Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G, iPad 1
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With the release of the movie X-Men First Class (which this reviewer highly recommends watching), it would only seem natural that movie tie-ins would come out. Konami has a fairly interesting one for iOS - it's a port of the original X-Men arcade game. Granted, its only connection to the movie is that it's based on the X-Men license; none of the six available characters (Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler) are technically in the movie at all. But, this is a classic game, it's based on X-Men, and it's come out around the release date of the movie; close enough, I say! This is an old-school beat 'em up through and through; the player leads the mutant of their choice through 8 levels, beating up generic robots and mutants, including well-known villains The Blob (which nothing can move), Mystique, and Magneto himself. Players can jump, attack, and use a special ability that drains 3 bars of health to help clear out enemies.
X-Men is a solid emulation/port, running perfectly on fourth-generation devices. It's still fun to play as one of the X-Men, and go around wailing on thugs for a while. There's also OpenFeint and Game Center support for achievements and high scores. The original game was famous for its multiplayer for up to 6 people, and while this version doesn't match that number, it does support multiplayer over local wifi for up to 4 people. The game is also a universal app, so iPad owners can get in to the fun as well; Joystick-It and Fling owners will be glad to know that both joysticks worth great with the game.
The problem with ports of arcade beat 'em ups is that without being limited by quarters, the games often become just a matter of testing the player's patience, instead of actual challenges. It becomes too easy to abuse the mutant powers here if the goal is just to complete the game. The only factor holding players back is getting on the high score table, as scores reset to zero once lives run out. There are glitches in the game, primarily with the unlocking of achievements and posting of high scores not working occasionally unless the player gets to game over; the app also crashed on launch on both the iPod touch 4G and iPad 1.
X-Men is a great port of the 1992 arcade beat 'em up, for better and for worse. Konami have done a great job at making the game work on iOS, although there are a few glitches in the initial release to sort out. This is hard to recommend on the single-player alone, and completing the game isn't very difficult given infinite continues. Beat 'em ups are always more fun with friends, so players with multiple iOS devices and friends with them should definitely check this out.