X-Men The Arcade Game
When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles four player beat-em up became so popular, the arcade companies began making similar games with just about every popular license out there.  From the Simpsons to the Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa to the girls from the Facts of Life (OK, I made up that last one but tell me you don't want to battle robots with Mrs. Garrett and Tootie).  So it was only natural for Marvel Comics to join the fray.  With a stable of great characters to control, it was a natural.  Captain America and the Avengers came before it.  As did a Spiderman game.  But the game that most gamers wanted was the X-Men.  While back in 1992, they were not the household name they are today, they still had a large following.  And who did not want to battle as Wolverine or Cyclops? 

(Go ahead and pick Dazzler, I dare you!)

One big plus I will give the creators of the X-Men game (who happen to be Konami) is they had the guts to put Dazzler as a playable character.  That takes real guts or real stupidity.  Anyone would know to put Wolverine in there, but how many of you would be daring enough to put in Dazzler?  When you could put in people like Rogue, Gambit, Iceman, Angel or even Kitty Pryde, you stick in the disco dancing mutant.  I understand wanting to have to two female characters in the game, but what about Phoenix?  She looks cool, is tough as heck and has the distance attack you want.  Oh well, where else can you live out your fantasies of being Dazzler?

The gameplay follows the same formula that all the games of the genre do.  You battle the same foes over and over.  In this game it is a smaller version of the Sentinels.  They do change in color and design some as the game goes along, but you end up fighting hundreds if not thousands of these things.  They throw in a few other foes to liven things up, but it gets so repetitive.  At the end of each level, you fight a boss.  In this game that boss is one of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  They are very hard to beat and will end up eating your quarters up very quickly.  But once you beat them, it is rinse and repeat with more sentinels. 

(Please no more Sentinels.)

Graphically the game is quite nice.  You go from city streets to underground lairs.  There are elevators to go on and walls to bust.  And sometimes to mix things up, you have to go from right to left instead of the traditional left to right.  Tricky little buggers.  The characters all look like the comic books and it is nice to see the Brotherhood villains.  For the time it came out, it is a nice looking game.

As with any of these games, the more people who are playing the better.  Having one person is a suicide mission.  At home where you can add as many credits as you want, it is fine.  But at the arcade, you will blow through money fast.  Plus it is fun to join up and beat up the sentinels.  The more people who play, the less sentinels you personally have to beat and that is a very good thing.

(Pyro shows you why the bosses are a pain to beat.)

X-Men is a product of its era.  At the time it was a great game.  It allowed you to play as one of your favorite X-Men and battle your favorite villains.  And for the closet Dazzler fans, it was probably the only chance you had to be Dazzler, other than a home made costume.

This is just a review of the arcade machine.  If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want to check out ebay.  Click below to see if you can find this game.