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October 3, 2005
X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/11/2005ActivisionVicarious Visions1$79.95

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Graphics are pretty sweet.
The Playstation Portable has plenty of racing games, plenty of sports games and even a couple of puzzle games. When it comes to RPG styled adventure games there is only one choice at the moment, Activision's Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade. It's a great hack and slash styled title, but X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse is much deeper looking game - and a bloody impressive looking one at that too. The Playstation 2 is also going to be getting the title, but this PSP version looks every bit as impressive despite a different developer in Vicarious Visions porting the game.

Announced over a year before release in October 2004 X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse introduces the epic storyline of an uneasy alliance between the X-Men and the hated Brotherhood in a fight to reclaim Earth from Apocalypse's grasp. At this stage little elso on the storyline has been announced however Raven Software (who are doing the main console versions) are promising a flexible storyline during the game and Blur Studios have even created plenty of FMV for the game.

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Plenty of stats.
Raven have also more then doubled the superpowers and customization capabilities, the debut of several new playable characters, over 100 diverse types of enemies from legions of Apocalypse’s henchmen to classic villains such as Lady Deathstrike and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. If that wasn't enough to get you salivating then the thought of 70 free-roaming zones from the Madri Temple to Egypt to regroup, begin new missions, complete unfinished missions, gather information and stock up on equipment.

Gamers are able to create, customize and control a punishing team of 4 powerful Mutants, selecting from 16 playable characters including Wolverine, Bishop, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Storm, and Brotherhood mutants such as Magneto, Toad and Juggernaut. It will be possible to instantly switch between team members mid-fight to take full advantage of their unique abilities. Combine their powers for even more bruising combo attacks. Each of the 16 playable characters has 10 individualized superpowers at your command, including awesome fighting, melee or ranged attacks and devastating extreme powers. Instantly upgrade and customize your characters' levels and powers on-the-fly with just the touch of a button so you never have to leave the action. Powers will have a large number of items available to them and will also be able to switch costumes.

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What the!
On X-Men Legend II's official web site the games Associate Producer, Alex Garcia, spoke about the improvments made to this sequel. He states "We made three big changes this time. The first one is that we have brought the X-Men and the Brotherhood together. You can make a team of all Brotherhood, a team of all X-Men, or mix and match them, its up to you. The characters from both teams have very unique powers, so make sure you mix up your teams to find that killer match up. The next feature we added to improve on the original game was online game play. Now you can fight against the evil forces of Apocalypse with your friends across the world. 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. The third new feature is the ability to switch out your characters powers. We have doubled the number of hero powers in this game so you can now decide which powers you want each hero to take into battle. On top of that you will be able to switch those powers while in game with out stopping the action. With a few simple button presses you can switch out every power and see what it does in less than 30 seconds."

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Yet more great graphics.
It would have been so easy for Raven Software when designing the original game to go for a more realistic look for the characters rather then the cartoon style they delivered. This sequel continues this bold step and it really does look quite wonderful retaining the style of the original comic books. The number of characters on screen is often quite high and the effects very nice indeed.

X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse is shaping up as a wonderful title which looks set to make full use of the X-Men license by including all the fan favourites and a large quest to complete. The PSP game looks like a wonferful addition to that systems library and developers Vicarious Visions seem to be on the right path in terms of quality. RPG/adventure gamers will do well to check it out in late November.