X-Men: The Arcade Game - Retro Reflections

Like Streets of Rage 2, this is another title on the PlayStation Network that is both something that can be purchased and a throwback to a classic title.  I'm going to treat it like a Retro Reflection though as I talk about it.  Now, Streets of Rage 2 held up pretty well for me through the glasses of nostalgia, but it was a free title where as X-Men was one I bought on the PSN.

I loved this game in the arcade.  I had two buddies that played it with me, and we huddled around it after trading in our pop cans and getting our spare money around to play it.  You pick one of several mutants (back before everyone wanted Wolverine for themselves) to battle Magneto and a slew of small sentinels.  It actually reminds me quite a bit of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade title which also was a multiplayer beat 'em up.

The graphics and sound hold up about as well as you would expect with a game this old.  Back then?  They were pretty sweet.  Now?  Well... pretty poor, if I'm to be honest.  Doesn't make this a bad game, but it is already a pretty simple affair - most of these types of games were from back then.  They were meant to chew up your quarters and as such you died lots and did little more than punch and jump repeatedly.

What makes this game fun is the multiplayer, though it comes with mixed results.  My son and I played it repeatedly, and the fact that the campaign is somewhat short is actually something of a blessing.  It gives you a reason to take a break and not slog away at doing the exact same thing for hours on end.  The online multiplayer was generally okay, but there were times when it definitely slowed down to the point of being basically unplayable.  Some of the trophies can only be accomplished with online play, and by having a max-sized group, which is a bit unfortunate since you have no control over those elements.

All the same, I had a pretty good time with this title.  It's definitely going to appeal to a specific sort of crowd - and I fall into that membership.  It may not be as much fun for those who can't appreciate these older style of fighting games though, or are hesitant to hop online and play with strangers, because that is precisely how this title was meant to be experienced.

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