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October 27, 2005
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
12/10/2005ActivisionRaven Software1-4, 4 MMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
320KBDolby PLIIYesNoNoneYes

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That's Storm in the middle there.
For one reason or another we never reviewed last years release of X-Men Legends here at Future Gamez. We did, however, play through the game and discovered not only one of the most original games visually, but also one in which the gameplay was equally impressive. The X-Men universe is one of the most interesting in the super-hero world and indeed the first game received considerable critical praise the world over. Fortunately, sales were also strong enough to warrant a sequel being made, and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse is the result.

The storyline in this game is as follows... After defeating Megneto and his army of Sentinel robots Professior Xavier (or Professor X for short) returns to the mansion to relax. Professor X is disturbed by some events he discovers while in Cerebro and detects some strange activity in Egypt. He soon assembles a team of X-Men to investigate. While they're gone however Professor X and Polaris disappear. It's clear they have been kidnapped and have to be found.

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There's always plenty happening.
So X-Men Legends II is basically an action adventure game with some RPG elements thrown in. When you start the game you are to create a team of 4 mutants, selecting from 16 playable characters including favourites such as Wolverine, Bishop, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm, and Brotherhood mutants such as Magneto, Toad and Juggernaut. Not only can you pick all the characters from one side, but can also mix and match the opposing forces to fight together. When you play the game you are able to switch between these characters with a press of the D-Pad. Each character his his or her own attacks, with 10 superpowers also availale. It's also possible to switch these powers in realtime during battles by pressing R2 and one of the face buttons, to ensure you're using the best strategies to take out the numerous enemies which litter each area.

As the game progresses you are able to upgrade your characters powers and abilities and in a rather neat touch can be done in realtime. During the game you will pass through over 70 differnet environments from the Mardi Temple to Egypt and New York City. These are gorgeously detailed and are sure to have you in awe on many occasions.

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Where's the Mortein?
This isn't just a single player game, however with support for up to four players (assuming you have a multi-tap of course). It must be said that it's great to see an action/adventure title such as this with multi-player options. It's tremendous fun. Of course it's not always easy to get three mates wanting to sit in your room for hours playing this title and Raven Software have been kind enough to add one more very big feature - online gameplay. When playing online you will find that there are exclusive online missions that you will not find in the regular offline story. In these missions you will find exclusive items as well.

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Wolverine...
There really isn't much to complain about with this title at all. It's a little disappointing to hear that PC gamers get two additional characters to use, and the PSP gets four, but the ones here are likely to keep most gamers happy. The load times are a little lengthy then we expected in places, but never hinders the enjoyment while playing this game.

In our preview of this game we commented about the superb looking graphics, and the final game doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Rarely has a game looked so much like an animated comic book. Well, perhaps Activision's recently released Ultimate Spiderman but the number of environments and characters gives this game a bit of an edge in that area. The cartoon stlyed characters not only look simply brilliant but are superbly animated with a variety of attacks. The backgrounds also retain the comic book style and while they aren't vastly superior to those in the previous game (not that that's a bad thing) but this game has a much wider variety of environments making the game more varied in its look. The games cut scenes, which were worked on by Blur Studios, are simply gorgeous to look at.

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Battle on New York streets.
If you've got a good speaker setup you'll appreciate the sound from this title. The Dolby Pro Logic II is used fairly well and there are plenty of, well, superhero type effects and explosions. Where X-Men Legends II really shines is the voice acting with characters such as Professor X being voiced by none other then the legendary Patrick Stewart, Forge is voiced by Lou Diamond Phillips and Wolverine by Steven Blum highlight the impressive talent. The only one we found a little disappointing was Storm. We're not sure if she's voiced by the same actress used in the first game, but it just seems a little less exciting this time around. To round off your audio experience Raven Software used composer Gregor Narholz (who composed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie) to create a range of music to accompany the on screen action.

It's quite a simple decision this. If your a fan of comic books and/or action adventure styled games then this is an essential purchase. The production values, storyline and gameplay all combine to make X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocolypse the best comic book adaption of all time. At only $69.95 here in Australia this is an essential purchase.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSGorgeous. Not dissimar to the first game, but much more variety.
90%
SOUNDSome of the best voice acting in a video game, great music too.
89%
GAMEPLAYEngrossing, addictive and very enjoyable. Tonnes of variety too.
86%
VALUE15-20 hours to cruise through, more if you want to find everything.
90%
OVERALLWithout a doubt this is the best comic book video game adaption of all time. The storyline is solid but it's the gameplay that will have you hooked. For comic book and action fans this is a no brainer. An essential purchase.
90%

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