SONY PSP REVIEW: X-MEN LEGENDS 2: RISE OF THE APOCALYPSE
X-Men Legends 2: Rise Of The Apocalypse
9 New levels
4 New playable characters
X-Men Fanboy Heaven
Hard to see characters at times
Very linear in terms of level structure

Unleash the power of the Merry Marvel Mutants on your PSP. by Daemia

December 1, 2005 - Ported from the console version of the same name, X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse is not only comparable to the next-gen title but it contains exclusive content in the form of nine new levels and a handful of playable characters. X-Men fans will definitely want to check this version out to see what they're missing. With a multi-player co-op mode and the convenience of a portable handheld system there are few reasons not to buy this game - notwithstanding being financially embarrassed.

All your favorite X-men characters are here including Wolverine, Night Crawler, Storm, Cyclops and then some. In this story the X-Men must team up with their archenemies the Brotherhood in an effort to save the Earth from the virtually unstoppable powers of Apocalypse and his four horsemen. There are 16 playable characters in all, and you can explore the dark side as you can control some of the bad guys from the Brotherhood.

Following the same action-RPG formula of the original, the gameplay has been tightened up allowing for more flexible attribute management in which you can assign points to as many characters as the number of points will allow or focus on leveling-up one main character to get through the game with overwhelming powers. Dungeon crawling still comprises a large part of the gameplay and it's through this process that you will find power-ups, health potions, wearable accessories and other collectibles.

To find all of the items in each level, or sometimes just to get to the end, you will be called upon to use different characters to take care of specific situations. Some areas require that walls be torn while some areas are accessible only by characters that have the ability to fly. Bridges need to be constructed, fires need to be extinguished and switches need to be flipped by the use of projectiles. There is no one, multi-purpose character that can be used for all undertakings. Even if you choose to level-up your favorite character to the max, you will still have to gain access to some of these other powers through various characters.

You can get used to the individual characters by taking them into the Danger Room for training sessions. A series of mini-missions will test your skills before you take on a major mission. Successful completion of your training with ensure you have the proper skills to handle the upcoming task.

Combat is performed in either of two ways, hand-to-hand melee style or through the use of superpowers. Each mutant has different superpowers that include both melee and ranged combat attacks. There are several levels of upgrades for each mutant's 10 distinct powers. That's an awful lot of configuring and it's even more difficult to keep track of in your head if you're not a big fan of X-Men franchise. Just cycle through the menu and it will remind you of the various characters' capabilities.

Up to four players can participate in the multi-player modes, both on and offline. The four-player co-op mode is a huge hit on the console but the small screen makes it difficult to see all of the action taking place. It's very easy to lose sight of your character if you happen to glance away. The idea of combining different characters with different powers is a great concept but it's best experienced on a larger screen. You will notice some slowdown on the PSP when the screen is crowded. Slowdown is also evident when you access menus and save points.

Visually the characters are easy to see thanks to an slight outline that gives them distinction from NPCs and the background. All the music, voiceovers and sound effects are from the console version and are of top quality. It's like a comic book come to life.

There are automatic save areas in the game but if you have to shut it down in a hurry you can use the blink portal to get home and save there. You can always just put the game in sleep mode and start again at where you left off. It won't seriously drain your batteries but when playing the game continuously you'll be lucky to get more than five hours out of a fresh set. Considering how good it is, expect to go through a lot of batteries.

Features

  • From hated foes to united force: Experience the amazing saga of X-Men and Brotherhood rivals bonded by a common enemy. Instantly switch between team members mid-fight to take full advantage of their unique abilities. Combine their powers for even more bruising combo attacks.
  • Unique superpowers and customization capabilities: Instantly upgrade and customize your characters' levels and powers on-the-fly with just the touch of a button so you never have to leave the action. Empower your character with a huge array of completely unique equipment items.
  • Intense online and offline multiplayer Action: Both online and traditional offline multiplayer modes feature dynamic joining that lets your friends jump into the action at any time. 6 multiplayer skirmish modes offer head-to-head "versus" action, side-by-side battles against enemies and more.
  • Open-ended storyline and choices: Immerse yourself in an all new, flexible storyline with compelling gameplay and theatrical-quality FMV created by Academy Award nominee Blur Studios.
  • Amazing array of enemies and environments: Demolish over 100 different types of enemies, from hordes of Apocalypse's henchmen to Lady Deathstrike and Apocalypse's 4 Horsemen. Fully destructible locales are more expansive, requiring even more exploration and containing many hidden items to uncover.

By Daemia
CCC Staff Writer

Rating out of 5
X-Men Legends 2: Rise Of The Apocalypse (PSP)
4.1
Graphics
The small screen makes it hard to identify your character at times, but the effects and animation are great.
4.0
Control
Fighting is easy, management is a lot more involved.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Marvelously good. Can I say that?
4.0
Play Value
Even if you've played the console version, there is just more to love on the PSP. Expect a long adventure with an excellent amount of replay value due to trying out all of the characters available.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: PSP
Dev: Vicarious Visions
Pub: Activision
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Daemia

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best