X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

You'd buy it. Don't judge me.

I bought X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse when I was but a small boy filled with wonder and hope. I spent all of my Christmas money on it. It was something like $105 at a Radioshack and I paid this because I’m Canadian and I make poor decisions. I took it home and was thrilled that I could play as a number of my favourite X-Men characters (but let’s be honest, everyone wants to play as Wolverine all the time and there’s so little reason to care about anyone else, at least when you’re 11).

And then…. I couldn’t make it past the second fucking level. I remember trying, certainly. I spent $105, afterall. The platforming was clunky and the enemies abundant. And, when you lost a character, you fucking lost that character. I remember thinking to myself at the time that I’d been suckered into buying a game I should have rented. But I saw the ad for it in Nintendo Power and it looked so good (those 4 screenshots in the ad really sparked my imagination!). I went for it. I took the plunge.

This is what one gets for taking plunges...

And this game….

I’ve previously written that I don’t have the patience for games that are pointlessly hard. I’m not even sure that this game is pointlessly hard. And, additionally, I’m afraid to play the game now only to discover that I was a simple child (this was maybe the case). But I can tell you that this game was a perfect example of the GameEnder Scenario.

The GameEnder Scenario

The GameEnder Scenario is when you play a game and are having a great time with that game up until a single point of failure. This failure could be the result of something you’ve done or something the game has done to you through poor design. This sounds like whining. Sometimes it is. So, you reach the portion of the game where you encounter this frustration that prevents you from moving forward in the game. You try a few times. You turn the game off. You maybe never play that game again.

I one put something like 30 hours into Chrono Cross, which was not a difficult game generally. I got to the a pivotal point in the game where I had to fight some significant boss and this boss beat me. The boss-fight itself was pretty long and the game didn’t seem to be especially compelling. I never touched the game again. Not once.

That’s likely an extreme case, but a great example of the GameEnder Scenario being my own fault.

An example of the GameEnder Scenario being the fault of the game itself would be Final Fantasy Tactics and the Weigraf battle. It’s notorious for being one of the toughest battles in the game and if you’ve either level built too much or not enough it can really ruin your day. I’ve known at least one person who suffered GameEnder in this way.  In this case, the issue often has to do with multiple save games. If you can’t win the battle, and you saved before the battle, and you didn’t have more than one save, you could very well be stuck on this fight some 15 hours into the game (or whatever) and be force to started entirely.

And so…

X-Men Mutant Apocalypse might have been my gateway to GameEnder Scenarios… a game that I played for a very brief time, got very annoyed with, and stopped playing altogether. There were probably lessons I could have learned from the process. I could persevered and learned something about seeing things through. Or I could have worked tirelessly to squeeze my dollars out of the purchase. Or, I could have done what I did in this case, which was get super frustrated, take the game out, toss it in the corner of the room and play some motherfucking Super Mario Kart.

(I AM SORRY THAT THIS TURNED INTO SOME STUPID ESSAY ABOUT HOW I QUIT THINGS EASILY, BUT MAYBE YOU DO THE SAME THING SOMETIMES AND SHOULD SHARE YOUR TALES IN THE COMMENTS, I GUESS)

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Wolverine: Adamantium Rage

A huge jacked-man.

Wolverine: Adamantium Rage features a huge jacked-man who gets turned into a small furry critter that, according to Wikipedia, mates with two to three females per lifetime in a rather monogamous fashion. Now, to human beings like ourselves, that may seem somewhat excessive, but one look at a wolverine will make you realize that that little dude is really holding himself back with his two-babe limit. Honestly, he could probably get more  ladies than a cowboy covered in mansicle powder. Like the woodland animal, the huge jacked-man becomes rather spiteful at times and is known to rather fly off the handle.

For example, the premise for this game seems to be that Wolverine is rather frustrated with his new personal computer. So frustrated, in fact, that he punches it and then punches everything else.

And that constitutes the entire back story. How great is that?

His rage is so great, that he becomes uncontrollable, as is the case with many side-scrolling, punching, kicking goofballs. To compensate for this, the developers have graciously given him a regenerating healthbar that allows him to be whacked around pretty good before he decides to stop being whacked around and just die. It begins at one hundred percent, about three to five percent being subtracted for every misstep and bullet taken by the faithful woodland creature. The one thing it can’t help you with is getting stuck in holes. I got stuck in quite a few holes. If you fall down an elevator shaft, there doesn’t appear to be any way to get the elevator to actually come down to get you. The elevators in Wolverine’s home seem to be controlled exclusively by entering them and then crouching. But no matter, I just restarted the dang game.

Despite it playing a bit fast and loose with the controls and the strangely easy enemies, this game is not so bad. I might venture to say the time it took to develop is made worthwhile by it’s theme music.

Check it out: I’m gonna rap to it.

“Wolverine

He’s a sexy commando

He punches you

He don’t give a shit like Brando

Wolverine

He’s a punching machine

He even punches doors open

See what I mean?

He’s a cute little animal

Not a hungry cannibal

Cheesed-off hero

Sayin’ ‘did you real the manual?’

No I didn’t

‘Cause I ain’t in it to win it

But I am curious as to what they put in it.

Perhaps they detailed how to jump real high

Or how to get the guy to eat a meat-pie

On the fly.

It was probably pretty minimal

Just like how they apparently put the caramel

Into the Caramilk bar

I’ve got it figured so far:

They mold the chocolate into the shape of a bar

But then they leave a space in

And then spray some yummy taste in

And close it, sell it, and let the billions roll in.

But anyway,

It’s just another friday

Wolverine on the mic: ‘I did it my way’

Well thanks, Jack, but I was gonna tell them

About that elevator shaft I fell in.”

Marvel Super Heroes – War of the Gems

HULK SMASH PUNY DECORATION
HULK SMASH PUNY DECORATION

I haven’t hurt this many people in a war for gems since Sierra Leone!

I think every time I’ve “reviewed” a Capcom game, I’ve pointed out that it’s a Capcom game and that Capcom always seems to make games I can at least stand, if not enjoy. This has not changed for Marvel Super Heroes – War of the Gems: Capcom makes an enjoyable beat ’em up, and this is no exception. It feels kind of like Final Fight, except instead of the glorious Haggar, I have the Hulk. The Hulk is no Haggar, but he’ll do for now.

You can play as other super heroes! You can be Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, or everyone’s (no one’s) favorite, Wolverine! Each of them plays slightly differently—Hulk moves like Haggar, sort of, while Spider-Man drowns pretty quickly because spiders don’t have gills. I assume Captain America can throw his mighty shieeeld, but I didn’t play as Captain America since he didn’t look sufficiently like Matt Salinger for my tastes. It’s a bit of a party in the butcher’s basement—if you know what I mean—but I can’t think of a single Marvel super heroine that’s not total garbage, so I can respect that decision. DC has all the fine ladies. Mark it.

The game focuses on the WAR OF THE GEMS, which as we all know refers to the gems from the INFINITY GAUNTLET, a glove so powerful that it can control a Nintendo JUST BY MOVING YOUR HAND. Adam Warlock sits on his jaundiced duff (probably in space or something, the jerk) and orders you around the globe to retrieve the gems. Between Him and Doctor Strange you’d think they could just magically bounce around Earth, toss the gems in a fancy sack and head off to the trans-dimensional pub before lunchtime, but I guess they’ve got more important things to do.

Seriously: both Adam Warlock and Doctor Strange’s powers specifically say they can teleport. Does the game give a reason they can’t? I don’t remember! Just don’t mention them at all, game. Have Spider-Man find out about the gems in the classified section or something as J. Jonah Jameson screams at him through a toilet stall as he’s hiding in the bathroom.

The levels seem pretty varied, but my incredibly busy schedule as a professional sommelier for celebrity dogs stopped me from exploring them all. From what I was able to find time to play, each environment offered a different kind of enemy to punch, and a different kind of obstacle to punch. I was able to punch walls, doors, and spiky balls hanging from the ceiling! Punch punch punch.

In (unrelated to this article) conclusion, Stan Lee seems like an okay guy with a lot of creepy revenge fantasies and probably masturbated while wearing tiny purple pants.