X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse

Distributed by Activision

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

      Come one, come all, another X-Men game is here.  For all those interested, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, is the sequel to the popular X-Men Legends, and it promises more mayhem and more mutants.  Brought to you by Activision and useable by the PS2, Rise of Apocalypse, expands on its predecessor and propels the franchise further. 

     The story goes like this: Apocalypse has gotten his hands on a secret prophecy that will allow him to take over the world and no one is safe.  From Mystique to Blink to the Beast to Ka-ar, Apocalypse cuts a swash of destruction, kidnapping or subverting both good and evil mutants alike.  The answer?  The X-Men and the Brotherhood must team together in order to stop this global menace. 

     In a sweeping epic, the tentative allies travel all across the global, from New York to Canada to the Savage Lands to outer space to try to stop the evil mutant.  Along the way you can pick up new characters, new abilities and a host of new armaments with which to build your superhero stats. 

     Rise of Apocalypse is truly a great game with only one flaw (an all too common flaw in games nowadays)--itís  ridiculously short.  It seems that twenty hours of game play is now the standard in the gaming world.  But that aside, the game is top notch, building on the success of the first game while tweaking the mistakes.  The fighting is great-- easy, but versatile, the story is actually complex and interesting, but for those of you who donít care about story, you can easily sink the chatter without getting lost. 

     Character build up is one to the main changes to this franchise.  Now all your player stats are customizable, allowing you to choose whether to use the extra points or save them for later.  You have a choice between special moves and can assign them yourself at your own pace.  And best of all, with just a little trip to the storeóaka Beast or Forgeóyou can purchase a redistribution option, allowing you to remove all your set abilities and start over. 

     The replay value is not high, but itís there, and I defy anyone not to try to play the game at least one extra time.  To insure this, the people at Activation added the fun option of starting from the beginning using the stats and experience level of another saved game.  So if you beat the game and are at level forty, you can play from the beginning with the new characters you unlocked, with all your best armor and highest attack already available for your destructive pleasure. 

     Just to make it even more interesting, at the beginning of every one of the five chapters you have the option of taking a trivia game, testing your knowledge of the X-Men universe for some extra experience points.  And did I mention the Danger Room; thatís just plain fun.

     Aside from the shortness of the game, the only other problem with the game is the useless amount of characters they throw in there for you to fight.  Now Iím a fan of X-Men in almost all its incarnations, but I really donít think it was necessary to put in obscure and pointless villains such as Grizzly and Sugarman!

     All in all, Rise of Apocalypse is a solid game that anyone will have fun playing.  And with the great design of the multiplayer modeóthat allows you to add or remove players at any point in the gameóitís a great game to share with a friend.  Rent or buy, itís money well spent. 


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