For a Arcade game originally released in 1992, X-Men Arcade has done very well in standing up against the test of time. Released to Xbox Live Arcade nearly 20 years after it’s original incarnation, to appropriately review the game you really only need to ask one question: “Is the magic still there?” The answer is an resounding Yes!
Though gameplay involves little more than walking, attacking, jumping, and mutant-power-ing (made up word) the simplistic formula walk-and-fight against the seemingly unlimited enemy hordes remains fun and addicting. The full cast of the 6 classic X-Men remains untouched, though to this day I’m still a little confused how Dazzler made the cut, and online play with 5 other players is as fun and frantic as you might imagine it to be.
My only complaint regarding the game would have to be it’s price. I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy on special for only 200 ($2.50) MS Points, but I would have felt shorted if I had payed full price ($10.00). As fun as the game is, the campaign remains very short — in fact, completing the campaign start to finish in 24 minutes earned me an achievement.
Included with the game is the smaller 4 player only version of the game and the Japanese ported version. Although the only difference present in the Japanese version seems to be the addition of collectible power ups to grant your X-Men more health or more mutant ability — a feature completely negated by the game’s forgiving and unlimited, non-penalized continues.
I want to rank X-Men Arcade higher than I’m going to. It’s a great game; it honestly captures the magic of my arcade days; and it’s fun to play six player co-op on Xbox Live, but I just can’t get around that initial price point. It you were able to get it for the 200 MS Point special, I’ll rate it at an 8/10. Otherwise I’m going to doc it at 6.5/10.