On X-Men Legends, Scribblenauts, and more

 

Shortly after Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 was released, I realized that I had never beaten the first X-Men Legends game. In fact, I had barely started it. Although I have been reading up on the Marvel Universe lately, I still didn't know much about the X-Men. I knew they were mutants, but beyond that I was clueless. And although the game doesn't deal with their personalities a whole lot (most dialogue is presented in text form and doesn't change depending on the character who speaks it) I can at least identify each character and their powers. That wasn't something I could really do before.

I'm totally enjoying the game, but there are some issues. I'm playing the GameCube version, and because the GameCube controller has one less button than its competitors you have to press X and Z together to use energy packs. Pressing Z first will cause a health pack to be used, so you have to make sure you press X first. But X is also used to grab enemies and pick up objects, so it can be difficult to use in the heat of battle.

Despite that, I was still able to keep playing the game without major problems. But once I reached the Arbiter section, another issue cropped up. During this mission the X-Men have to rescue crewmen from a ship called the Aribiter, which happens to be sinking. You have a limited amount of time to do this, and that alone can be frustrating. But there are also Xtraction points on the Arbiter, which you can use to save. Save without enough time to rescue all the crewmen and you're screwed. If the ship sinks or all your party members die, your only options are to return to the main menu or reload a save. In X-Men Legends you cannot restart a mission from the beginning. I don't think I've yet reached the point where it's impossible to pass the mission, but it's definitely going to take a few more tries. Maybe I should use the Xtraction points to train in the Danger Room. It won't add any additional time, but leveling my characters should help to get through enemies faster.

Another game I've been playing recently is Alter Echo. I had no expectations going in, but it's surprising good. Switching between forms, performing sick combos, it's quite fun. Even the sync node/time dilation stuff - which turned me off initially - ended up working better than I expected it to. Just had to ignore the timing bar and figure out the right pacing myself. A pleasant surprise, and although it doesn't look like it offers much in the way of replayabilty, I may end up doing so at some point anyway.

Last Friday I bought some new games. They were Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Scribblenauts, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. First, Scribblenauts. Everything you've heard about the game is true. Yes, you can create just about anything. Yes, most of those things serve no purpose. And yes, the controls are terrible. But despite that, it's still a good deal of fun. What other game would let you tame Cthulhu and have God ride around on a T-Rex? Yes, the title screen really is the best part of the game.

After spending some time with Scribblenauts I popped in Diabolical Box. Although I haven't spent a lot of time with the game, so far it's exactly what I'd want out of a Professor Layton sequel. Love the puzzles, and Luke's attempt to remove Inspector Chelmey's "disguise" was great. I haven't started Bowser's Inside Story yet, but I hope to do so in the near future.

9 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by LordAndrew

 

Shortly after Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 was released, I realized that I had never beaten the first X-Men Legends game. In fact, I had barely started it. Although I have been reading up on the Marvel Universe lately, I still didn't know much about the X-Men. I knew they were mutants, but beyond that I was clueless. And although the game doesn't deal with their personalities a whole lot (most dialogue is presented in text form and doesn't change depending on the character who speaks it) I can at least identify each character and their powers. That wasn't something I could really do before.

I'm totally enjoying the game, but there are some issues. I'm playing the GameCube version, and because the GameCube controller has one less button than its competitors you have to press X and Z together to use energy packs. Pressing Z first will cause a health pack to be used, so you have to make sure you press X first. But X is also used to grab enemies and pick up objects, so it can be difficult to use in the heat of battle.

Despite that, I was still able to keep playing the game without major problems. But once I reached the Arbiter section, another issue cropped up. During this mission the X-Men have to rescue crewmen from a ship called the Aribiter, which happens to be sinking. You have a limited amount of time to do this, and that alone can be frustrating. But there are also Xtraction points on the Arbiter, which you can use to save. Save without enough time to rescue all the crewmen and you're screwed. If the ship sinks or all your party members die, your only options are to return to the main menu or reload a save. In X-Men Legends you cannot restart a mission from the beginning. I don't think I've yet reached the point where it's impossible to pass the mission, but it's definitely going to take a few more tries. Maybe I should use the Xtraction points to train in the Danger Room. It won't add any additional time, but leveling my characters should help to get through enemies faster.

Another game I've been playing recently is Alter Echo. I had no expectations going in, but it's surprising good. Switching between forms, performing sick combos, it's quite fun. Even the sync node/time dilation stuff - which turned me off initially - ended up working better than I expected it to. Just had to ignore the timing bar and figure out the right pacing myself. A pleasant surprise, and although it doesn't look like it offers much in the way of replayabilty, I may end up doing so at some point anyway.

Last Friday I bought some new games. They were Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Scribblenauts, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. First, Scribblenauts. Everything you've heard about the game is true. Yes, you can create just about anything. Yes, most of those things serve no purpose. And yes, the controls are terrible. But despite that, it's still a good deal of fun. What other game would let you tame Cthulhu and have God ride around on a T-Rex? Yes, the title screen really is the best part of the game.

After spending some time with Scribblenauts I popped in Diabolical Box. Although I haven't spent a lot of time with the game, so far it's exactly what I'd want out of a Professor Layton sequel. Love the puzzles, and Luke's attempt to remove Inspector Chelmey's "disguise" was great. I haven't started Bowser's Inside Story yet, but I hope to do so in the near future.

Posted by Halberdierv2

I played the original legends, once on the Xbox and on the GC. pretty good. I have the sequel for GC and that is really good too.. and I also havent finished it either.... maybe Christmas.

Posted by c_rakestraw

I remember playing a demo of Alter Echo once. From what I remember, it was pretty good. Never got around to trying the full game, though.
 
Still have to get around to playing Scribblenauts at some point. If it weren't for the fact that it is almost never available on GameFly (particularly whenever I return another game), I'd have probably done so already. Oh well. It's probably for the best, as I'd probably waste a lot of time messing around on the title screen. Which, given how little free time I have as it is, probably isn't a good thing.

Posted by Claude

I'm sitting on a copy of Ultimate Alliance. My nephew loaned it to me along with Forza 2. He got it when he got his Xbox 360. I need to get on that. Damn Wii, takes up all my time.

Posted by Symphony

You didn't know anything about the X-Men? Blasphemy! Okay I don't follow them either, but barely knowing they were more than mutants? Come on!
 
And what is up with everyone name dropping Cthulu when talking about Scribblenauts? It was cool the first 50 times or so, but now it's so passe! Can you summon Artemis or Athena or Ares or Zeus? Do they have different powers? Can you summon the Necronomicon and command the dead? Can you summon cheesecake? Does it taste good? What happens if you try to summon the squareroot of negative 1?

Posted by LordAndrew
@Symphony: I know you can summon Zeus, but he's the same as God. I think that might be blasphemous.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

I'm surprised that Scribblenauts doesn't have a limiter that only lets you do things once through the course of the game.  Strange design choice to let people do it a ton of times.

Posted by LordAndrew
@ahoodedfigure: After you beat a level, you play it in advanced mode. That has you play through the level three times without being able to re-use objects. That's your limiter right there, except it's kind of busted and you can actually use the exact same objects every time if you know the workaround.
Posted by AgentJ

Glad I'm not the only one that sees and appreciates Scribblenauts for what it is