Late To The Xbox Party: X-Men Origins Wolverine

A lot of people have said that the video game version of X-Men Origins Wolverine is far better than the movie. I have no idea if that’s the case or not because I haven’t seen the flick, but I think it might have raised by expectations a little higher than they should have been. This is one that I waited on at Game Stop, waiting for it to get down to a pretty cheap price. I was jazzed when it finally got down there and I started playing it a while back. It didn’t disappoint as it kicked off and I learned the various controls and eared more and more special moves. Being Wolverine and tearing through dozens of jungle mutants or high tech mercenaries is a ridiculous amount of fun in the beginning, but it wears a little thin after a while. But, what wears thinner faster has to be the boss battles that take place in the jungle levels, most of which involve a giant monster of some kind trying to smash you and you waiting for just the right moment to lunge (a great function of the game) and attack the back of his head. It was alright the first time, but man, that shiz got old QUICK and it happens over and over and over again.

I can’t speak to the story behind the game, which I’m guessing follows the movie at least to some extent as I wound up fighting Blob, Gambit and Deadpool towards the end. As usual, I ignored most of the story aspects of the game and listened to podcasts while playing the game (I love multitasking my entertainment whenever possible), but it seemed really repetitive as it bounced from jungle to inside levels where you first fight soldiers and then robots. There are some geek moments like where you fight a Sentinel, but 75% of the game felt like it was all the same stuff on a loop. I did like one of the levels towards the end where you’re chasing Gambit around a building site and have to jump around and fight all the different bad guys from the previous levels who are also trying to kill each other.

So, I enjoyed the game for the most part, but I walked away with a somewhat negative feeling for two reasons. The first is a practical one, I couldn’t beat the damn thing. The last boss you have to beat is the weird version of Deadpool from the movie who can apparently teleport, snikt swords from his forearms and shoot lasers from his eyes. You’re stuck fighting him up on a big circular loop thing. Just when you’re about to kill him, according to his health meter, he ‘ports away and does a huge blast that takes the floor right out from under you. If you can’t jump away in time–which happens because the game glitches and slows down for some damn reason–you die and have to continue from the very beginning. It’s not just frustrating, but infuriating. I tried ten times and just freaking quit. I didn’t feel too bad about it because, hell, I got the last guy, that’s close to winning right?

My second problem with the game is a little more philosophical, I guess. In the game you’re freaking Wolverine, yet there are a lot of things that get in your way and inhibit you. You can’t interact with the environment as much as you probably should be able to. Your claws don’t do nearly the amount of damage they should. Your special moves don’t do nearly enough damage. I had a similar problem with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. I don’t want to start off as a schlubby version of a superhero, I want TO BE A FREAKING SUPERHERO! I’m cool with getting more used to the powers and learning how to do more things with them, but I should have the full extent of that character’s abilities, which means my indestructible claws that can cut through anything should let me cut through anything, even if it is a soldier with body armor. I know what you’re thinking, “But then you’d just coast through the levels.” Nay, I say! Send thirty bad guys after me all guns blazing and I’d still have to do my damnedest to stay alive while they’re attacking.

So, in the end, the game’s not bad, but it’s not really much of a Wolverine game. Heck, it doesn’t even have ninjas! But, I had enough fun playing it. I actually started playing the Red Faction game for 360 which is kind of funny because in THAT game you can destroy all kinds of stuff with a freaking sledgehammer. They could have changed a few things and dropped Wolverine into that game and I’d be having a blasty blast. Makes me wish I knew how to mod a game.

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