Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Uncanny X-Men: A Crap Game

Brood killing the X-Men, yesterday.
I was going to try to review The Uncanny X-Men in the style of Your Sinclair for this entry, natch.1 But (but! But!) my heart's not quite in it. I can't do a full review, just a denunciation, 'cos it's a crap game, if I ever I saw one. I got about ten minutes in. If I'd had a cartridge for it I might have thrown it across the room in frustration, an activity that I gather the kiddies today call "rage quitting".

Part of the problem is that this is a shallow reskinning of another game (probably). It features 6 characters - Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Colossus, and Storm, which you can choose from. Note the ordering there. Yes, they've moved Storm (the leader) to the end. These are really just two characters with different sprites: a Cyclops/Iceman/Storm type, with a ranged attack, and a Wolverine/Nightcrawler/Colossus sort, who needs to go right up close to things to hit them.

It is certainly not any fun to play. Erm, what else? It made me wonder what my tastes were like when I was 10. I didn't have a NES (the first games console I bought was a Wii, in 2009), and wasn't in to X-Men, and this probably wasn't even released in the UK, so it's not exactly likely I'd have played it; but were the games I played and enjoyed this terrible?

And I remember what other retrogaming I have done lately, and I know the answer.


The Uncanny X-Men - or X-Men or whatever you want to call it - is a crap game.

But I've read enough of Project NES (Phil Sandifer's impossible blog project before he started TARDIS Eruditorum) to know that it is of a type of crap game that is not that uncommon on this format: that Nintendo's vaunted licensing didn't imply a whit of QA. So it's not even exceptionally crap.

There seem to be a lot of X-Men games out there. I'm going to try the 1992 Gauntlet clone in due course, if I can figure out how to get a four or six player version of that going. This may depend upon how tolerant my friends are.

1. I spent a lot of my childhood reading YS. It is my default form for games journalism. And there's a tenuous but important X-Men link.


  1. Yeah, I had an NES as a kid, and I played this game (I think I bought it used?) despite not being, at the time, a huge X-Men fan or really knowing much about them beyond "Pryde of the X-Men" (the X-Men fandom would begin within a year or two of when I was playing this).

    It was, as you say, resoundingly awful, and clearly a shlocked together clone of something else, something which was obvious to me as a kid even if I didn't have the words to describe it as such.

    The NES had its fair share of bad games, but this was definitely one of the worst.

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