X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Xbox – 2005
X-Men Legends II takes everything established in the first game and expands upon it. The roster is now larger and includes some of your favourite villains. The new locations are beautifully put together and encourage exploration to unlock secrets and characters. There are unique dialogue encounters depending on who you have in your team so it’s worth mixing it up every now and again. The graphics look cleaner than the first one and the camera retains its top-down view, enabling you to explore the levels easily. A quick warning: on the Xbox version, there is a glitch on the New York level that can freeze your system. This is caused by having a full inventory. To get around this, simply store or sell some items.
GameCube – 2004
X-Men Legends places you in control of your favourite mutant heroes as you battle Magneto. It’s an action RPG where you can control up to four unique characters with their own special abilities. This adds strategy to the game as each character brings something different to the party. This can be through dialogue or abilities both in and out of battle. It can be played with up to four friends but there are times when you’ll control only one mutant. The graphics look good and the top down view allows you to navigate the maps with ease. A fun RPG that can be absolutely broken by Storm if you know what abilities to allocate points to.
Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo Entertainment System – 1985
One of the most iconic games ever made. It’s fun, fast paced and incredibly easy to pick up, an excellent place to start if you want to experience Nintendo games of yesteryear. Battle your way through Bowser’s minions using Mushrooms, Fire Flowers, Stars and Warp Pipes. The controls are excellent, with Mario’s momentum feeling just right. The graphics are still pleasant more than 30 years later and the music is an absolute joy.
Xbox One – 2019
FIFA 20 felt like a breath of fresh air, and not just because Sheffield United are in the Premier League. The custom manager in Career Mode is a nice addition as is the new Negotiation settings. Sadly, these don’t feel like enough. Clearly this review is a few months after launch because FIFA 20 was a mess at the start. Teams playing weak squads against you, youth players seeing unbelievable growth and editing a player could lead to all sorts of issues. There are some issues (teams in Career Mode having unreal winning streaks) but it is a lot better. Volta is a nice addition which harks back to the days of FIFA Street (and FIFA 98’s indoor mode).
Xbox One – 2019
Maybe I’m not the best placed for this seeing as A) I’m not the biggest American football fan, and B) I haven’t played a Madden game in a long time, but here we go. I enjoyed Madden 20. The visuals are stylish and the commentary is excellent. Game-play wise, picking a play and executing it were very straight forward. The choice of Owner, Coach and Player adds a new dimension to the game, with each having their own challenges. The upgrade system in Player Career took a while to get used to and is a bit frustrating that I can’t select which attributes I want to improve. Face of the Franchise starts out well, having you go for trials and having interesting cut-scenes but these dry out very quickly. It’s disappointing they don’t continue throughout.
Sega Saturn – 1996
From the team behind Landstalker comes another isometric role-playing game. Dark Savior has an interesting concept: get to the ship’s captain within a certain time and you’ll get a different story. There are five in total, each with it’s own unique path through the island. The combat was also unique, putting you in to a one-on-one fight with your opponent. I found these to be a bit annoying at the start but you very quickly get used to their layout. The isometric view can work against you, especially during the platforming sections or when you’re trying to find something. Graphically, the game holds up well, which is something that can’t be said for a lot of 3D games in this generation. Overall, the game is an interesting take on the Role-Playing genre and it encourages multiple playthroughs to fully experience the story.
Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
Xbox 360 – 2009
Lego Indiana Jones 2 is everything we expect in a Lego game: loads of extra characters, hunting treasure pieces and enjoyable when played with a friend.The game is slit out into several hub-worlds that follow each of the four films. The hub-worlds are an interesting addition and encourage you to explore to find new items or characters but the levels themselves are short. Each film follows a similar layout, with a driving section that can be be a bit frustrating and a giant boss you have to fight in a similar manner. It still has the Lego charm but it’s definitely one of the weakest in the series.
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
Xbox 360 – 2008
Indy’s first adventure in to the world of Lego is a charming one. Play by yourself or with a friend as you make your way through the first three movies. It may be lacking in some of the features we’ve come to know in later Lego games, such as the open world or side missions, but it does have a decent variety of levels. Game-play is incredibly simplistic but there can be some annoying platforming moments although it’s nothing too serious. The music is traditional Indy tunes but there is no voice acting. Like a lot of the earlier Lego games, the characters use expressions and props to tell the story. The game, like every other one in the series, encourages at least a second play-through of each level in order to unlock everything.
World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck
Sega Mega Drive – 1992
World of Illusion took everything Castle of Illusion did and improved upon it. The graphics look better, the platforming is tighter and the level layout is better presented. The levels themselves are a mixture of different whimsical areas and the music really compliments them well. It introduced Donald Duck as a second playable character, allowing you to adventure with a friend. The limited continues of Castle of Illusion are gone making the game a lot easier, although Castle of Illusion wasn’t too difficult in the first place. It’s probably the best of the Illusion series across the Sega consoles.
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Sega Mega Drive – 1990
This game brings to the Mega Drive all the magic of the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons. It has bright graphics and excellent music, something you’d expect from a Mickey Mouse game. Mickey controls well and the platforming is smooth. There are some areas that feel like they require a leap of fate as you move through the level. The levels are fun and can be challenging at times. However, if you play on the easy mode, you will not be able to experience all the levels. The limited continues is both a blessing and a curse. The game isn’t too difficult so. you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting through but not having continues is an odd choice, especially in a Disney game. Overall, it’s well worth picking up the Illusion games as they’re some of the most enjoyable platformers on the Mega Drive.