All Your Comic Are Belong To Us: X-Men

Something I often do--which is no doubt a waste of time and yet I cannot help doing it--is to consider how a game of my favourite character or team would be. This time around, I'm going to go with...

X-Men

As with most comic-readers my age, I fell in love with the X-Men during their first animated outing, X-Men: The Animated Series. Since then, I have always had an interest in them, but just found it hard to keep up with their myriad of books. There have been many attempts to adapt the X-Men to video games, but none (in my opinion) have been particularly good. From the X-Men arcade game, where you get to choose from huge selection of six characters, to the lacklustre X-Men: Next Dimension fighting game, to the recent X-Men: Destiny, where you don't even get to play as an existing character. I think the X-Men are long overdue for a decent game, and this is how I think it could be done:

Who, Where, and When?

Even though the X-Men roster is constantly in flux, the core members haven't changed in a long time, so it wouldn't really matter which you chose. For the sake of recognition, it would probably be best to use the post-Schism groupings. Also, by doing this, you could increase your storytelling options by being able to use Utopia and the school, rather than just one. For those who haven't been following, here is how they stand:

What and How?

The "what" for an X-Men game is near limitless. Whether an attack on the group, or the world, there is always some source of conflict for the X-Men. What I'd like to see is separate problems for each team, including X-Factor (who I just realised aren't on the chart), that turn out towards the end to be related, most likely orchestrated by a singular villain.

The "how" is where I think I'm onto something. There is a game whose template I believe would work perfectly for an X-Men game, due to their shared tone and drama. That game is Heavy Rain. Before you scream at me, just hear me out. One of the problems with superhero games, is that when using a team, you have to even out each character's powers for the sake of balance. I remember playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (MUA) and feeling that characters such as Thor and Hulk had been severely watered-down, and this, as a comic fan, annoyed the hell out of me. In Heavy Rain, the entire game is scripted, though still controllable through QTE (Quick Time Events), so you could have a sequence where powerhouses like Magneto or Rogue are kicking butt, but then still be able to include weaker characters, such as Dani Moonstar or Dr. Nemesis, into the storyline without having to bring the others down to their level. It would also alleviate the problem of variety, where a character such as Storm with all of her abilities could stand next to a one-trick pony such as Cyclops without having to limit her power-set. What you essentially get is an interactive movie. When you think about it, it's the characters and drama that drive X-Men titles, and as soon as you put the characters into a top-down action/RPG game, you lose all that, and I think that is why a Heavy Rain-like game would work.

Conclusion

So there you have my take on how an X-Men game could be done. Do you have any additions? Would you do it differently? And more importantly, does it sound like something you would play? Feel free to write your own either in the comments section here or in your own blog. I look forward to seeing what everyone else would do with their favourites. Game on!

12 Comments
12 Comments
Edited by moywar700

I thought x-men legends 1 was the best one though. I found it interesting because in the game, a player was able to find covers from comics books. I saw this infamous cover in the game

Posted by cattlebattle
@Danial79
You have never played X-Men Legends 1 or 2...those games were the bees knees, they were the original formula adapted for the Marvel Alliance games
Posted by Danial79

@cattlebattle said:

@Danial79: You have never played X-Men Legends 1 or 2...those games were the bees knees, they were the original formula adapted for the Marvel Alliance games

I haven't, but I've seen videos of it and it still seems to suffer from bringing powerful characters down to the level of brawlers.

Edited by moywar700

@cattlebattle said:

@Danial79: You have never played X-Men Legends 1 or 2...those games were the bees knees, they were the original formula adapted for the Marvel Alliance games

I thought x-men legends two was okay.I didn't think it was as good as x-men legends 1 because x-men legends 2 take place in the jungle throughout the whole way and number one took place in many different places. It didn't give me the same "feel" as number one

Posted by Powerzone789

I think that idea is good, i beat the crap out of both x-men legends, x-men destiny and both ultimate alliance games AND heavy rain, and i gotta say thats a really good idea, i would put maybe some action in the fighting sequences maybe...

Edited by Danial79

@Powerzone789 said:

... i would put maybe some action in the fighting sequences maybe...

You don't think QTEs would be enough for action sequences? I think they'd be better because the "camera" could get right in amongst the action.

Posted by CATPANEXE

^ same with XML2. and with modding it is limitless. I still have XML2 on my hard drive right now with the full All X-Men, All Brotherhood, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and several other single character, NPC, Boss, DR and stage mods installed. It was perfect.

Posted by Uncanny_Doom

X-Men Legends 2 was great for it's time and still plays great today. I applaud it for doing an X-Men game that could be played with emphasis on teamwork with friends, it worked so well. The stuff about balance is just something that comes with almost any game, and I don't think it's a real flaw. I mean sure, Toad being a better/more effective character than Rogue or Juggernaut is annoying, but the game itself wasn't that hard to begin with so like I said, I don't think it's a real problem. I don't think watching a character do stuff in QTEs solves the problem of you not being able to actually perform feats at your will in a game. In fact, I always found it a bit of a cop out whenever someone was in a cutscene during a game and did something that I myself could never at any point in the game do. Quick-time events are a simplistic bane of current generation gaming and should never be used as a primary form of gameplay the way Heavy Rain attempted. I would rather play Magneto how he is in X-Men Legends 2, than press the X button at the right time just to watch him throw a few cars around.

I don't like the idea of making anything like Heavy Rain, as the game really wasn't a game at all but an interactive movie. That formula didn't work for some gamers and I was one of them. Games are about interaction and stuff like Heavy Rain and even L.A. Noire to an extent have forgotten about that and don't know how to balance the level of watching with an intuitive play experience, which is what it takes for a game to actually be good. So I personally think doing a Heavy Rain-styled X-Men game wouldn't be the best idea in the world. X-Men is driven by the characters and drama yes, but video games, even with great stories, have to be about the gameplay and how the player goes through it. A Heavy Rain X-Men game would limit much of what has made X-Men games fun to this point, and that's about being the X-Men. Picking your favorites, putting that team together, possibly with your friends tagging along, upgrading and building your powers to play how you like, and saving the world.

Posted by jhazzroucher

X-Men Legends 2 was awesome.

I want X-Men Legends 3

Posted by Powerzone789

@Danial79 said:

@Powerzone789 said:

... i would put maybe some action in the fighting sequences maybe...

You don't think QTEs would be enough for action sequences? I think they'd be better because the "camera" could get right in amongst the action.

i think they would be good but "choice" QTE's like it goes to slowmo and you have a choice of what direction and or actions/powers you wanna use, kind of like a choose your own adventure type gameplay, i liked the whole "destiny" thing in x-men destiny where you were able to pick sides and choices you made effected the story...a game with mulitple different endings would be nice

Posted by Danial79

@Powerzone789 said:

@Danial79 said:

@Powerzone789 said:

... i would put maybe some action in the fighting sequences maybe...

You don't think QTEs would be enough for action sequences? I think they'd be better because the "camera" could get right in amongst the action.

i think they would be good but "choice" QTE's like it goes to slowmo and you have a choice of what direction and or actions/powers you wanna use, kind of like a choose your own adventure type gameplay, i liked the whole "destiny" thing in x-men destiny where you were able to pick sides and choices you made effected the story...a game with mulitple different endings would be nice

There's no reason that couldn't be done. The action could slow down and you have to press one of the four buttons to pick an attack.

Posted by Powerzone789

@Danial79: yeah that would be awesome