Opinion – Bottom 25 Games: 12) The Uncanny X-Men (NES)

12) The Uncanny X-Men (NES, LJN, 1989)

Well, today brings a little article on the game that I would argue is the absolute lowest of the low; the abysmal pus of the gaming sphere. LJN was not, shall we say, the most storied or beloved of publishers, often spitting out licensed dreck until they were bought out by Acclaim, fellow purveyors of similar garbage for most of their history. And their crowning opus of low-tier trash is this horrid overhead action title starring Marvel’s X-Men.

You can pick between Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Iceman and Colossus, but it really doesn’t matter. Three of them have projectile attacks, but the game is mercilessly adamant at punishing anyone foolhardy enough to try to play it that any advantage in distance is quickly rendered moot. The game is awkward to control, the enemies are cheap (and spam the screen with bullets) and the level design makes any progress impossibly difficult to proceed thanks to its key-hunting nature. Unappealing graphics and droning music that overpower sound effects further dull any possible pleasure, and the game couples all this with terrible hit detection, only aggravating the situation. Add in a forced “team” dynamic where an AI companion will join you and die within seconds because their programming is stupid, and you might start to feel like such a luxury might not be so bad.

Uncanny X-Men is a product of uncaring developers released upon unknowing customers by a unreliable corporation. It is the epitome of miserable design, poor coding and an incredible lack of passion or interest in the source material or the medium in general. Games should at the very least have some iota of enjoyment buried within, but this particular title is bereft of such qualities.

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