|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Amaze||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 1, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
X-Men Origins: Wolverine has hit the big screen and done well despite the problems most fans have had with the feature film. The next-gen versions of the game based on the movie has finally given fans a Wolverine game they have asked for, for years. However, with the Teen rating slapped against the PSP version, does it deliver the same ferocity as the next-gen version, or does it hinder the experience way too much?
The story loosely hits on the movie's plotline. A lot of the important aspects are there, telling some of the events of Wolverine's history before his appearance in the first X-Men movie, how he got his adamantium, his "relationship" with Victor Creed (a.k.a Sabertooth), and the crappy version of Deadpool the film had as well, apparently for consistency. The game is told through flashbacks, similar to the console version of the game, except here you find yourself strapped to a chair while Stryker erases your memories you are reliving. Doing it this way doesn't detract from the overall elements of the story they were trying to tell in the game, but I have to admit, the difference in presentation puzzles me. Not only is the presentation different, but it is also important to point out that the PSP version of the game gives you extra levels not seen in the movie or the next-gen version of the game. These levels, Japan most importantly, feasibly set the stage for what the movie's sequel could be about. If you are a fan of Wolverine's adventures in Japan from the comics, these levels will undoubtedly make you happy.
As you dive into Logan's memories to experience the story, you will find yourself fighting off villains that represent the environments. Meaning, if you are in the jungle, you will square off against native-looking adversaries, and if you are in military type areas, you will face soldiers in various aspects. After your initial introduction to the types of villains, you will face thousands more. This is the first factor that helps the game quickly become mind-numbing. Even the semi-boss battles become repetitive clone battles. I understand the importance of having clone minions to face throughout the game, but even for semi-boss battles there should have been a little more variety. It's very similar with how the missions are setup. Every mission has a main objective, which is usually has you going somewhere to find a certain character to take out and then you get a second objective, which is usually surviving the levels without dying or something to prove to yourself that you are indeed Wolverine. However, it all seems designed with a "keep it simple" mentality.
For example, in the next-gen version of the game, you can upgrade Wolverine as you see fit, adding elements to his attacks to assist you naturally in the way that you play the game. However, in the PSP version this RPG element is removed. You can still level up, but it functions more like an award system than an RPG aspect. As you progress, and once you have achieved certain goals in the game, you are awarded the skills and upgrades automatically. This could have brought an extra element to the game in order to change the pacing to give players just one other thing to do.
Another example of keeping things simple are the controls for Wolverine. Your light and heavy attacks are just two buttons. This is very reminiscent to God of War: Chains of Olympus and every other Kratos-Clone; it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, which is a good thing. Keeping this part simple is actually one of X-Men Origins: Wolverine's strengths. I mean honestly, who wants to play a Wolverine game that is overly complex? You just want to slash enemies until they are dead. The quick kill option is also simplified from the next-gen versions, reducing it to a button appearing over the enemies head in very rare instances. Unfortunately, there is an extreme fault. The fact it is on the PSP without the second analog stick causes this adventure to be camera-locked, which means there are way too many times I couldn't see what was going on. Even though there were no problems other than seeing the killings, there was still a few times I found myself dying needlessly because of the camera.