The X-Men are going to take you to school. Getting beaten up to have your lunch money stolen now comes with more fun!

User Rating: 7 | X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 PS
I've never been one for this style of game (i.e. the sparing games). I seem to have a special requirement for a game in this genre to find myself accepting of it. X-Men Mutant Academy 2 does a pretty good job of passing the test.
It puts you in a 2.5D world of the X-Men with a classic one-on-one fighting theme.

What's good:
Selection. There's a good selection of heroes to choose from, plus a few villains as well. They all seem to have a fair balance between them.
Graphics. The characters look really good, and the arenas aren't bad on the eyes either.
Sound. I really like the sound effects in this game. You can really feel the impact of some of those hits!
Training. If your fighting-game skill level is far from screaming "second-nature" (such as is the case with me) you'll appreciate the opportunity to go through training. Here you can have Professor X walk you through your moves from basic hitting, mutant powers and combo strings. You can also go up against a binign virtual enemy to beat the crap out of, practice your moves, and get your timing just right.
Basic special moves. Your basic special moves to pull off throws, mutant attacks, and the like are fairly straight forward, uncomplicated, and don't differ too much from character to character. I like this; I like being able to say "I think I'm going to try Havoc today instead of Gambit" and not be totally useless.

What could've been better:
Combos. The one thing that veterans love, but I sulk over, is incredibly long combo strings. I don't like having to memorize an insane amount of button presses just to ensure I don't get my petootie handed to me after a few victorious rounds. X-Men MA2 has these combos. If you like the combo system you'll feel right at home. I don't. I don't play or practice enough to get good at them, but the AI opponents don't mind showing you how good they are with them.
Controls. This game does support the analog sticks, which is good, but they can also be a little touchy. Practice is definitely required.
Arena size. They're kind of small making it required to stay relatively close together most of the time. It's hard to back up to make a quick escape and catch your breath for a few seconds after the AI unleashes a despairing combo on you (see above).

A great addition to your PS1 collection that gets my recommendation!