X-Men Legends gave the action/RPG genre more mass appeal — by eschewing the familiar D&D landscape in favor of well-known characters in a modern environment. Bringing it to a portable console as intact as possible sounded like a death warrant, but in actuality, X-Men Legends is one of the best N-Gage games yet.
The title does almost everything its home console siblings can. It follows the same story, and features the same four-player team mechanic — whether in single- or multiplayer. It also has plenty of RPG elements. In fact, it even does a few things better than the other versions. For example, you start the game as part of a team, and there’s never a time you’re alone — unlike the big console iterations, where you start as a sole X-Men member, and have to peruse the Xavier academy by yourself.
Combat makes up a big part of the game, though it’s not the title’s strongest suit. Collision is a little iffy, both in terms of environmental obstacles and trying to punch thugs’ faces in. You never really know when hits are landing. Also, X-Men energy drains at an obscure rate, where you can be nowhere near an enemy but still suffer HP loss.
Special moves work better, however. Just watch your energy consumption. Also, your X-Men teammates are pretty smart, and will be able to pick up any of your slack. Things get a little busy when your foursome is tackling a handful of adversaries, but it’s still a very satisfying experience –one which I didn’t think would be possible. Overall, the combat is at the very least decent, though you’ll be a little annoyed from time to time. It blows Requiem of Hell out of the water, for example.
Like the other versions, you can choose where to allocate stat points, as well as what skills to give the characters. There aren’t as many skills to choose from, but it doesn’t feel lacking in any way. I carried over my strategy of taking control of the character closest to leveling up, to help them over the hump. However, like I said, the AI is really good, so that wasn’t always the most beneficial to my X-Men.
Just about every other aspect of X-Men Legends is superb. The PS2/Xbox/GC graphics were nitpicked, and rightly so. But on N-Gage, everything looks amazing. The models are high quality, and there are a lot of them that can be shown onscreen. CG cutscenes are both plentiful and blissful. Voiceovers seem lifted right out of other versions.
You’ll want to play this multiplayer. Not that single-player isn’t a good time; it’s just that this ilk is made to be experienced in pairs or more. X-Men Legends is what Bluetooth co-op is all about. If you can swing it, four-player is where it’s at.
X-Men Legends on N-Gage satisfies even the highest of X-pectations. If the combat were a little smoother, it may have been my favorite title in the system library. As is, it’s one of the best, and is the type of game every N-Gage owner should pick up. Now that games are only $25, you’re out of excuses. Run, fly, or teleport yourself to a game store and pick it up.