straight fight. Finally there is the Academy mode which really is, the tutorial mode.
Academy mode allows you to pick your favourite character and then teaches you all of their moves. All the information is given in text and you won't miss a thing. In fact the text information in the game is outstanding with only the after battle comments from the X-Men missing subtitles. The introduction has no speech therefore subtitles are not needed.
Graphically the game is very pleasing for a Playstation game. The character models are very good, as is the animation, and the general look of the battle scenery has been very well done. The battles are smooth and quick with no sign of jerkiness at all.
Fans of the X-Men will be pleased with the inclusion of 14 of their favourite characters. The X-Men included are Cyclops, Gambit, Phoenix, Toad, Sabretooth, Havok, Forge, Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Mystique, Magneto, Night Crawler and Rogue. The Battle Arenas include such locations as the surroundings of X-Mansion and Asteroid M (Magneto's stage).
X-Men 2: Mutant Academy is a very good addition to the beat 'em up genre. The style of the game and it's graphics are very authentic to the X-Men theme and the game variations on offer give the game longevity. My only reservation with the game is that certain moves require very quick reactions and a crazy amount of simultaneous button presses to perform them but this is my only niggle with the game and to be honest this problem plagues virtually every beat 'em up game. If you're a fan of the X-Men or a fan of beat 'em ups (or both) then you will enjoy X-Men 2: Mutant Academy for the accomplished beat 'em up that it is.
Overall Game Rating: 8/10 An accomplished X-Men beat 'em up.
Quality of text: 8/10 Nice subtitles in the Acadamey mode.
Graphics: 8.5/10 Very good by Playstation standards.
Interface:7/10 Standard beat 'em up interface that works well.
Gameplay: 8.5/10 Simple, straight forward and entertaining.