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X-Men Mutant Academy
"Obviously X-Men and fighting just go together hand in hand so it seems to be a natural to stick this license onto a console in a fighting game format."
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Developer  Paradox Game Type  Fighting
Distributor  Activision Preview Date  Jul 00
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Setting the Scene:
      Everybody's favorite comic book mutants have finally arrived on a Playstation console near you!

This game presents players with the core mutants (most of them anyway.where oh where is Iceman), both good and evil, from the X-Men universe. I am sure that already people are thinking of the classic match-ups like Wolverine and Sabretooth.well they are certainly in there for you to do battle with. The game also brings 10 familiar comic book locations to do battle in.

I just gotta say, while being in development for over two-years just how did Activision get the timing right on this title to coincide with the movie release? This is either a prime example of supreme foresight or just hitting it lucking. At any rate, the X-Men craze is officially among us and what better way to get into the movie than to slug it out for a few rounds of X-Men: Mutant Academy the videogame.

Type of Game (Genre):
      X-Men: Mutant Academy is a fighting game.plain and simple (excruciatingly so).

Sound and Vision:
      The sound (both music and effects) are pretty much standard in X-Men. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are somewhat sub-standard.

The music, or lack thereof, plays almost subliminally in the background. I suppose this is actually a good thing as many fighting games feature over-the-top musical scores that can get somewhat annoying when trying to hear the combatants battle it out. In this case though, the sound effects are rather mundane as well.

Each character has a few sound bytes thrown in for comments made at the beginning and end of each fight, but they get old rather quickly and provide no real significant offering to the game.

On a positive note, the sound effects used in the actual battles are great. Contact is followed by a nice thumping impact sound as your fighter connects and the special move effects are glorious.

The only problem is that the entire package (music, voice and effects) just doesn't come together very well, so players will most likely be left feeling a little empty.

I was also moderately displeased with the overall graphics. The characters are certainly modeled very nicely and there are no mistaking one from the other to be sure, but they just looked a little flat to me.

Backgrounds are all polygonal and move about nicely with some neat little animations in the background, but again they just feel a little short to me and looked somewhat grainy overall.

The saving grace here is that the characters are animated quite nicely and the special effects for the most part are brilliant. Just witnessing the warping effect of Magneto's Hyperlure or Power Gush moves was enough to keep me going through the game. Expect the same great effects for other characters as well. This is where the game graphically shines.

Once again though, the whole is just not equal to the parts and the game seems to be missing something graphically. I would certainly not place this title with the likes of Tekken 3 or basically any other recently released fighter of the past year or so. It could have been much better.
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