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X-Men Legends II (XBOX)

/ Oct 3rd, 2005 No Comments

SYNOPSIS:
After a harrowing rescue of Professor X from one of Apocalypse’s prison fortresses, the X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants decide they have no choice but to join forces if they are to have any chance of stopping the world's oldest (and most evil) mutant, Apocalypse. X-Men Legends II is an adventure that will make gamers battle their way across the world to find and destroy the Four Horsemen, eventually leading to a final battle with Apocalypse himself. An open ended experience allows the player to find their own way to Apocalypse – by choosing which missions to undertake, and when to take them.
FEATURE LIST
From hated foes to united force – Experience the amazing saga of X-Men and Brotherhood rivals, bonded by a common enemy in theatrical-quality FMV created by Academy Award nominee Blur Studios. Create, customize and control a punishing team of 4 powerful Mutants, selecting from 16 playable characters. Choose from your favorite X-Men characters, including Wolverine, Bishop, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm, and Brotherhood mutants such as Magneto, Toad and Juggernaut. Instantly switch between team members mid-fight to take full advantage of their unique abilities.
Twice the customization capability – Each character has more than double the arsenal of superpowers at their command than in X-Men Legends. Instantly upgrade and customize your character’s levels and powers on-the-fly with just the touch of a button. Empower your character with new, diverse and more relevant items; switch costumes between Ultimate, Astonishing and other classic looks; and upgrade attributes, such as strike, speed and focus.
Play online – For the first time ever in the X-Men world, take your skills to the next level with online multiplayer action. Six multiplayer skirmish modes offer head-to-head versus action, battles against enemies, exclusive online content and more. Engage with up to three other players in offline multiplayer co-op story mode, featuring dynamic joining that lets your friends jump into the action anytime.
Open-ended storyline and choices – An all-new, flexible storyline that lets you select missions in the order you choose, whether you want to dive into the action or explore. Get creative, using your super powers to solve puzzles. Take advantage of over 70 free-roaming zones to regroup, begin new missions, complete unfinished missions, gather information and stock up on equipment. Every time you turn a corner, unexpected surprises keep you on the edge. New difficulty levels add to the re playability, allowing you to gain experience and loot.
Amazing array of enemies and environments – Demolish over 100 different types of enemies, from legions of Apocalypse’s henchmen to classic villains such as Lady Deathstrike and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
GRAPHICS
There's been a nice make over to the graphic engine which was already fairly impressive. The top-down view works well with the action that goes on in a distantly familiar style to the old "Gauntlet" type of games. The environments are particularly impressive, as are the very varied monsters / bad guys you get to slice your way through during various missions. Since the game is somewhat open ended, it can either get very familiar or really varied in terms of environments – it's up to you. Playing through to the end of the game, the user will see fabulous graphics in the game and in the very impressive cut scenes throughout.
SOUND
Immediately gamers (and nerds alike) will recognize the voice of Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Having the real life actor lends his amazing voice talents for the game is a nice touch, blending in well with the other voice actors for the title (not from the movies). The sound effects support surround sound stereo, and sound great because of all the action that occurs on the screen. Lots of blasting, lots of chopping, lots of special mutant powers with weird sounds to delight the senses.
GAME PLAY
X-Men Legends II : Rise of Apocalypse offers up much of the same type of core action that the first title gave to gamers – which is a great thing since the action and RPG elements made for a great combination-type gaming experience. This time around, we're seeing a much more open ended experience, along with even more to control regarding power and level ups with your much-wider cast of 16 mutants to control. This title, however, has some great unique experiences including on-line play which is a lot of fun for you and a group of friends. Switch off, have fun, and smash other people on-line – or play in co-op multiplayer mode. This is a nice expanse of the already gripping gameplay of the title.
The storyline is pretty gripping and keeps you hooked into the various mysteries surrounding Apocalypse and the tension with the good and evil mutants joining forces to battle The Four Horseman and the big daddy of them all – Apocalypse. Being able to have a lot of control (or none, you can let the CPU do it for you) over your mutants is a great RPG element that is further expanded in this title. The missions as well are more well thought out and beginners to the franchise should have no problems getting into the action with some easy missions to start out with. All in all, the gameplay experience with X-Men Legends II is extremely solid and even better than the original. Kudos to Activision for improving an already popular title.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
The open ended mission base gives X-Men Legends II a nice gameplay experience – if you get stuck on one, you can continue with the others. In addition, you can always replay missions over on a harder experience level and have your mutants gain experience (cool!) and loot (fun!). The game is fairly decent in it's length and needed game time to get through the whole title, but the ability to play online and with a multiplayer co-op mode makes the game have a tremendous longevity factor. Plus – the game was a lot of fun, so you'll probably want to play it again all the way through after you have once, this time using a different set of "core" mutants and upgrading them in different ways.X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse grabbed the good aspects of the first title, and expanded right on top of it. This time there's more characters, more powers, an online mode, longer missions, and more unlockables. In a very "Diablo II-esque" fashion, the game is divided up into acts with several areas inside each act. Each of these acts contain various missions/quests making it a great way to unravel an interactive story.
OVERALL IMPRESSION
Overall, X-Men Legends II is an absolute thrill to play with all the elements of both a top notch action and RPG title. The game has been expanded enough to offer up a lot of new experiences that gamers will love, and fans of the original title will be absolutely thrilled with the overall gameplay experience. The graphics and sounds of the title are strong, with the gameplay being the best thing about it. No doubt about it – this is a great game for gamers to pick up and will be a favorite for a long, long time.

SYNOPSIS:

After a harrowing rescue of Professor X from one of Apocalypse’s prison fortresses, the X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants decide they have no choice but to join forces if they are to have any chance of stopping the world's oldest (and most evil) mutant, Apocalypse. X-Men Legends II is an adventure that will make gamers battle their way across the world to find and destroy the Four Horsemen, eventually leading to a final battle with Apocalypse himself. An open ended experience allows the player to find their own way to Apocalypse – by choosing which missions to undertake, and when to take them.

FEATURE LIST

From hated foes to united force – Experience the amazing saga of X-Men and Brotherhood rivals, bonded by a common enemy in theatrical-quality FMV created by Academy Award nominee Blur Studios. Create, customize and control a punishing team of 4 powerful Mutants, selecting from 16 playable characters. Choose from your favorite X-Men characters, including Wolverine, Bishop, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm, and Brotherhood mutants such as Magneto, Toad and Juggernaut. Instantly switch between team members mid-fight to take full advantage of their unique abilities.
Twice the customization capability – Each character has more than double the arsenal of superpowers at their command than in X-Men Legends. Instantly upgrade and customize your character’s levels and powers on-the-fly with just the touch of a button. Empower your character with new, diverse and more relevant items; switch costumes between Ultimate, Astonishing and other classic looks; and upgrade attributes, such as strike, speed and focus.
Play online – For the first time ever in the X-Men world, take your skills to the next level with online multiplayer action. Six multiplayer skirmish modes offer head-to-head versus action, battles against enemies, exclusive online content and more. Engage with up to three other players in offline multiplayer co-op story mode, featuring dynamic joining that lets your friends jump into the action anytime.
Open-ended storyline and choices – An all-new, flexible storyline that lets you select missions in the order you choose, whether you want to dive into the action or explore. Get creative, using your super powers to solve puzzles. Take advantage of over 70 free-roaming zones to regroup, begin new missions, complete unfinished missions, gather information and stock up on equipment. Every time you turn a corner, unexpected surprises keep you on the edge. New difficulty levels add to the re playability, allowing you to gain experience and loot.
Amazing array of enemies and environments – Demolish over 100 different types of enemies, from legions of Apocalypse’s henchmen to classic villains such as Lady Deathstrike and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

GRAPHICS

There's been a nice make over to the graphic engine which was already fairly impressive. The top-down view works well with the action that goes on in a distantly familiar style to the old "Gauntlet" type of games. The environments are particularly impressive, as are the very varied monsters / bad guys you get to slice your way through during various missions. Since the game is somewhat open ended, it can either get very familiar or really varied in terms of environments – it's up to you. Playing through to the end of the game, the user will see fabulous graphics in the game and in the very impressive cut scenes throughout.

SOUND

Immediately gamers (and nerds alike) will recognize the voice of Patrick Stewart as Professor X. Having the real life actor lends his amazing voice talents for the game is a nice touch, blending in well with the other voice actors for the title (not from the movies). The sound effects support surround sound stereo, and sound great because of all the action that occurs on the screen. Lots of blasting, lots of chopping, lots of special mutant powers with weird sounds to delight the senses.

GAME PLAY

X-Men Legends II : Rise of Apocalypse offers up much of the same type of core action that the first title gave to gamers – which is a great thing since the action and RPG elements made for a great combination-type gaming experience. This time around, we're seeing a much more open ended experience, along with even more to control regarding power and level ups with your much-wider cast of 16 mutants to control. This title, however, has some great unique experiences including on-line play which is a lot of fun for you and a group of friends. Switch off, have fun, and smash other people on-line – or play in co-op multiplayer mode. This is a nice expanse of the already gripping gameplay of the title.
The storyline is pretty gripping and keeps you hooked into the various mysteries surrounding Apocalypse and the tension with the good and evil mutants joining forces to battle The Four Horseman and the big daddy of them all – Apocalypse. Being able to have a lot of control (or none, you can let the CPU do it for you) over your mutants is a great RPG element that is further expanded in this title. The missions as well are more well thought out and beginners to the franchise should have no problems getting into the action with some easy missions to start out with. All in all, the gameplay experience with X-Men Legends II is extremely solid and even better than the original. Kudos to Activision for improving an already popular title.

ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER

The open ended mission base gives X-Men Legends II a nice gameplay experience – if you get stuck on one, you can continue with the others. In addition, you can always replay missions over on a harder experience level and have your mutants gain experience (cool!) and loot (fun!). The game is fairly decent in it's length and needed game time to get through the whole title, but the ability to play online and with a multiplayer co-op mode makes the game have a tremendous longevity factor. Plus – the game was a lot of fun, so you'll probably want to play it again all the way through after you have once, this time using a different set of "core" mutants and upgrading them in different ways.X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse grabbed the good aspects of the first title, and expanded right on top of it. This time there's more characters, more powers, an online mode, longer missions, and more unlockables. In a very "Diablo II-esque" fashion, the game is divided up into acts with several areas inside each act. Each of these acts contain various missions/quests making it a great way to unravel an interactive story.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Overall, X-Men Legends II is an absolute thrill to play with all the elements of both a top notch action and RPG title. The game has been expanded enough to offer up a lot of new experiences that gamers will love, and fans of the original title will be absolutely thrilled with the overall gameplay experience. The graphics and sounds of the title are strong, with the gameplay being the best thing about it. No doubt about it – this is a great game for gamers to pick up and will be a favorite for a long, long time.

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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