X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Rather than going down the usual action or one-on-one fighting game route that your typical superhero game travels. Being an RPG, X-Men Legends was truly unique. It cheekily borrowed heavily from the likes of Baldur’s Gate and had just enough action and RPG elements to appease the fans of both genres. It was a mighty success, so here we have its predictable sequel: X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.

Rise of Apocalypse is still very much a dungeon crawler, meaning there’s still hordes of enemies to hack your way through as well as (for the stat heads amongst us)some surprisingly deep RPG elements that allow you to personally nurture your characters, eventually transforming them into mini gods of destruction. It basically treads the same ground as the acclaimed first game, so if you didn’t like that, you won’t like this sequel either.

Much like the first game, Rise of Apocalypse is very much a fan pleaser, with all the usual comic book covers and (yawn) concept art to discover. All the X-Men favourites such as Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm are present as playable characters, each with all their unique powers. Something that is sure to excite the true aficionados is the fact that you now also get the chance to play as some of the bad guys. The likes of Magneto, Juggernaught and Toad are all in there, bringing the total number of playable characters to a rather ample 16 and allowing you to assemble many bizarre combinations of teams.

Like the first game, Rise of Apocalypse allows for up to 4 player co-op play and it’s here where the game truly shines as bright as Wolverine’s metallic claws as proceedings could very well turn in to a contest of who can reach that superior armour or suchlike first. Competitive spirit or not, it’s definitely more entertaining teaming up with a bunch of siblings or friends rather than soulless AI drones and this time even lonely people -or at least those who don’t have anyone within close proximity that are willing to team up with them- have a viable alternative (or possibly not so, as at least with this PS2 version the servers are desolate at present) as the game is online enabled.

As things get seriously chaotic, the top down perspective works against the game here as it isn’t always clear if you’re being whacked by a baddie or not. Also somewhat ironically the stat management is detrimental to the pace of the game as entering the menu to do so is plagued by a lengthy load period, this along with the fact that characters seem to level up at a rapid rate means that it’s probably the more attractive option to let your console do the work for you as the game mercifully features a rather handy automatic levelling up feature allowing you to play the game with little cause for interruption.

Like the first game, Rise of Apocalypse, whilst still a decently enjoyable dungeon crawler is overrated and certainly not amongst the best of superhero games. X-Men fans will unsurprisingly find much here to whoop with delight over whilst others will find a decent action RPG, frankly this sort of thing has been done much better in the past however. Though not bad at all, we don’t think X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse is quite worthy of the title of Legend!

6/10

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